Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Michael Abramowitz of the Washington Post Edition)

Via Daniel Gross, who writes:

Daniel Gross: August 06, 2006 - August 12, 2006 Archives: CRAM DOWN NATION, VOL XX, PART 28: Michael Abramowitz reports in the Washington Post on the Bush administration's plans to cut entitlements. I have to say, it's very difficult to understand why someone like Henry Paulson would have such a passion for cutting highly successful social insurance programs...

In our last episode, we saw Michael Abramowitz of the Washington Post finding himself physically incapable of writing that the occupation of Iraq has been a fiasco or incompetent or a mistake or ill-advised or even a disappointment--that he could only say that it had not gone as "smoothly" as "some" had "predicted."

Todaqy, we see Michael Abramowitz shilling for the Bush administration by failing to do his job--failing to place the numbers he tells his readers in context that would show how small, relative to the budget, Bush proposals are:

President Remains Eager to Cut Entitlement Spending: the administration has been working lately to curb the cost of the government's main health insurance programs. Bush's budget for the fiscal year that starts in October proposed slowing spending on entitlements by $65 billion in the next five years, including a $36 billion reduction in Medicare...

A simple "the federal government will spend $15 trillion over the next five years. The proposed cuts amount to four-thousandths of projected federal spending--$40 per American per year, in the context of a federal budget that spends $9,000 per person per year.

Michael Abramowitz doesn't report the context so that his readers can easily assess how significant Bush administration proposals are because (a) he is really stupid, or (b) he is in the tank and wants to do what he can to make the Bush administration look less awful?

We report, you decide.

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