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    On economics, the LA Times is your go-to paper for claptrap and drivel

    On economics, the LA Times is your go-to paper for claptrap and drivel

    Mainstream reporters have  spent so many years square pegging round holes—crediting Bill Clinton alone for the boom of the late 90s, blaming Bush alone for the crash of the late 00s, praising Obama’s intelligence, etc.—that they may not even recognize their own nonsense.

    Take Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times, who begins his story today with a textbook Butterfield Paradox:

    Years of low tax rates and rising federal spending, amplified by the devastating economic effect of the Great Recession, have driven the U.S. borrowing tab to more than $16 trillion from less than $1 trillion in 1981.

    To Puzzanghera, those “devastating” economic effects are not the result of the $16 trillion debt; they’re a cause.

    …On top of that, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts were set to expire at the end of 2012, along with a two-year payroll tax break designed to stimulate the economy. To help reduce the deficit, President Obama pushed Congress to allow some of those tax cuts to expire.

    I’m sending this last graf to the Museum of Nonsense.  In the land of Puzzanghera, Bush’s tax cuts raised the deficit while Obama’s payroll-tax reduction stimulated the economy.

    But wait, it gets even better.

    Kevin C. Smith, owner of Smith-Kandal Insurance/Real Estate in Brawley, Calif., which specializes in sales of farms, said the nation must start reducing its growing debt….

    But he’s not happy with the recent tax increases, which have hit his business hard.

    Net income is down nearly 30% this year because higher capital gains tax rates have led to fewer sales of large farms and commercial property in the Imperial Valley.

    “Our phone doesn’t even ring from people who want to sell anymore,” he said.

    That demonstrates the danger of trying to attack the debt problem too aggressively while the economy is struggling to recover from the recession.

    Ah, no, Jim, it demonstrates exactly what everyone with common sense predicted would happen when the so-called “rich” who hitherto weren’t paying their “fair share” had to write bigger checks to pay their taxes.  It also demonstrates why the economy is going to continue “struggling to recover from the recession.”

    Newspaper editors would never send a sports reporter who knows nothing about baseball to cover the World Series.  Too bad they don’t have the same standards for the economy.


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    canb0nly1 | February 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    How do I math?

      Neo in reply to canb0nly1. | February 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Somebody must have told them that there would be no math test …

      Page 121 of the OMB’s September 2012 report says that under sequestration the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million of its $20 million budget. While that’s slightly more than 8.2 percent, the bigger problem is that the National Drug Intelligence Center shuttered its doors some 3 months prior to the report, on June 15, 2012.

      Kinda makes you wonder about the other $18 million.

    Estragon | February 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    You had me right up until the very end. Most sports writers know nothing about baseball, but that doesn’t stop them from covering it.

    The most amazing thing about media coverage of debt and deficits is you would never know spending played ANY role in it at all. To the Left/Media, it is all about the revenue, and they can’t even get that right. Federal tax revenues continued to rise after the enactment of each of the series of cuts and reforms, from JFK to Reagan to Clinton to Bush – just not enough to keep up with the spendaholics in DC.

    I have stopped talking to liberals about economics, their economic theories are just posturing to justify their patronage system. If you get right down to it their theory is the magic money tree, something deal. You can’t have a rational discussion with someone who believes in unlimited resources.

    The LA Times business section pretty much reflects the attitude of the state government towards business: a openly hostile environment. Columnists Michael Hiltzik and David Lazurus seem to have 2 main criteria for all issues: “How does this show businessmen/Republicans are evil?”, and “How does this show government and Democrats are good?”.

    Callipygian1 | February 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    My English and Math teachers gave me D+’s in school, mainly because they didn’t want to see me again the next year… I took that as a sign that I should not pursue a career using both skill sets. Now I’m beginning to think I may have been too hasty.

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