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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press How Do Washington Post Reporters Know Democrats are Concerned That: "Government Spending Is Out of Control"

How Do Washington Post Reporters Know Democrats are Concerned That: "Government Spending Is Out of Control"

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Friday, 28 May 2010 05:58

Politicians sometimes don't say what they really believe. Therefore it is very impressive that the Washington Post is able to determine their true feelings about the world. An article about the failure of the Senate to approve an extension of unemployment benefits attributed the impasse to: " a growing concern among Democrats that government spending is out of control."

It's remarkable that the Post is able to determine the true concerns of politicians -- especially when it is easy to show that these concerns bear no relationship to the underlying reality. The main reason that the government deficit has expanded in the last three years has been due to the economic downturn. If the deficit were smaller right now, then more workers would be unemployed and more of our children would have unemployed parents.

If the Post is right in its assessment of Democrats' concerns then it owes its readers a good piece on how congressional Democrats became so far removed from reality and how this affects their views of other policies.

Comments (9)Add Comment
broken clock is right 2wice a day
written by frankenduf, May 28, 2010 9:05
or, as a regular poster here would say...
stupid democrats.
...
written by izzatzo, May 28, 2010 9:06
What the hell are they supposed to report, what they think the politicians should have said?

Let's game theory this into infinity, and start reporting what they think they think they think they should have said.


Stupid liberals.
...
written by PeonInChief, May 28, 2010 11:56
Why does anyone think that the Democrats are all that much better than Republicans? The Democrats only look good because the Republicans have become entirely disconnected from a reality-based world. The Democrats are just as willing to sell us out for the good of the FIRE industries, and their concern with deficit reduction in a recession is only one piece of the evidence.
...
written by Thomas Dooley, May 28, 2010 12:32
These reporters don't need to say how they know these things. They have powers that enable them to look deep into the very souls of people they don't even talk to. No thought or desire can be hidden from them no matter how skillful or deviously clever the politician is. They know all and see all. That's why they get paid the big bucks by who knows who, but no matter, they tell us the results of their soul peering for free. Why? Because they are such good, pure and honest people. That's why. This must be true. Otherwise it would mean they had an agenda and this was all BS.
...
written by ptm, May 28, 2010 5:35
For comments 1,2, and 4:
They could just report what the politicians say, perhaps with some information about other reasons that the politician might be taking the position she is taking (a donor wants it, they are being forced to by leadership, etc.)

They could simply report the fact, which is that politician X said Y, without including the assumption of honesty.

And it blows my mind that you had trouble thinking of this alternative on your own.
...
written by Queen of Sheba, May 28, 2010 7:20
I wish I had read more about the pressure the legislators faced during Franklin Roosevelt's presidency that caused them, after a few years of the New Deal, to cut back government spending thereby throwing the country back into recession. I simply don't know the arguments that could have persuaded them to do such a thing or whether they, too, had been captured by the lobbying community.

I do know that today's legislators have been captured by big business lobbyists, and I know that the public's distress over the deficit has been manufactured by people who have been working for years to reorganize, if not privatize, the two or three effective social insurance programs this country offers.

It's easy to see why the Republicans would be banging the drums for deficit reduction - they want to be back in power. But I don't believe even the mystics at the Post can devine the motives of the Democrats. Could be the Dem's are listening to their constituents hollering that since they have to tighten their belts and make do with less, the government should have to do the same. Or maybe the Dem's are so politically indebted to Wall Street for campaign contributions that they're willing to throw the economy into a double-dip recession to keep the money flowing into their campaigns. Or maybe Democratic politicians are just terminally stupid. Maybe they really do believe government spending is out of control, or perhaps there are other reasons yet to be identified.

But I don't believe the Post writers know enough to flatly state, as this article does, that one reason represents these politicians' reasoning - or panic - more than any other. Maybe reporters and editors these days have their own reasons for prefering to believe one narrative over another. Or maybe they're just too lazy to look beyond the rhetoric coming out of the politicians' mouths. Could be all of the above.
...
written by bt, May 28, 2010 7:27
it's only fair. politicians are always telling us what the American people think.
...
written by bobbyp, May 28, 2010 9:23
"it's only fair. politicians are always telling us what they think the American people think.

There. Fixed.
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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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