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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Post Turns Battle Over Money Into Philosophy

The Post Turns Battle Over Money Into Philosophy

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Wednesday, 21 September 2011 04:07

The major battle line in Washington budget debates is between those who want to cut Social Security and Medicare, the social insurance programs that the vast majority of low and middle income people depend upon, and those who believe that the wealthy should pay more to support the government. Since government policies have led to an enormous upward redistribution of income over the last three decades, the latter group would seem to have a good case.

While this seems a rather straightforward battle over money, in a front page story the Washington Post told readers that this battle is actually about, "contrasting visions of the American idea." There is nothing obvious in this debate about "visions." The debate is being conducted by politicians, not political philosophers.

It is certainly understandable that the wealthy and their allies would try to turn this debate into a battle over visions, since they are hugely outnumbered by the people who stand to lose if their agenda is followed. However, most immediately this is a battle over money. Real newspapers would call it that way and not try to distract their readers' from the issues in front of their face. 

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praxis taxes
written by frankenduf, September 21, 2011 9:16
i used to think these semantical posts about 'philosophy' were duds, but i think Dean might be onto something with this example- the story here cites a public poll supporting tax hikes on the rich, but then puts in the rejoinder "in theory"!?- i chuckled as it is obvious they didn't haul together a bunch of Aristotelians who feel one way about taxes in theory and another way about taxes in practice

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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.

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