The Media Continues to Cover for Obama

With election season over, our elected leaders should address the daunting fiscal problems that face our nation. But despite how campaigning has ended, it appears the liberal media will continue to cover for President Obama in his negotiations with Congress, ignoring the President’s role in creating or exacerbating many fiscal problems.

In one example, a New York Times editorial parroted President Obama on taxes and praised him for pushing higher taxes on those making over $250,000 annually. Unfortunately, this policy would only account for about 2% of expected spending in the next decade, not nearly enough to significantly reduce the trillion-dollar deficits the nation continues to run. President Obama has made deficits worse with stimulus spending, green energy bailouts, and other unconstitutional spending.

Of course, the Times’ praise consists of the same talking points as an editorial in July of 2012, all of which stretch Obama’s credulity. So this praise is not exactly a new cover by the Times.

The Times editorial also praised the President for looking at a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction. However, the American Enterprise Institute’s blog blows the “balanced” idea out of the water:

Now, according to Obama’s math, his “balanced” plan cuts the projected cumulative debt by $4.4 trillion over ten years with 36% of the reduction coming from $1.6 trillion in tax increases — 80% from wealthier Americans, 20% from business. So, basically, $2 in spending cuts for each $1 in tax hikes. “Balanced.”

But once you begin to dig into the numbers, the plan doesn’t look balanced at all. As the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget noted back then:

The Administration claims that the plan would save about $4.4 trillion in total (including interest savings, war savings, and the costs of the jobs proposals). However … counting the war savings is counting a policy that is already in place and is thus a gimmick to be avoided. Taking out the war savings and savings from the discretionary cuts in the Budget Control Act leads to total savings of less than $2 trillion.

Of the supposed savings, then, $1.6 trillion comes from tax hikes and $577 billion comes from spending cuts, not counting saved interest. So 73% of the savings comes from taxes, 27% from spending cuts. That’s $3 of tax hikes for every $1 of spending cuts.

Other analysts have tackled this subject, pointing out that in addition to these manipulations on supposed budget cuts, President Obama’s economic projections are excessively optimistic.

In another recent example, a Washington Post editorial pushed President Obama to reform Social Security and Medicare. Normally, this would be encouraging. However, the Post’s proposed “plans” cut future spending by $262 billion in Medicare and Social Security over 10 years, a mere 15.5% of one year’s worth of spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Such cuts are totally inadequate to solve the country’s fiscal challenges, but these “cuts” are what passes for entitlement reform in the liberal media.

Note that the Post is looking for entitlement reform: Wasn’t Obamacare supposed to take care of that?

Since 2008, President Obama has presided over spending increases larger than any envisioned by the big-spending Republicans under President George W. Bush. Raising taxes on the wealthy won’t do the job to prevent a fiscal collapse, and neither will slight cuts in future spending. Unfortunately, Americans aren’t generally aware of these facts, which is a reason the President was reelected despite his poor economic track record. In this regard, the media was undeniably complicit.

It’s time for conservatives in Congress to hold strong on balancing the budget. Given the long history of intellectual dishonesty on these issues, conservatives should not debate the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling on liberals’ terms. Conservatives should not raise taxes and should keep the Budget Control Act in place. Conservatives should also commit the federal government to using the spending axe and enacting long-overdue tax reforms regardless of the liberal media’s reports.

Kavon Nikrad About Kavon Nikrad

Kavon W. Nikrad is the Editor-in-Chief of the campaign and elections website, Race42012.com, and a 2011-2012 Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

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