Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fair and Balanced Lying at the WaPo

by Ken Houghton

Via the Lovely and Talented Shakes comes a piece of tripe in the Washington Post, with the deliberately misleading headline of "Tax Cuts May Come At a Price, Study Says" (the subtitle is more honest: "Treasury: Financing Must Be Found").

By the second 'graf, Henderson is grabbing straws to suck off the Administration:
The Treasury report did not openly address the much-debated contention of many conservative analysts that the tax cuts will boost economic growth so much over time that the resulting increase in taxes paid will offset much or all of the initial loss in government revenue -- that tax cuts can essentially pay for themselves.

The report acknowledged the debate delicately, saying "the issue of how, or even if, these policies need to be financed remains a source of discussion among economists."

No. Simply no. There is not an economist in his or her right mind--not Mankiw, who engineered them, not DeLong, and certainly not Jason Furman or others at the CBPP--would question whether the extensions "need to be financed"--save for those who agree that they should not happen at all.

For all their attempts at spin, Treasury acknowledges the "savings" don't pay for the cuts:
If those tax cuts are extended and matched by comparable reductions in government spending, under the best scenario, the nation's level of economic activity would be increased by about 0.7 percent per year over time, or by $90 billion a year in current dollars, [deputy assistant secretary for tax analysis Robert] Carroll said. [emphasis mine]
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