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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Fox on 15th (a.k.a "The Washington Post") Goes All Out to Push For Its Deficit Agenda

Fox on 15th (a.k.a "The Washington Post") Goes All Out to Push For Its Deficit Agenda

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Sunday, 20 February 2011 08:47

The Washington Post took its unbalanced treatment of the budget to new extremes today with a whole page devoted exclusively to deficit hawks telling us how we should rein in deficits. The lead piece is by Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of President Obama's deficit commission. This is followed by 5 pieces from deficit hawks.

There was no one pointing out the obvious truths that all budget experts acknowledge:

1) The explosion of the deficit in the last few years was the result of the downtown caused by the collapse of the housing bubble.

2) If the government reduced its deficit any time soon the main result would be slower growth and higher unemployment.

3) The main factor driving the horror stories of an exploding deficit in the long-run is the growth of private sector health care costs. If we paid the same amount per person for health care as people in other wealthy countries we would be looking at huge budget surpluses, not deficits.

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by skeptonomist, February 20, 2011 8:40
I did not try to wade through the pieces by the temporary "deficit hawks" but I would lay odds that none mentioned that there is a lot of money now available in excess corporate profits:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/CP?cid=109

I estimate that since 2002 there is an excess of over $2.5T in profits over the previous trend.
The Deficit Hysteria
written by Paul, February 21, 2011 9:53
The current hysteria over the deficit is highly reminiscent of the Red Menace fear mongering of the 1950s and, more recently, the Iraq WMD hysteria.

American media regularly engages in hysterical thinking with disastrous results. The WaPo is the biggest offender, yet it never explains what would happen and when, if we don't cut the deficit. All we get are vague references to our grandchildren.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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