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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Morning Edition Scares Listeners About the Consequences of not Reaching a Budget Deal

Morning Edition Scares Listeners About the Consequences of not Reaching a Budget Deal

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 06:15

A Morning Edition segment with a CEO working with the Peter Peterson funded group, the Campaign to Fix the Debt, implied that the economy would go into a recession if a deal is not reached by January 1. There is no economic forecast that shows the economy going into a recession if a deal is not reached by January 1.

The forecasts showing the economy going into a recession assume that there is never a deal reached so people are paying higher taxes all year, emergency unemployment benefits are not extended at all, and a lower rate of spending is in effect throughout the year. None of this is implied by the failure to reach a deal by January 1, 2013. Virtually all political analysts agree that if a deal is not reached by the beginning of the year then it will be reached shortly afterwards.

This means that NPR is frightening its listeners with a scenario of its own invention. It would also be helpful if NPR used more neutral language instead of the "fiscal cliff" terminology used by those trying to create a sense of crisis around the budget standoff.  

Comments (7)Add Comment
written by Last Mover, November 21, 2012 6:10
Next on National Private Radio, how weather forecasts of one inch of rain for the following week are compressed into 52 weeks of 52 inches of rain for the entire year.
Is this yet more evidence of Chomsky's "manufacturing consent"?
written by John Wright, November 21, 2012 8:05
I don't know that we should expect otherwise as our free press feels free because it seldom runs to the end of its leash.

And it is not much of a story to talk about a fiscal slope.

written by frankenduf, November 21, 2012 8:07
krugman was sharing "austerity bomb" as a more accurate depictor of policy damage rather than "fiscal cliff"
Fix the Debt Propaganda Campaign
written by leo from chicago, November 21, 2012 9:28
The 'Fix the Debt' people are really getting out there spreading the word. I heard one on the Brian Lehrer show yesterday:


Same BS: "We'll raise taxes if you lower Soc. Security benefits. And oh yeah, we say 'deficit' but the real reasons for it (Bush Tax Cuts, Great Recession, etc.) are things we just sweep under the carpet."
Fiscal Cliff is another big story flap for TV and Talk shows
written by jumpinjezebel, November 21, 2012 11:34
"Ficcal Cliff" = Y2K. Same hysteria and high voiced talk by the FunditHeads.
written by jamzo, November 22, 2012 7:40
isn't the fiscal cliff the gop engineered debt ceiling crisis
NASA project
written by Peter K., November 22, 2012 11:01
The should put Peterson and Norquist in a rocket ship and launch them into orbit.

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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.