The New York Times does many things well, and this is one of them: Keep stoking the fires of class warfare against the rich and toe the liberal line that all rich people are evil and don’t pay their fair share. Today’s editorial is a classic example of this. It’s also a classic example of how the NYT influences the narrative in our political echo chamber and gets away scott-free with distortions, deceptions and misrepresentations and gross hyperbole without so much of titter of disapproval from the head-bobbing “intellectual” minions that follow The Gray Lady.
(I’ll dance around and go a bit out of order here, but it shouldn’t affect my overall points.)
First, let’s jump in on the biggie. The Times claims the Bush tax cuts were “primarily for the rich”, which is bullshit—everyone, poor to rich, benefited. The Times brushes off the tax break to the poor (from 15% to 10%) as “a veneer of egalitarianism” and that they “just happened to lower tax rates for the poor” like it was an after thought. Aside from the politically snarky tone, the cuts were hardly an after thought. They were based on a sense that all should benefit from a tax break; not just a few. (Boy, that Bush, including the poor in on his tax cuts. What a dickhead.)
Then the Times says there are Republican leaders “who think nothing of widening tax loopholes for corporations and multimillion-dollar estates.” Who these people are the Times doesn’t say. Oh, they try to draw connections to GOP candidates and leaders, but they never directly provide examples, which undermines the credibility of their argument. And talk about rank hypocrisy, the Times was the head cheerleader i demonizing Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap” that called for ending these types of loopholes—loopholes I’m sure the sanctimonious posturing hypocrites at the Times currently enjoy as well.
The NYT goes on to misrepresent that, “First, the facts: a vast majority of Americans have skin in the tax game. Even if they earn too little to qualify for the income tax, they pay payroll taxes (which Republicans want to raise), gasoline excise taxes and state and local taxes.”
Wait a minute, gasoline taxes and state and local taxes? The Republican position is that not enough people have “skin in the game” when it comes to paying federal taxes. And the truth is not everyone does have skin in the game when it comes to paying federal taxes. (Whether or not they should, is matter of reasonable debate.) So the Times tries to pass this off as a “fact” when, in fact, it’s a deception and blatant misrepresentation of the GOP argument. Assholes.
And the GOP wants to raise payroll taxes? We do? We do. But for good reason. The primary reason for possibly raising payroll taxes is to help pay for one of our biggest entitlements—Social Security. The Times squawks about this saying GOPers “scoff at continuing President Obama’s payroll tax cut”. First all, that tax cut was meager and unhelpful to business at large; and two, Obama & His Liberal Cohorts in Congress have gone out of their way to not to address the future insolvency of SS; even discussing or debating SS entitlement reform isn’t even on their table. And the whole “scoffing” language is pure Times hyperbole. Just because it’s being discussed or ideas bandied about doesn’t mean they scoff at it. (Maybe it will be Tuesday, but I doubt it as Obama is not one for specifics. He’s more interested in glorious and sweeping platitudes.)
The final cute touch comes with this snarky moment: “(Interesting that she (Bachmann) acknowledged government has a purpose.)”
Granted, Bachmann is the grand dame of numerous and factually untrue statements, one who’s ignorant of history, more than a little homophobic and celebrated Elvis birthday on the anniversary of his death, but in my search (under “Bachmann government serves no purpose”) I I was unable to find any quote from her that says she thinks government serves little or no purpose. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.* In fact, these kinds of statements were made by leftist bloggers at The Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, Increased Peace and others. Which makes you wonder what the NYT editors are reading and where they’re getting their views. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised.
There are points where I agree with the editorial—keeping the EITC and child-tax credit. The trouble is, the Times could have spent better spent their energies focusing on those two issues vs. feeding the liberal “shitty shorthand”** rhetoric machine that the GOP hates the poor and loves the rich. (I suppose I’m engaged in a bit of this same game at the moment, but fuck it. I didn’t start the mess. I’m just trying to unravel it.)
In the end, you’d think such an intellectual upstanding “paper” with its history of legendary journalism could make me believe I’m not in fucking Sherwood Forest where they’re the town crier when I read their editorials. But, tally-ho, I’m asking too much of The Grand Old Robin Hood outlet.
*if you find one, please supply the link and I’ll be happy to recant. **Stealing my friend’s phrase and his asterisks too.