January 6, 2011

After Four Years of Kid Gloves for Dems, AP Can’t Even Wait a Day to Take Ill-Informed Shots at the GOP House

Well, that didn’t take long.

AP reporters Calvin Woodward and Andrew Taylor answered the bell and came out swinging at the Republican House within hours after John Boehner was sworn in as Speaker, accusing the GOP of supposedly breaking a number of core promises.

As usual when the wire service covers Republicans, there’s no shortage of inconsistency bordering on hypocrisy coming from AP’s alleged journalists.

Here are selected paragraphs from this morning’s report (“PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP drops some out of the gate”):

Republicans have already violated some of the vows they made in taking stewardship of the House.

Their pledge to cut $100 billion from the budget in one year won’t be kept. [1]

And for a coming vote seeking to repeal the health care overhaul, the first major initiative of the new Congress, lawmakers won’t be allowed to propose changes to the legislation despite Republican promises to end such heavy-handed tactics from the days of Democratic control. [2]

Is business as usual really back so fast? That’s not clear one day after Democrat Nancy Pelosi yielded the gavel to the new Republican House leader, John Boehner.

… “We will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone,” the GOP pledge stated.

It turns out $100 billion is way out of reach.

By the time the current stopgap spending bill expires March 4, five months of the budget year — which began Oct. 1 — will have passed. [1]

… What is more, Republicans juiced up the $100 billion promise in the first place by using as their starting point President Barack Obama’s $1.128 trillion budget request, a theoretical figure that was never approved by Congress. [3]

Notes:

  • [1] — AP is naively and I believe erroneously assuming that the Pledge to America envisioned cutting $100 billion from the fiscal 2011 budget. That’s ridiculous. While it’s nice if they can pull it off, the intent, as was the case with the President’s ill-fated Budget Commissions, was to enact changes effective with the 2012 fiscal year, the first budget over which the GOP Congress anticipated having responsibility. How were they to know that even the December lame-duck Congress would kick the fiscal 2011 can down the road? By the way, the AP reporters also “somehow” forgot that the GOP promised to leave military spending out of its “back to 2008″ plans.
  • [2] — The whining AP reporters acknowledge in a later paragraph that the GOP Pledge envisions an up-or-down, all-or-none vote on repealing ObamaCare. Allowing Democrats to cherry-pick provisions in separate votes would be a breach of that promise.
  • [3] — This one is really hard to take. For as long as I can remember, the press has been framing spending “cuts” using the same benchmark the Republicans are using now, i.e., the President’s budget request and/or “projected” spending levels estimated by previous Congresses. It’s why alleged “cuts” have almost never resulted in real reductions of year-over-year spending. And since Pelosi’s Democratic Congress never even passed a real budget, what in the heck else is there available to use as an alternative benchmark?

Towards the end, the two AP reporters roll out the tired claim that repealing Obamacare will add to the deficit — as if anyone but the tooth fairy believes the pre-cooked pablum that the Congressional Budget Office was forced to produce based on constraints imposed by the Democrats in Congress on assumption the CBO could use.

While I’m in the neighborhood, can anyone remember when an Associated Press reporter took Nancy Pelosi to task during any of the dozens of times her crew violated their so-called Paygo rules during her four years in power? Neither do I.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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1 Comment

  1. Good analysis. Thank you

    Comment by Leon Rogson — January 7, 2011 @ 12:33 am

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