Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Republican Media- No. 22

It's one thing for the promo for the radio program of right-wing Republican host Sean Hannity to play the fear card and proclaim "The radicals have taken over. Hold on to your wallet. Your taxes are ready to go sky high." Hannity makes no claim to objectivity and is entitled to be an ill-informed partisan extremist.

But the "fair and balanced" network? Who would think its newscasters would be biased?

On Sunday's Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Christina Romer, chairperson of the White House Council of Economic Advisors

And finally, before you came to Washington, you and your husband were experts, leading experts, on business cycles and the recession. You have written that monetary policy alone, what the Fed does in lowering interest rates and pumping money into the economy, is enough to end recessions. You don't need big government spending programs.

And you've also written that tax increases can reduce growth. So my question is, given all of that, what's a nice girl like you doing in the Obama White House?

Sure, tax increases can reduce growth.... which could be why President Obama proposes to reduce, rather than increase, income taxes for the vast majority of Americans. As he promised during the campaign, Obama seeks to cut income taxes for single filers making under $200,000 per year and families earning under $250,000 annually. According to an Associated Press report of an anaysis by Deloitte Tax LLP, a family making $35,000($15,233 below the 1997 median) a year would get a payment of $4,100, an increase of $1,200. And most working couples will receive a tax credit of up to $800 for 2009 and 2010, which the budget proposal would make permanent for families earning up to $195,000 and single filers making up to $95,000.

So unless Wallace was referring solely to individuals pulling down over $200,000 per year (and he was not), what is this about tax increases? Carrying water for the GOP is what it's all about, as well as the classic Repub taunt that Democrats are all about "tax and spend." There is a lot of spending by the Obama White House and Congress to pull us out of a deep recession but the "tax increases," except for the wealthy, are a figment of a deceptive, partisan attack.

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