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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Washington Post Continues Deficit Reduction Jihad

Washington Post Continues Deficit Reduction Jihad

Sunday, 23 December 2012 09:22

The Washington Post continued its practice of ignoring journalistic standards in trying to push its line on the necessity of a budget deal. An article referred to the end of the year deadline before higher tax rates and spending cuts kick in, then told readers:

"That deadline, now called the fiscal cliff, is widely believed capable of causing another recession."

It's actually not clear that any economists think that missing the deadline will cause the economy to fall into a recession. The Congressional Budget Office and others have projected that if higher tax rates and the legislated spending cuts stay in effect all year that the economy might fall into another recession. However, they did not project that a recession would result if we went a week or two into 2013 without a deal, especially if any tax cuts put in place were made retroactive, which would almost certainly be the case.

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by bmz, December 23, 2012 9:35
Being for deficit reduction and against the " fiscal cliff" is oxymoronic.
holy war
written by Peter K., December 23, 2012 10:21
Jihad is a good description.
No, just moronic
written by Matt, December 23, 2012 5:17
@bmz - not quite oxymoronic, just plain moronic. WaPo and many others are what's been described as "weaponized Keynesians", who believe that Keynesian principles are invalid except when applied to defense spending.
"capable of"
written by JDM, December 24, 2012 3:56
Sure, the fiscal slope is "capable of" causing a recession... if nothing at all is done for a year or more. This is like the fact that the Washington Post is "capable of" journalism on the subject. Neither is an outcome anyone has has been paying attention would bet on.
Jihad not a good metaphor
written by Andrew Burday, December 25, 2012 6:41
As a regular reader who finds your blog helpful in sorting out the crap spewed out by the news media, I'd like to ask that you not use the term "jihad" this way. It plays off the cliche of Muslims as wild-eyed fanatics, which is not fair to a lot of decent, serious Muslims who don't go around trying to screw life up for other people the way the Post does. It's also not that good a metaphor. For most Muslims, jihad is struggle in defense of the faith. The Post's active, aggressive campaign would only be comparable to jihad if you used the definition of nut cases like bin Laden.

I realize this kind of suggestion can be a pain in the neck, since you were just casually using the term the way a lot of people do and didn't mean to insult anybody except the morons at the Post. I hope you'll at least think about the issue and not dismiss this as an attempt to assert my own moral superiority -- believe me, it doesn't exist.

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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.