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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press NPR Joins the Budget Cutting Crusade

NPR Joins the Budget Cutting Crusade

Thursday, 10 February 2011 18:22

NPR told listeners that: "the federal budget boosted spending during the recession, and now it's widely acknowledged that spending has to come down. The questions are how soon and by how much (emphasis added)."

The term "acknowledged" implies that it is a fact that spending must come down and that people in policy debates are just now recognizing what it is known to be true. Of course it is not a fact. While federal spending did rise in the downturn, primarily to offset budget shortfalls at the state level and to pay for counter cyclical programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps, there is no reason in principle why federal spending could not remain permanently at its current level. Even at 24 percent of GDP, the share of government spending in the economy in the United States would still be near the bottom among wealthy countries.

The producers at NPR may want government spending to come down, but this is just their opinion of the direction that the country should be taking. There is no need to cut government spending that exists for anyone to acknowledge.

Thanks to Michele Mattingly for calling this to my attention.

Comments (9)Add Comment
written by JTM, February 10, 2011 9:41
Keep fighting the Good Fight, Dean. I hope this is doing some good. But it's not an encouraging picture.
One Question
written by Paul, February 10, 2011 9:42
What dire consequence(s) would ensue if Congress raised the debt ceiling by $2 trillion in March?

I haven't heard anyone say that there would be any adverse consequence to raising the debt ceiling.

Also, are bond prices falling now due to the increased risk premium caused by all the loose talk about not raising the debt ceiling?
written by wil Cummings, February 11, 2011 6:36
A NYT article tells us that biology teachers favor creatiionism over evolution as science. Is it any wonder Americans lag way behind other developed countries in social awareness. There is a large resistance to logic and scientific method that permeates the culture. Belief displaces reason. Facts are unnecessary.
written by Steve, February 11, 2011 9:45
NPR has been as bad as the Washington Post on this for at least two years. Either they are trying to be really "insiderish" in that special Washington village way, or the right has them so intimidated that they are trying desperately to show how not-liberal they are.
written by Steve, February 11, 2011 9:48
And Andrea Seabrook is one of the worst offenders. I guess fluffing up those powerful sources requires obscuring the facts. Thanks NPR.
from testimony yesterday:
written by pete, February 11, 2011 10:12
Ben Bernanke:

By definition, the unsustainable trajectories of deficits and debt that the CBO outlines cannot actually happen, because creditors would never be willing to lend to a government with debt, relative to national income, that is rising without limit. One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget must occur at some point."

written by jo6pac, February 11, 2011 2:55
Yep Nice Polite Repugs, this station use to be pretty good but has started down the path of becoming pbs fuax news.
written by moi, February 11, 2011 9:12
NPR and PBS both need to go ahead and delete their first initial and get it over with already.
written by marc sobel, February 16, 2011 3:51
IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a Government tax break.

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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.