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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Is There a Work Requirement for NYT Reporters? David Leonhardt Indicates There Isn't

Is There a Work Requirement for NYT Reporters? David Leonhardt Indicates There Isn't

Sunday, 26 August 2012 21:46

Mitt Romney has made a big deal out of President Obama's decision to grant requests by governors from both parties for more flexibility in the work requirement in TANF, the reformed welfare program. The question that millions are now asking is whether the NYT has a work requirement for its reporters. David Leonhardt's piece on Mitt Romney's first 100 days suggests otherwise.

One of the big questions that serious people have been raising is how Governor Romney proposes to pay for the large tax cuts for the wealthy that his plan would provide. Romney has claimed that he would pay for these tax cuts by eliminating tax deductions. The Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute claim that this plan does not add up. It would be necessary to substantially reduce or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, the deduction for employer provided health care and other deductions for middle income taxpayers to make up the lost revenue.   

In dealing with this problem, which implies that Romney would impose a substantial tax increase on millions of middle income families, Leonhardt refers us to a proposal by Representative Ryan which would allow people to pay taxes under the current schedule or use the new lower tax rates. Does this add up? Can a plan that provides a tax cut to everyone who knows arithmetic (or knows someone who knows arithmetic) produce the same amount of revenue as the current tax system?

It's Leonhardt's job to investigate this issue. I'm sure that he is a busy guy, but he has more time and probably more expertise to examine this issue than most of his readers. It is incredibly irresponsible to pretend that numbers add up when they don't. If Leonhardt didn't have the time to assess this key point, then he didn't have time to write the piece.


Comments (5)Add Comment
I'd cut down on the snarkiness, Low-rated comment [Show]
Dean, don't listen to Russ
written by Brett, August 26, 2012 11:03
This just another example of the NYT's obsession with "balance." To suggest the Ryan/Romney budget plan is just a hoax to cut taxes on the rich (likely exploding the deficit or forcing extreme cuts on the already marginal safety net) would invite accusations of liberal bias. So the only people they let say that stuff are the opinion writers. This is poor journalism -- so concerned with appearing balanced that you mislead readers instead of providing the unfettered truth -- deserves to be mocked.
Romney Plans to Use Fiscal Ski Jump to Offset Fiscal Cliff: Supply Side Shrugged
written by Last Mover, August 27, 2012 6:41
It's a secret of course which is why Leonhardt missed it. Romney discovered it after adding Ryan to the ticket who gave him a copy of Supply Side Shrugged, which explains how to cut taxes to the wealthy and increase tax revenue at the same time with a fiscal ski jump that more than offsets the fiscal cliff from eliminating tax deductions, so it does add up even though it results in negative numbers.
I think there is a pattern here
written by John H. McCloskey, August 27, 2012 7:41
"Ryan ... would allow people to pay taxes under the current schedule or use the new lower tax rates"

Similarly, in that 'bipartisan' joint proposal about health care made by the Smirk of Janesville with Senator Whyden, starting ten years from now (or maybe ten years from enactment) geezers will be able to have Medicare just as it is today if they prefer that to SmirkCare™ proper, the premium-support or voucher scheme.

In both cases the result seems ridiculous.

Anybody sincerely prepared to allow this kind of free choice must be prepared for the possibility that pretty well all the patients will prefer the status quo to whatever the neoniftiness may be. In which case, the gemiuses should at least please stop hollering every chance they get about we cannot possibly keep on going as we are.

Happy days.

written by JSeydl, August 27, 2012 8:18
Russ Abbott,

I feel your frustration. However, the problem is that Dean didn't go far enough in this post. Specifically, he let this bizarre sentence by Leonhardt slide:

a sweep of Washington could make possible the sort of change Republicans have been talking about for three decades without having yet done: a significant shrinking of government.

As Dean has mentioned hundreds of times, Republicans aren't interested in shrinking the size of government. For example, they are not interested in ending the patent protection that allows drug companies to sell their products thousands of dollars above marginal cost; they're not interested in restructuring globalization so that every class of worker is exposed to overseas competition, not just lower-skilled workers; and they're not interested in ending the too-big-to-fail insurance scheme that our government grants to the nation's biggest banks free of charge.

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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.