Not Extending Temporary Tax Cuts is NOT Increasing Taxes
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Jan 03, 2007 at 01:29:34 PM EST
A couple of days back, The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray penned a front page article examining the differences in the voting records of the two perceived frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. During the course of the study, Murray takes aim at the Senators' respective votes on matters of taxes, writing:
And Obama voted to increase taxes when he opposed a package of business breaks that included the extension of middle-class provisions. Clinton voted for the tax bill -- before she voted against it, as did Obama, in the legislation's final form.
This is shoddy reporting and just plain bad writing from Murray. Back in 2001, when the bulk of these tax cuts were debated and eventually passed in Congress, Republicans repeatedly stressed the fact that the measures were temporary, both to assuage those concerned about the immense debt of the federal government and enlist the support of those who believe in short-term fiscal stimuli for economic downturns but not long-term economic redistribution through tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy. Though Republicans may or may not have been able to slide these tax cuts through Congress by making them permanent rather than temporary, the fact is that they did not, in fact, sell them as permanent. As a result, calling opposition to extending temporary tax cuts support for tax increases is extremely disengenuous.
But it more than just that. It is an undue acceptance of deceitful Republican spin in covering the Democratic primaries -- a big no-no for a non-partisan reporter at a non-partisan newspaper like The Post. If this is the type of reporting and writing we are to expect from the Beltway's biggest newspaper, both in covering the race for the Democratic nomination but also the newly-minted Democratic Congress, we will certainly have our work cut out for us in ensuring that the media offers our side a fair shake. To begin, let Murray know, in the politest of terms, that you find this type of unbalanced writing unacceptable by filling out this email form. Hopefully she will get the message today so that we won't have to put up with this type of drivel in the future.