Last night in his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama claimed: "Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime." Even considering the inclusion of "should" as a wiggle word, that's a laughable claim.
Politico's Glenn Thrush is one among what will surely turn out to be a legion of pundits and reporters who will ignore Obama's deficit promise while extolling "his new spending proposals" (while describing them as "relatively modest"). It was a speech Thrush said "could have been comfortably delivered by JFK, FDR or LBJ." Sorry, Glenn, but JFK and LBJ, hardened libs that they were, would not have countenanced such a speech in the context of four consecutive annual deficits of over $1 trillion and a national debt that's over 100 percent of the nation's annual economic output. Several paragraphs from Thrush's vain attempt to make Obama's speech some kind of seminal moment follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Dr. Ben Carson has received little coverage in traditional media outlets for a speech he gave last Thursday at a prayer breakfast in which he advocated a flat tax and health savings accounts to improve the American economy and the health care system, respectively. The little attention he has gotten has been negative, with the media indignant that the world renowned neurosurgeon dared to "disrespect" the president by offering policy proposals that deviated from the government-centered ones of Mr. Obama's liking.
Even so, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the Tuesday edition of Varney & Co., because of talk radio, and the Internet, "the toothpaste is out of the tube" and while it may take longer for more people to become aware of it, "This story will not stop growing." "This proves why the networks are becoming increasingly irrelevant," the Media Research Center founder told the Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney. [MP3 audio here; video of segment follows page break]
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Fox News's Sean Hannity had a very entertaining debate about taxes Monday evening.
When Hannity told the Congressman he pays 60 cents in taxes on every dollar he makes, Rangel said, "It means that you need yourself a good accountant" leading Hannity to marvelously reply, "Charlie, if I used your accountant I'd be on the verge of getting in trouble in Congress."
It wasn’t the embarrassing kiss-up debacle CBS’s Steve Kroft delivered a week ago from the White House, but CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, in his late afternoon pre-Super Bowl sit down with Barack Obama, hardly tackled the President.
He cued him up to elaborate on allowing women in combat and gays to take part in the Boy Scouts, in between prompting Obama to explain why tax revenue must be raised further and, instead of pressing Obama about the danger of ever-growing massive deficits, Pelley -- echoing Paul Krugman -- warned cuts could send the economy into a recession.
Darn that economy. Why won't it behave? Doesn't it realize that Barack Obama has more important things to do than worry about its health and well-being?
That's the tone I get from a story headline at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, about how "ECONOMIC JITTERS COMPETE WITH OBAMA AGENDA." The poor guy; he has to pay attention to something he must have thought he could keep at bay with continued but consistent tepid job and economic growth. Trouble is, yesterday's report from the government indicated that the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 0.1% during the fourth quarter of last year. The underlying writeup by the AP's Jim Kuhnhenn also treats the economy as an annoying distraction or possibly even a threat to his gun contral and immigration de facto amnesty efforts (bolds are mine):
Over the past few years, Paul Krugman has become known as one of the most rabid leftists prominent in the national political scene. He is, as George Will once described him, famous for believing that anyone who disagrees with him is “a knave or corrupt or a corrupt knave.”
What you may not know, however, is that that the very angry leftist New York Times columnist has actually diverged quite a bit from his former life. That past is what earned him his Nobel Prize in economics and also...a spot on Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. And while one wishes that he had worked there cleaning the commodes, the truth is that Krugman was actually there as an economist who believed (mostly) in the free market.
Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), reacting to a disgracefully biased January 27 report by Andrew Taylor at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, on the "no budget, no pay" provision in debt-ceiling legislation passed by the House, I wrote that "Taylor’s report is historically bad ... Sadly, I believe AP can do much worse during the next several years — and probably will."
An unbylined AP item released shortly after the government announced that the economy contracted by an annualized 0.1 percent during the fourth quarter of last year made that fear come true under ten hours (I may have more on the very odd time stamp of this report -- 8:11 a.m. -- in a future post). On his program today, Rush Limbaugh had a field day with the nonsense presented (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In his coverage of the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence report released earlier today, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger conveniently avoided using quote marks when he wrote that "Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said the tax increase was the key reason confidence tumbled in January, making Americans less optimistic about the next six months." That isn't what Franco said.
