They did it again! The Washington Post had a front page article devoted to the budget debate that never once mentioned the job loss that is expected to result from budget cuts at a point where the economy is still far below full employment.
According to estimates from Mark Zandi, the original package put forward by the Republican leadership would have cost 700,000 jobs. Since the final package had cuts that were roughly two thirds as large, the implied job loss would be around 450,000. It is incredible that a major newspaper could discuss the budget without ever once mentioning its impact on the economy.
The Post, which has long supported big cuts to Social Security and Medicare and other social programs, directly misrepresented reality to push its agenda. It told readers:
"the battle was fought on turf far more hospitable to Republicans, given the country’s concerns about spending that contributed to the Democrats losing the House in November."
Every post-election poll showed that the main concern of voters last November was jobs. As in JOBS!!!!, the one item that is not mentioned once in this article. Instead, the article tells readers that:
"The coming battle, which will be about fiscal priorities and society’s values as much as it is about controlling government spending."
The Post presents no evidence that the battle is about "society's values." Most obviously the battle is about redistributing trillions of dollars of income from ordinary workers to the health insurance industry and health care providers.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the public would have to pay an extra $20 trillion over the next 75 years (an amount that is approximately equal to 4 times the projected Social Security shortfall) if Representative Ryan's plan for a Medicare voucher system is adopted. There may be questions of values here, but most immediately the question is whether we want to take money from low and middle income people and give it to these industries.
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