But tax cuts are historically scoffed at by the media. Covering the campaign trail, Time magazine’s Michael Duffy and Karen Tumulty upbraided Republicans for thinking economic problems “could be solved with the standard-issue GOP economic prescriptions of tax cuts and less regulation.” Adding insult to injury: “Even now, most of them still haven’t figured out how to address the economic concerns of voters,” they declared in the January 28 issue.
So let us, the supposed victims of the economy, look at candidates’ ideas for the United States. Universal health care. Education programs. Homeowner-help funds. All lauded by the media. Two massive questions remain: How much will it all cost, and who will pay for it?
The bottom line is, unless Rudy Giuliani or Ron Paul wins the presidency, we’re looking at sizeable spending increases. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) crunched the numbers on candidates’ proposals, finding Barack Obama would be the biggest spender – adding about $287 billion per year in new spending. Hillary Clinton was second with $218.2 billion. The biggest-spending Republican would be Mike Huckabee, adding $54.2 billion. Mitt Romney was next with $19.5 billion. Giuliani and Paul – neither contenders at this point – were the only ones in the study whose plans showed savings instead of spending increases.
For journalists – who love to hate the deficit – critical coverage of Campaign Promises Galore shouldn’t seem like such a tall order.
As for where the money’s going to come from, don’t worry; it’s “government money,” Time said.
Put simply, we could tell Mr. Toledo, struggling in Florida, to go knock on the door of a McMansion and ask for the amount of money he wants.
After all, the top 50 percent of earners in this country pay a whopping 97 percent of all the income taxes. Yeah, that’s pretty close to 100 percent. The NTUF reports the entire bottom half of tax filers are paying just 3 percent of the income taxes.
And both the media and politicians are keen on that redistribution setup. NBC’s Matt Lauer recently wanted to know whether a stimulus package would “give rebates to the rich.”
In an uncertain economy, media audiences are being conditioned to hold out for the biggest payout. Too bad we’re all going to be the ones paying.