Crutsinger also -- finally -- told AP readers and subscribers what other reporters and commentators have been saying for about two weeks, namely that analysts' estimates of economic growth in tomorrow's government report on gross domestic product are a for a very weak annualized 1%.
Californians will be surprised to learn that the income-tax increase voters approved in November was, according to Doug Ferguson at the Associated Press (HT Steven Greenhut at Reason.com), "the first tax increase in the state since 2004." I had no idea that residents of the once-Golden state have been so lucky in avoiding any tax increases of any kind for so long. (/sarc)
It would appear that Ferguson, in his coverage of golfer Phil Mickelson's mea culpa for having the nerve to observe that California's onerous taxes might lead him to make difficult decisions which might even include retirement, meant to write that California has seen no statewide income tax increase in nearly a decade. But that isn't what he wrote. Maybe I should cut the AP reporter some slack because he's on the sports beat, and in context, one could see that he was probably only referring to income taxes. But I won't, because of the final excerpted sentence seen after the jump (bolds are mine):
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) made a comment on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
"If we had a Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles chief-of-staff at the White House, or President of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now. That's not the kind of presidency we're dealing with right now."
ABC and CNN contributor Donna Brazile - posing as one of Barack Obama's trusted defenders in the media like she always does! - got a much-needed education Sunday about the President's profligate spending.
Countering Brazile's propaganda on ABC's This Week, George Will said, "A dollar spent on A cannot be spent on B...This is our future. We're going to be an assisted living home with an Army. That's going to be the American government" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Washington Post writer Suzy Khimm, a former reporter for far-left magazine Mother Jones, did her best to portray the Heritage Foundation's lobbying outfit, Heritage Action, as an extreme cabal in a Thursday item on the front page of the Style section. Khimm used two variations of "hardline" to label the two-plus year old group, as well as the term "hard-right."
In her article, "The right’s latest weapon: think-tank lobbying muscle," the writer ballyhooed Heritage Action's influence in the halls of Congress, particularly in the continuing budget battle. She first likened the organization to the alter-ego of a well-known superhero:
Raise taxes on everyone. Eduardo Porter, business columnist for the New York Times, previously covered economics as a reporter but now uses his perch to display his mistrust of free markets in favor of government, most recently in his call for socializing health care, pensions, and education. His latest entry is a call for higher taxes on everyone, not just the affluent, in the name of funding still more government programs: "A Tax Bite Tailored To Help All."
Remember then-obscure Senator Barack Obama's speech to the 2004 DNC? All the no blue state, no red state stuff? Fugedaboutit. Now, he's all about killing—figuratively of course—his political opponents.
Ed Schultz sees Obama for what he is: and applauds him for it, of course. On his MSNBC show tonight, Schultz repeatedly claimed--polls notwithstanding--that America is a center-left, progressive country. On Obama's coming battles over his liberal agenda, Schultz said--with a sly grin--that when it comes to Republicans, the president's plan is to "grab the jugular." View the video after the jump.
So the Lefty, better known as Phil Mickelson publicly aired his political grievances in an interview with CBS Sports the other day, noting that federal and state tax policies in California have him strongly weighing whether now might be the time to retire.
The three-time Masters champion said he would have to make some "drastic changes" when more than 60 percent of his future earnings are taken away by the government, due to the passage of California's Proposition 30 and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for top income earners:
"Congress could lower individual rates across the board by 44 percent and come up with the same amount of revenue if it eliminated all tax breaks" Washington Post reporter Josh Hicks noted in a January 10. Given the ongoing battles over taxes, spending, and the national debt in Congress, you'd think this would be worthy of front-page placement in the Post. Editors apparently disagreed, placing it on the bottom of page A13, today's edition of The Fed Page.
"Congress should simplify the tax code to ease the burden on filers, as well as take a hard look at the myriad tax breaks that cost nearly as much revenue as the government generates from individual income taxes," Hicks noted in his lead paragraph, referring to National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson's annual report to Congress. "[T]he existing code of 4 million words imposes a 'significant, even unconscionable' burden of compliance on taxpayers," Hicks noted, quoting Olson.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tells us the tax issue is behind us and that we can now move on to spending. Really? What makes him think the GOP will succeed this time when it couldn't last time?
