October 14, 2007

2 of 3 ‘Newspapers of Record’ Fail to Record Federal Fiscal-Year Deficit News

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:04 am

The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Bluey reported in his Sunday Townhall column that there was disinterest at the hallowed “newspapers of record” in the government’s news about the just-ended fiscal year’s deficit (links to White House deficit announcement and to Business and Media Institute report are in the original):

The U.S. budget deficit fell to the lowest level in five years last week, but three of America’s leading newspapers — the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times — couldn’t find the space to mention the dramatic drop.

Journalists who have spent years trashing President Bush’s tax cuts appeared to suddenly lose interest when the budget picture brightened. That’s not surprising, however, considering that mainstream reporters frequently ignore upbeat economic news.

For 49 straight months, dating back to August 2003, the U.S. economy has added jobs. More than 8 million, in fact. Yet the only time economic news seems to hit the front page is when there’s something bad to report. No wonder Bush gets little credit.

See for yourself at the NY Times, the Post, and the LA Times (searches are on “deficit billion” — not in quotes):

  • The Post’s Neil Irwin wrote a 600-word article (“Economy Signals Damage Control”) about supposedly weak retail sales (you’re wrong, Neil — they were “stronger than expected“) and the deficit. But it was the trade deficit and not the US budget deficit, which Irwin ignored. The Post did carry the uncharacteristically balanced deficit coverage of the Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger, but apparently only online, as there is no print edition page indicator at the link.
  • Bluey had one minor oversight, as the New York Times did carry a one-paragraph Associated Press item — on Page A22 in the October 12 print edition. That hardly counts as “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” especially considering that the Times, like the Post, also did an in-house piece on the trade deficit.
  • The LA Times had no report relating to the federal budget deficit. That’s like the paper’s sports editor deciding not to report on the previous night’s Dodgers game because it wasn’t interesting.

Does anyone seriously believe that the news would have been almost completely ignored if the deficit had instead gone up?

Because the “newspapers of record” won’t cover it, yours truly will. Rather than provide 2,000 words, I’ll provide two pictures, which are worth 1,000 each (:–>):

FederalReceipts2003thru2007
DeficitReduction2003thru2007

Now for some cold water: I hope I’m wrong, but I believe that the long run of increased tax receipts is over, and that receipts in future years will go up by no more than 4%-5% annually — if we’re lucky. That’s because none of the economy-prodding suggestions made at the end of this post last year have been put into place. The current Congressional majority has no interest in making the Bush 2001-2003 tax cuts permanent. If that were miraculously to happen, the economy would likely go into orbit at the sudden rush of bi-partisan sanity. But that makes too much sense.

If, as appears likely, the Bush cuts are instead allowed to expire at the end of 2010, that will in reality represent a huge tax increase after seven years of a mostly-static tax structure. Worse still, a Democratic presidential victory in 2008 could not only mean a probable earlier end to the Bush cuts, but steep additional taxes on top of that. All three major Dem candidates have already promised exactly that.

Because of these things, it would not surprise me in the least that investors and corporate managers considering expansion are becoming more cautious, hindering current economic growth.

What’s really needed, as I’ve suggested several times in the past few months, is another tax cut. It would nice to hear at least one GOP presidential candidate talking about that, and not merely holding the line on the Bush cuts.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org and at Wide Open.

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UPDATE: As noted at this Monday morning post, Giuliani has specifically said he will lower taxes.

UPDATE 2: A belated welcome to Instapundit readers!

Positivity: Singer’s Wife Says Faith Saved Her Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:56 am

From the AP’s Nekesa Mumbi Moody:

Denise Jackson knew that her marriage to Alan Jackson wasn’t perfect. She was too needy and insecure in the relationship, and he was on the road a lot, becoming one of country’s biggest superstars.

Still, she wasn’t prepared for the shock she got in 1998, shortly after the birth of their third child, when Jackson — her sweetheart since their teen years — told her that he didn’t want to be in the marriage anymore. Hurt and disillusioned, she tried everything to get him back and turned to prayer.

A revelation came one day when a friend told her she wouldn’t pray for Alan Jackson to come back, but instead, would pray for Denise Jackson to become the woman that God intended her to be. From that day on, Denise Jackson began to reassess the role God played in her life — and, instead of focusing on how to repair her relationship with her husband, put her efforts into rebuilding her relationship with God. In the end, she says, becoming closer to God helped her become closer to her husband — and save her marriage.

Jackson writes about her journey in the new book “It’s All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life.” And while her husband is on the cover of the book and included a CD of two songs, after the first few chapters, it becomes clear that the country singer is not the ultimate focus of her book.

Associated Press: What made you want to write this book?
Jackson: Honestly, I’ve had this desire in my heart for nine years, soon after we separated. I really started thinking about how my story is a story of hope, and I really wanted to share with people how nothing is impossible with him and how he can tackle relationships and restore them, and really just so people can be drawn to him. One of the points I make in the book is that I have everything in the world … and yet at one point, I was insecure, and my marriage was not right, and how none of that stuff really brings lasting joy and contentment, but the thing that does is available to everybody, and that’s a relationship with God.

AP: What kind of pressure did you feel to have this perfect relationship with your husband?

Jackson: I put so much pressure on myself. Everyone, I felt, was looking at us under a magnifying glass, and I had to be the perfect wife, who was the perfect size, who wore the perfect gown, who had the perfect jewels, and it was so stressful to live like that and to base your self-worth on what you thought other people felt about you. So that’s why it was so freeing to really come to the place in my life where I realized that I shouldn’t base my self-worth on any of that, that my self-worth really comes from being a child of God.

AP: When your marriage broke up, you describe it as a total shock.

Jackson: All along in our marriage we’d have these discussions about something just doesn’t feel right, and it really boiled down to a codependency. Alan was the stronger one, I was the weaker, needier partner, and it just didn’t feel balanced. And he kept wanting a partner who would be equal and who he could respect, but we really just didn’t know how to get there. So that was really the issue that played out over the years. But it really wasn’t until ’98 that he said, “You know what? I can’t live like this anymore, and I don’t know if we know how to fix it,” and that’s when he left.

AP: He revealed that he was unfaithful at one point. How did you regain the trust?

Jackson: First of all, I had to be able to forgive him, and that’s a free gift that you offer someone. So I was willing to do that, but in return he had to show me in tangible ways that he was trustworthy. And over an extended period of time he showed me in numerous ways.

AP: Do you always have that doubt though?

Jackson: It’s been almost 10 years, and initially when we got back together I did worry and wonder — was he really and truly committed to our marriage? But now I have such a peace and contentment about it, because he has shown me over and over and over that he does want to be in the marriage, and it’s evident; it’s evident every day.

Go here for the rest of the story.