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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press There Was No Report from Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission

There Was No Report from Bowles-Simpson Deficit Reduction Commission

Tuesday, 18 September 2012 05:17

We know that the Washington Post's editors really liked the report produced by Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson, the co-chairs of President Obama's deficit commission, but that should not be a reason to misrepresent the report to readers. An article today referred to the report as "the report of the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission."

Of course there was no report approved by the commission. According to the commission's by-laws, a report would need the vote of 14 members to be approved. There was no report that received 14 votes, therefore there is no report from the commission. The Post is substituting its wishful thinking for the truth.

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by S.D. Jeffries, September 18, 2012 11:10
This mis-naming of the letter sent out by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson detailing their plan (and only their plan) for addressing the country's deficits and long-term debt is standard operating procedure for most of the media now, either because they're too lazy to explain that the authors do not represent agreement among the commission members or because they just don't care. Either way, practically the entire media is being disingenuous or downright dishonest.

To quote Brad DeLong, "Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?"
Wishful Thinking? NOT!
written by Paul, September 18, 2012 11:45
The WaPo is deliberately misleading readers to give the BS plan credibility. Obviously if the WaPo told the truth that there was no commission report because the members could not agree on a plan, then BS would just be two guys telling the rest of us what to do with the economy. Not exactly credible or important, so the WaPo has to embellish it.

No more excuses for these prevaricators.
written by urban legend, September 18, 2012 4:57
Not to speak of the fact that the commission was stacked against progressive economics -- i.e., centrist economics, since it takes positions like don't mess with Social Security, give priority to jobs over the deficit, address the long-term deficit through growth and higher top tax rates on very high incomes, and improve the lot of the middle class that are accepted by the overwhelming majority of the population -- in the first place.

The only pro-business economics is progressive economics, because it recognizes the central role of high demand for businesses to succeed. Right-wing and centrist economics are anti-business, and we should say so every chance we get.
Bowles-Simpson offered two plans
written by John Q, September 18, 2012 9:09
There was the plan favored by Bowles and Simpson that failed to get the approval of enough commission members.
There was also the plan put forward by member Pat Schaowsky that did not get approved.
Funny that the press only mentions one of the plans when referring to Bowles-Simpson.
Can We Hurt Them?
written by John M, September 19, 2012 3:34
Unfortunately, the media will continue to print the misinformation until someone gets seriously hurt, or at least embarrassed, in consequence.

We can correct their errors until we're blue in the face, and nothing will change.

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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.