CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Chicago Tribune Tells Readers That Real Leaders Take Money From the Sick and Elderly and Give It To the Rich

The Chicago Tribune Tells Readers That Real Leaders Take Money From the Sick and Elderly and Give It To the Rich

Thursday, 07 April 2011 03:50

My home town paper, the Chicago Tribune, wants us all to take House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's budget proposals very seriously. Remarkably the paper, which recently went through a leveraged buyout that puts ordinary tax scams to shame, tells readers to "trust us."

Even if it weren't for the stench of the paper's leveraged buyout it would be hard to trust an editorial that never once mentions health care costs and uses the cheap trick of lumping Social Security in with Medicare and Medicaid as unaffordable "entitlements." Of course everyone involved in the budget debate knows that the real story of the federal government's long-term deficit problem is health care. If we paid the same amount for health care per person as other wealthy countries we would be looking at huge budget surpluses, not deficits.

Remarkably health care costs never get mentioned in the piece. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Ryan's plan would actually increase what we pay for health care, giving tens of trillions of dollars over the coming decades to the health care industry. And, contrary to the Tribune's assertion, it would likely put many elderly and sick into poverty by dismantling Medicare and Medicaid.

The editorial also neglected to mention the tax cuts that Representative Ryan wants to give the wealthy. Under current law, folks like Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein would be paying a marginal tax rate of 39.6 percent on income above $500,000. Instead, Mr. Ryan would have them pay a tax rate of just 25 percent. (He would also cut Goldman Sach's corporate taxes as well.) This means that if Mr. Blankfein earned $20 million of income subject to the ordinary tax rate, Mr. Ryan would be giving him a tax break that is worth almost $3 million a year.

So, if you're keeping score, Representative Ryan's plan would give the wealthy hundreds of billions a year in tax cuts, it would give the health insurance industry and health care providers hundreds of billions of dollars of additional revenue each year, and it would deny tens of millions of retirees and sick people any guarantee of decent health care. And the Chicago Tribune tells us that this is "what real leaders do."

Comments (11)Add Comment
Dean Baker Wants Less Health Care For Those Who Need It Most, Low-rated comment [Show]
There ain't no such thing as a dollar menu.
written by MrJM, April 07, 2011 8:40
To get more of something the price has to be higher before it will be provided

And that is why hamburgers are almost impossible to find in the United States of America.

-- MrJM
Chicago Tribune - national/local disgrace
written by leo, April 07, 2011 10:09
The Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune is a pathetic disgrace -- that is their function.

All I can say is, Bring back the Daily News!
P.S. Not Exactly My Definition of 'Leadership'
written by leo, April 07, 2011 10:53
Note that the title to this piece is, "What Real Leaders Do"

I guess the implication is that cutting off access to healthcare for the old and indigent (among other things) in order to cut taxes for billionaires is a sign of 'leadership'.
Socialist Competition?
written by Colin, April 07, 2011 12:44
Retirees and sick people are only 'denied' health care by the very ones like Whose Your Nanny Baker who cause these shortages by blocking with socialist competition, the very compensation necessary in free markets to produce voluntary provision of health care.

I thought that competition was the foundation of a free market? Izzatzo, you rarely make sense and never back up claims with credible evidence. No one understands you. Either you are a genius ahead of your time, or you are just crazy. Which is it?
written by fuller schmidt, April 07, 2011 12:56
It's getting tiring to remind that izzatzo is an excellent satirist.
Chicago Tribune - national/local disgrace
written by W in chicago, April 07, 2011 12:58
unfortunately their only understanding of "real leaders" not only did a shameful ripoff of a leveraged buyout, the ramifications of which are still being fought in court, they
were found to have created a sexually hostile work environment on
the level of spoiled frat boys.

maybe worse still, the editorial board is an embarrassment to the city and nation.
written by Colin, April 07, 2011 1:03
i walked right into that one, i apologize. i am new to the blog and have been scanning a lot of old posts, and of course his queer posts jumped out at me.
izzatzo, I admire ...
written by OJC, April 07, 2011 7:23
... your incisive and au point elucidations (being something of a sarcastic SOB myself), but I have a snark that must be expressed. Who's your English Language Usage Tutor?
written by S.D. Jeffries, April 07, 2011 11:37
I do believe both the politicians and the press in this country have somehow become mentally deranged. Their perspective has eclipsed delusion. Whatever is happening, it is certainly contagious, as at least half the country is swallowing this glop.
written by Colin, April 08, 2011 9:58
S.D. Jefferies -

I believe it is possible that the problem lies mostly with the press (namely cable news, you know the culprits) being allowed to spin whatever propaganda they want into the living rooms of Americans. Because of news that is intended to jolt its viewers, millions of TV-induced crazies who were otherwise apathetic to the political process headed to the polls in November and elected their crazy brethren. As for the long-established politicians...a mixture of greed, ego, and power keep them trying to ride the wave of extremism as far as they can. Disclaimer: I do believe there are politicians who are not corrupted/crazy, only handicapped by certain forces.

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

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.