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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Washington Post Misrepresents Economic Projections to Push Its Agenda

Washington Post Misrepresents Economic Projections to Push Its Agenda

Thursday, 13 December 2012 05:58

The Washington Post continues to ignore standard journalistic practices in its effort to push its agenda for cutting Social Security and Medicare. In an effort to maintain pressure on President Obama to reach a budget deal before the end of the year, when his bargaining power will be strengthened by the end of the Bush tax cuts, the paper inaccurately asserted:

"Economists have warned that going over the fiscal cliff — the set of sizable tax increases and spending cuts mandated to take place early next year — would throw the nation back into a recession."

This is not true. The report that provides the basis for the linked article shows the impact on the economy of leaving the higher Clinton era tax rates in place all year, along with the budget cuts provided for in the 2011 budget agreement.

The report absolutely does not say that if the January 1 deadline is missed that the economy would go into a recession. This is an invention of the Washington Post and others who have an agenda to push.

The economic impact of having a higher tax withholding schedule in place for a week or two in 2013 would be minimal. There is no reason that spending need be changed at all if it seems that a deal between President Obama and Congress is imminent. In other words, there is no reason for people to be concerned about missing the January 1 deadline. It is unfortunate that the Post would misrepresent economic research to try to convince readers otherwise.    

Comments (3)Add Comment
shock doctrine
written by frankenduf, December 13, 2012 7:58
Naomi Klein was right- the propaganda du jour is: adopt corrupted policy, or else FISCAL CLIFF! or ECONOMIC COLLAPSE! or TERRORISTS!...
Great columns!!!
written by Michiganmitch, December 13, 2012 10:50
Off topic but Dean, your last three columns should be required reading for all congresscritters, the president and all citizens.
written by Chris, December 13, 2012 2:44
I feel like the 2.1 million Americans who won't get their unemployment benefits extended on December 28th will not think the fiscal cliff is exaggerating. I think the effects may be a lot worse than any MacroAdvisers or FRB report estimates.

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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.