Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Media Matters Daily Summary 02-03-09

Politico cropped Pelosi's comments on Republican participation in House bill

In an article stating that the "thinnest chapter" of a book about Nancy Pelosi's term as speaker of the House might be "Bipartisanship and the 111th Congress," the Politico cropped Pelosi's statement on the passage of the House recovery bill, omitting comments supporting her statement that "we have reached out to the Republicans all along the way." Read More

WSJ ignored effective tax rate in claiming U.S. corporate tax rate "is higher than in all of Europe"

The Wall Street Journal misleadingly claimed in an editorial that the U.S. corporate tax rate "is higher than in all of Europe." In fact, according to the Government Accountability Office, "Statutory tax rates do not provide a complete measure of the burden that a tax system imposes on business income." Additionally, World Bank and GAO data indicate that the U.S. effective corporate tax rate is lower than 35 percent and lower than several developed -- including some European -- economies. Read More

Wash. Post's Kagan claimed OMB "has ordered a 10 percent cut in defense spending"

In his Washington Post column, Robert Kagan claimed that "Pentagon officials have leaked word that the Office of Management and Budget has ordered a 10 percent cut in defense spending for the coming fiscal year." In fact, the Obama administration has reportedly proposed a $14 billion increase from its fiscal year 2009 budget. Read More

Brzezinski persists with food stamp claim, despite economists' flat rejection

Morning Joe's Mika Brzezinski has relentlessly repeated the claim that funding for "welfare programs" and nutrition assistance included in the recovery bill is "not stimulus," even after CNBC's Erin Burnett cited economist Mark Zandi and said that "[f]ood stamps" and "[u]nemployment benefits" are some of the measures that "would increase spending." Other economists have also said that programs that provide aid to state governments and individuals, would, in the words of CBO director Douglas Elmendorf, "have a significant impact on GDP." Read More

Ignoring stimulus effects, CNN's Romans uncritically reported "safety net spending doesn't necessarily create new jobs"

During a segment on the economic recovery legislation, CNN's Christine Romans asserted, "If your point is to create new jobs, the safety net spending doesn't necessarily create new jobs." But Romans ignored the connection between gross domestic product growth caused by that "safety net spending" and job creation. Congressional Budget Office director Douglas W. Elmendorf has testified that transfers to persons, such as unemployment insurance and nutrition assistance, are effective tools to stimulate GDP growth and that the stimulative effect on GDP leads to job creation. Read More

Hannity falsely claimed CBO "say[s]" economic recovery plan is "not a stimulus bill"

Discussing the economic recovery bill, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that the Congressional Budget Office "say[s] it's not a stimulus bill." However, in analyzing the House and Senate versions of the bill, the CBO stated it expects that either version "would have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years." Read More

Morning Joe crew distorts New Deal unemployment figures in continued assault on recovery plan

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski continued their assault on the economic recovery package, misrepresenting New Deal unemployment figures to argue that government spending does not boost employment. Read More

ABC's Gibson stated that "a lot of people" say spending in recovery bill isn't "stimulus" -- but CBO director says "most economists" disagree

Interviewing President Obama, ABC's Charles Gibson repeated assertions that "not enough" of the economic recovery package before Congress "is really stimulative," that the bill "really doesn't stimulate," and that "it's a spending bill and not a stimulus." But according to the director of the Congressional Budget Office, "most economists" believe "all of the increase in government spending" included in the bill "provides some stimulative effect." The CBO director has further stated that the bill "would provide massive fiscal stimulus." Read More

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