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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Washington Post Continues "Campaign to Tame the Debt"

Washington Post Continues "Campaign to Tame the Debt"

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 05:25

Those who hoped that one of the new year's resolutions at the Post would be more honest budget reporting would be disappointed by today's paper. While this budget piece starts off well with a headline about taming the threat from the debt ceiling and high unemployment, the expression "tame the debt" appears twice on the second page. While it does note that the projected rise in health care costs is a major cause of the projected deficits, it does not note that it is really the only cause. It also would have been helpful to point out that the only reason for the large deficits that we are now seeing is the economic downturn caused by the collapse of the housing bubble.

Comments (4)Add Comment
NYtimes' decrise "virtual Tea Party of the Left"?
written by JaaaaayCeeeee, January 02, 2013 5:43
Today's New York Times has an article by Peter Baker, titled, "On The Left, Seeing Obama Give Away Too Much, Again." He reports that the compromises that the President has made, from no public option for healthcare, to not taxing the rich enough, means like "...Speaker John A. Boehner has been under pressure from his right, Mr. Obama faces a virtual Tea Party of the left that sees his compromise as capitulation".

Baker says the difference is that the Democratic establishment has not been intimidated by sustained primary challenges, so President Obama has more room to operate than Speaker Boehner.

Lobbying power and campaign finance are oddly absent in this reporting on the "virtual Tea Party of the left".
Budding Anarchist
written by Potomac Oracle, January 02, 2013 11:20
Not only should the Wa-Po resolve to report budget issues in a context of real world monetary realities, it should, without obfuscation, clearly define budget terminology. Its obsession with the word "deficit" is a psychosis leading to cynical disinformation, prodding Congress and the Administration to even more dysfunctional economic policy decisions.

The fact of the matter is that for every deficit there exits a surplus.

Wa-Po, and MSM generally, needs to tell its audiences that in our system of accounting, the Federal government's deficit equals, to the penny, net financial savings/assets in the private/non-government sector. They are symmetrical. It's accounting 101. See this presentation, http://tinyurl.com/axd8ssc

Next, Wa-Po and others need to explain that in a monetarily sovereign, fiat currency issuing nation, Federal tax are not levied for the purpose of raising revenue with which to pay obligations denominated in dollars. Wa-Po needs to answer the question, why would the sole issuer of a nation's currency need revenue/income from any source?

An honest answer would ignite a movement to reduce Federal income taxes and abolish payroll taxes. Taxation would be reduced to the bare minimum needed to manage inflation. That's what our modern tax system is supposed to do, not raise revenue to spend.

An honest presentation of the "deficit" and the real role of taxation would revolutionize economic policy formulation.
written by Chris Engel, January 02, 2013 1:30

Emotions > math
Revenue Starved Govt.
written by Tom McKee, January 05, 2013 9:59
I take issue with: "the only reason for the large deficits that we are now seeing is the economic downturn caused by the collapse of the housing bubble."

Seems to me that the Bush2 tax cuts and his unfunded wars also contribute to our current fiscal situation.

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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.