The just-concluded fiscal cliff deal included no material spending cuts, which the GOP justified by saying it had achieved locked-in rates for most of Bush's tax cuts, which would force Obama to seriously discuss spending cuts and entitlement reform as part of the upcoming debt ceiling negotiations.
I hate to break it to those deniers who believe that President Obama's tax-guzzling capacity has somehow been diminished by the fiscal cliff provision to fix "permanent" tax rates. You're dreaming.
Several smart columnists and respected conservative editorial pieces tell us that a major silver lining in the crisis deal just concluded is that by agreeing not to reinstitute the Clinton tax rates (and leave the Bush rates in place) for all but the "wealthy" (income of $400,000 for single filers and $450,000 for marrieds), Obama and the Democrats made a major concession. They argue that if Democrats couldn't do better after Obama was just re-elected and when the debt is so high, they'll never be able to. They'll have to realize that they will never be able to sustain their desired welfare state through raising taxes alone and have to come to the table on serious spending cuts and entitlement reform.
HONG KONG -- We read about famous people like French film star Gerard Depardieu, who moved to Belgium to avoid a 75 percent income tax on millionaires proposed by France's Socialist government (a measure rejected last week by a French council, though French leadership has vowed to resubmit a similar proposal). Then there is Eduardo Saverin, who took the extreme step of giving up his U.S. citizenship and could see a savings of $39 million on his Facebook investment, according to the research firm Wealth-X. He says business reasons, rather than high taxes, were his primary motivation.
I had read about financially motivated expatriates but never knew one who had taken the ultimate step until I visited with my longtime friend "Sam" (I'm withholding his real name to protect his current employment). Sam works for a large investment firm. He has lived here for the last 25 years.
Getting reactions to the “fiscal cliff” deal/postponement from Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles – they of the much-cited “Simpson-Bowles Commission” – Meet the Press host David Gregory wistfully speculated on what might have been, had only Republicans agreed a year ago to raise income taxes.
He cued up Bowles: “Had Republicans conceded the point on revenue earlier, say, in 2011, could we have had a broader agreement along the lines that you think is necessary?”
Imagine the situation of poor DUer NCTraveler. He makes a post at the Democratic Underground complaining about the increase in 2013 taxes that now takes a bigger chunk out of his paycheck. No big deal he must have thought. Just another post among thousands. In fact, he probably forgot about the post by the next day...until Rush Limbaugh read it for all the world to hear and laugh at. Now panic sets in and NCTraveler, desperate to avoid more mockery, self-deletes his post so as to remove the "incriminating evidence" of his laughable absurdity.
Too late. Rush Limbaugh not only read out his post on the air but placed a transcript on his website of his comments along with NCTraveler's tax complaint which preserved it in EIB amber for all eternity. Here is what El Rushbo said:
If you think that the DUers at the Democratic Underground or the Daily Kos Kossacks would be mostly outraged over the fact that Al Gore tried to avoid paying his "fair share" of taxes on the wealthy when he attempted to sell his low rated Current TV to Al Jazeera before the beginning of the year, then I have some carbon credits I would like to sell to you. In addition, "Mr. Environment" sold his Current TV to a network that is owned by the oil rich sheikdom of Qatar. So much for worrying about carbon emissions in the atmosphere but, hey, the good news is that Gore can now afford a bigger private jet with his chunk of the $500 million sale which amounts to $100 million.
On Wednesday, as President Obama signed -- er, auto-penned -- the legislation preventing the onset of the "fiscal cliff" passed by Congress the previous day, the establishment press was busy understating its impact. A Friday evening Wall Street Journal editorial (note: not a regular news report) in today's print edition lays out the gory details.
But first, I will cite four examples of coverage which pretended that 99 percent of Americans won't see their income taxes increase in 2013.
The start of the new year always ushers in new taxes that people are expected to pay rather than find ways to keep as much of their money as possible. At least, that's what liberals claim others should do.
But on Thursday, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly charged that former vice president Al Gore is a hypocrite for attempting to sell his low-rated Current TV cable channel for an estimated $500 million before 2013 brought higher taxes that would diminish the amount of money he'd get from the sale to Al Jazeera.