ABC News correspondents Brian Rooney and Laura Marquez “are among the ABC reporters whose contracts will not be renewed as the network looks to shed anywhere from 300-400 jobs by the end of the year,” TV Newser reported in a Wednesday afternoon post. (Earlier item from The Enterprise Report.). The names of the two California-based correspondents (Rooney in Los Angeles and Marquez in San Francisco) should ring familiar to NewsBusters readers. During the fires last summer, Rooney featured a resident who affirmed “he would gladly pay more taxes.”
Multiple offender Marquez last year used her World News platform to express frustration at the difficulty of raising taxes in California and on January 2 of this year described the demise of the death tax as “a big gift from Congress” to “America's wealthiest families” as she saw a loss for “all of us” who aren’t so rich as she lamented the reduction of revenue for the federal government:
Just one percent of American families are wealthy enough to pay the estate tax, but if they don't pay, it affects all of us because the federal government will lose billions of dollars in revenue.
In a welcome change of pace, Good Morning America on Saturday provided a skeptical look about a glut of new laws that have gone into effect in 2010. ABC correspondent Laura Marquez warned, "From the serious to the frivolous, legislators passed more than 40,000 new laws." She chided, "And some argue telling people how to behave isn't part of the legislator's job description."
The morning show even highlighted, albeit briefly, the possible effects of having the estate tax expire in 2010 and come back to life in 2011. Marquez explained, "All states are affected by a new federal law repealing the estate tax for one year, letting heirs of the wealthy hang on to all of their inheritance."
Estate tax planner Andrew Katzenstein told GMA viewers: "It's now becoming part of the discussion that people are having in trying to determine whether or not they should end somebody's life or continue it." ABCNews.com described the situation this way: "For example, a wealthy person who dies on January 1, 2011, and left her heirs $10 million would really be leaving them $5.05 million because of taxes. If they died a day earlier (assuming no changes were made in tax laws), the heirs could receive the full $10 million."
“Congress let renewing the estate tax slip through the legislative cracks and gone with it is $14 billion for the U.S. Treasury,” ABC anchor John Berman fretted in setting up a Saturday night World News story which didn’t consider any of the costs of the death tax, which ABC only referred to as the “estate tax,” such as destroying family businesses, nor the unfairness of re-taxing already taxed earnings.
Reporter Laura Marquez, who last year expressed frustration at the difficulty of raising taxes in California, described the demise of the death tax as “a big gift from Congress” to “America's wealthiest families.” Marquez saw a loss for “all of us” who aren’t so rich as she lamented the reduction of revenue for the federal government:
Just one percent of American families are wealthy enough to pay the estate tax, but if they don't pay, it affects all of us because the federal government will lose billions of dollars in revenue. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this year 5,500 families would have paid a total of $14 billion in estate taxes.
Two weeks after ABC's Laura Marquez blamed California's budget deficit on an “unwillingness to raise taxes” tied to 1978's Proposition 13 “mandating an almost unachievable two-thirds vote by the legislature to raise taxes,” on Tuesday night she repeated herself as she lamented “education and social services continue to end up on the chopping block” because “it's a lot easier to make cuts than it is to raise taxes” since Prop 13 requires “the approval of two-thirds of the legislature to raise taxes, a virtual impossibility.”
In fact, though personal income tax collections “dropped 14% last year,” a May 19 Wall Street Journal article noted they “soared 70% from 2002 to 2007.”
World News anchor Charles Gibson emphasized the victims in teasing the upcoming story: “Governor Schwarzenegger's dire warning to California: The poor, the hungry, the very young -- all facing painful cuts.”
A Tuesday story on ABC's World News, which ignored soaring state spending, reflected frustration with California voters for the anticipated rejection of ballot initiatives to raise taxes as reporter Laura Marquez blamed the Golden State's budget deficit on an “unwillingness to raise taxes” stretching all the way back to 1978's Proposition 13. In fact, though personal income tax collections “dropped 14% last year,” a Tuesday Wall Street Journal article noted they “soared 70% from 2002 to 2007.”
In the story pegged to Tuesday's vote on a series of initiatives to raise or extend an income-tax surcharge, a big hike in the car tax and one point sales tax jump to 9 percent, Marquez fretted that “polls show five of six initiatives aimed at reducing the budget gap are likely to be voted down,” leading Schwarzenegger, Marquez relayed, to warn “the defeat of these measures will mean billions of dollars in cuts to social services and education, and will force thousands of layoffs from the state rolls.” From San Francisco, Marquez rued:
Coast to coast, state governments are swimming in red ink, overwhelmed by the tanking economy. Here in California, the problem is even worse because of its sheer size and an unwillingness to raise taxes. Thirty years ago, Californians passed Proposition 13, mandating an almost unachievable two-thirds vote by the legislature to raise taxes.