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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Why Does the Post Think It's Bad News that the Republican Budget Strategy is Falling Apart?

Why Does the Post Think It's Bad News that the Republican Budget Strategy is Falling Apart?

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Wednesday, 08 May 2013 05:11

That is what readers of a front page Washington Post news story on the budget must be asking. The piece notes the sharp decline in the budget deficit, then tells readers:

"That might seem like good news, but it is unraveling Republican plans to force a budget deal before Congress takes its August break (emphasis added)."

It's not obvious why the piece would use "but" in this sentence as opposed to "and." Obviously the Post considers it bad news that the Republican strategy is unraveling. Most papers would leave such comments for the opinion pages.

The piece later adds that the lower deficits are reducing pressure on Democrats to consider:

"far-reaching changes to Medicare and the U.S. tax code that Republicans see as fundamental building blocks of a deal."

The use of "changes" is misleading. The Republicans have advocated cuts in Medicare compared with baseline levels of spending. It is understandable that the Republicans would prefer a euphemism, but the Post should be trying to inform its readers.

Also, the Post does not know what Republicans actually "see" as fundamental to a deal. It only knows what they say they view as being fundamental. Politicians sometimes don't say what they really believe.

It is also striking that this piece makes no reference to recent developments in economics that have seriously undermined the case for deficit reduction. Readers of this piece would believe that budget policy is unaffected by economic considerations. That may be true, but it would be worth highlighting this fact. Most readers probably would be interesting in knowing that members of Congress apparently only care about budget targets and do not give a damn about growth and jobs.

Comments (9)Add Comment
Foiled Again! Just When the Beast Was Starving It Loses Its Appetite
written by Last Mover, May 08, 2013 7:36
Doctor: We have bad news. You're getting better.

Patient: Why is that bad news?

Doctor: Because we can't extract as much unnecessary and overpriced treatment charges from healthy patients or dead patients.

Like a growing deficit driven by a starving beast, we need starving patients who dwell in the twilight zone between life and death so we can exploit their condition to improve the lifestyle of the 1%.

In short, we need a beast to starve, so you need to get sicker but don't die, or better but not healthy.

Otherwise we run out of propaganda and money at the same time.
Propanganda has its uses
written by Jennifer, May 08, 2013 8:40
I would argue that is piece is quite helpful It makes perfectly clear that the Republican party is devoted to a very specific plan-cut the government, regardless-which unfortunately for them only works if they can threaten the country and the world with denying the debt-ceiling increase. That's all they got-and they have no qualms about broadcasting it. As for the interest in knowing that members of Congress "apparently only care about budget targets and do not give a damn about growth and jobs"--pretty sure most of the country knows that part, certainly the WP readers do.
Senate Republican Leader is the Epitomy of Fiscal Irresponsibility
written by Robert Salzberg, May 08, 2013 8:52
"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected to Murray’s request. He said Republicans would agree only if the conference report would not be used to raise the debt ceiling or taxes."

R's like to rail endlessly about the debt and deficit and the debt ceiling like it comes whole cloth from nothing but when confronted with the legislation that actually increases the debt, they refuse to either raise more taxes to pay for it or borrow more money.

Teenagers sometimes engage in Dine and Dash where they eat at a restaurant and sneak out without paying the bill. The highest ranking Republicans in America insist on doing the same thing with our economy and still claim to be fiscally responsible.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/298223-senate-gop-denies-formation-of-budget-conference-for-third-time?wpisrc=nl_wonk_b#ixzz2ShjkFajO
Look Below the Fold Dean
written by Paul Mathis, May 08, 2013 12:55
The WaPo story on medical costs is devastating:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/08/one-hospital-charges-8000-another-38000/
...
written by TK421, May 08, 2013 5:28
The piece later adds that the lower deficits are reducing pressure on Democrats to consider "far-reaching changes to Medicare and the U.S. tax code that Republicans see as fundamental building blocks of a deal."


Something tells me the president would be willing to consider changes to Medicare no matter what happens.
...
written by Chris Engel, May 09, 2013 9:12
These subtle irregularities are enough to influence readers to the point of view that is sympathetic to Republicans, but hard to catch explicitly without a keen eye.

This is the most insidious form of blending opinion in with news, because it's not overt enough to really notice and disregard for most; it's rather inconspicuous, but can drive one's interpretation of the story greatly..

You're a gem, Dean!
...
written by Ryan @ RLD Investments, May 09, 2013 1:19
Reasons like this are exactly why we need to hold our media to a higher standard. We should expect the media to report things accurately, we should expect people who vote to be able to speak intelligently on a subject, we should expect the government to have our best interests at heart. Hopefully with articles like this it all becomes more clear to everyone and their awareness is raised.
...
written by Ryan @ RLD Investments, May 09, 2013 1:25
Reasons like this are exactly why we need to hold our media to a higher standard. We should expect the media to report things accurately, we should expect people who vote to be able to speak intelligently on a subject, we should expect the government to have our best interests at heart. Hopefully with articles like this it all becomes more clear to everyone and their awareness is raised.
...
written by rickstersherpa, May 10, 2013 11:23
Lori Montgomery's and Zachary Goldfarb's names on the by-line says it all. I believe both see their function in life to be publicists for Paul Ryan and Pete Peterson.

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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.

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