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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Okay, the Post Beats the NYT for Awful Reporting on Minnesota's Budget Crisis

Okay, the Post Beats the NYT for Awful Reporting on Minnesota's Budget Crisis

Saturday, 02 July 2011 08:01

The Washington Post once again shows why it is known as "Fox on 15th Street." It begins an article on the government shutdown in Minnesota:

"There is a giant gap between what many of the world’s governments have promised and what they can afford. Now, the headlines from the across the United States and overseas show what happens when the clunky machinery of democracy goes about trying to close that gap.

"The latest: The Minnesota government shut down Friday, locking families out of state parks on a normally busy holiday weekend after the Democratic governor and Republican-controlled legislature failed to reach agreement on whether to close a projected $5 billion budget deficit in part with tax increases."

As folks who looked at the graph in the last piece know, this bit of editorializing has nothing to do with the Minnesota budget crisis. It is just one more instance where the Post shoved its editorial position about budget problems right into the middle of a news story.

On the larger point about "many of the world's governments" the Post is also misleading. A main source of the budget problems facing governments at all levels is the economic collapse caused by the bursting of housing bubbles in the U.S., Ireland, Spain and elsewhere. (The folks at Fox on 15th have not been told yet about the housing bubble. They still rely on the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors as their main expert on the housing market.) 

If the world economy was operating at normal levels of output, most countries would have manageable budget deficits. In the case of the United States, the long-term budget deficit is the result of its broken health care system. If we paid the same amount per person for our health care as other wealthy countries, the long-term budget projections would show a surplus, not a deficit.

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by stronage, July 02, 2011 9:52
The US pays more for healthcare, because its citizens eat unhealthier (but better tasting) food than in Europe. Eating out in Europe is costly, and the food contains much less fat. People bicycle more in Europe because of the high cost of gas. If the US want to reduce Healthcare costs, it has to change its landscape, which will be difficult.
written by Jethro, July 02, 2011 10:55
Right on Stronage - when 1/3 of the US population is overweight, and another 1/3 are obese, what can you expect. Healthcare in this country will NEVER be fixed, affordable, whatever term you want to use - until people take responsibility for their own health. If anyone has a plan, would love to hear it, but until someone steps up and faces this fact, the pundits and economists can keep blabbing away with their fixes.
OK, Jethro, Here's the Plan
written by Paul, July 02, 2011 12:21

Worked great for Sharon Osbourne,Roseanne Barr, Al Roker, Star Jones and Carnie Wilson.
written by bobbyp, July 02, 2011 10:43
European food tastes worse? Insane comment at 12 o'clock, sir.
written by Binky the disconsolate bear, July 03, 2011 12:38
Maybe the fact that every doctor seems to have a porsche for every season might have something to do with it. Maybe the fact that every time they turn on the sonogram machine and use it for 2 minutes, that's 220 bucks for you and 330 for your insurance.
Americans are obese because the cheap food is fattening. Why is it fattening? Because it is made from meat grown with fattening agents that don't magically disappear when it is listlessly cooked, filled with HFCS that saturates the liver and pancreas with fructose and stymies appropriate insulin response, subsidized sugar and corn is stuffed into every conceivable food stuff, and the corporations who are poisoning America own the political establishment from soup (Obama) to nuts (supreme court).

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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.