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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press There Was No Deficit Commission Report, Why Do Post Columnists Feel the Need to Lie About This?

There Was No Deficit Commission Report, Why Do Post Columnists Feel the Need to Lie About This?

Sunday, 10 July 2011 13:50

I know we are not supposed to say "lie" in Washington, but this is really getting tiresome. There was no report from President Obama's deficit commission. The rules under which the commission could issue a report were very clear. It had to have the support of 14 of the 18 members in a vote that took place by December 1, 2010. There was no vote taken by that date, although 12 of the 18 members did indicate their support for a report produced by the commission co-chairs, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, on December 2.

This means that there was no commission report. Therefore, when Dan Balz tells Washington Post readers about the recommendations of the deficit commission, he either has no clue what he is talking about or he is deliberately deceiving Washington Post readers. If he wants to be honest, he is welcome to refer to it as a report of the co-chairs and to even point out that the report had support of 12 of the 18 commissioners, but it is simply not accurate to describe it as a report of the commission.

Btw, the headline of the piece describes the failure to reach agreement on a big deficit reduction package as a "lost opportunity." Those reading through the piece would find that one element of this lost opportunity is the failure to raise the age of eligibility for Medicare. Wow, just think, if only Speaker Boehner and President Obama could have gotten their act together people aged 65 and 66 could now be paying for their own health care. We're all really going to regret this lost opportunity.

Comments (5)Add Comment
Because Beltway media always buys the official narrative.
written by Susie Madrak, July 10, 2011 3:47
After all, if they questioned the premise that people weren't protesting the chained CPI based on mood swings but rather, that these changes would really hurt people, why, their sources might not like them anymore.
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The most minor of all the lies they tell...
written by JITC, July 11, 2011 12:10
....but it's still a significant one.

I like many other progressives are fretting the large cuts to important programs the White House and Democrats are offering in these negotiations. However, I put the blame squarely on the media that buy, repeat and incorporate into their conventional wisdom the packages of lies Republicans and "conservative" pundits peddle.

We are in a major recession and the media have all bought into the idea that we must have deficit reduction (instead of a jobs program - or worse, that somehow deficit reduction IS a jobs program) and that it makes total sense to tie deficit talks into the debt ceiling vote.

The media's complicity is why Dan Balz was able to get this inaccuracy into print at a nationally distributed news publication.

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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.