Can Anyone Tame the Washington Post's Deficit Hysteria?

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Monday, 10 December 2012 07:56

That seems unlikely as it ran another shrill front page piece warning about the need to "tame" the national debt. Newspapers would ordinarily use a word like "reduce" in their news section, saving phrases like "tame the national debt" for the opinion pages.

The piece is also highly misleading by insisting there is an urgency to arriving at a deal before the end of the year. There is no obvious reason that it is important to have a deal by December 31 rather than the first or second week in January. While the Post includes the comments from politicians who say a deal is "vital" and even asserts this as a fact in the headline to the jump page, it excludes the views of members of Congress who think it would be perfectly reasonable to allow the deadline to pass and put together a deal with the new Congress.

It is worth noting in this context that President Obama's bargaining position would be substantially improved after January 1. For this reason it is understandable that Republicans and people who want to see large cuts to Social Security and Medicare would want to force a deal before the end of the year.