Amid reports that MSNBC's Larry Kudlow is considering a run against Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, Media Matters for America decided to check out what Kudlow has said about Dodd in the past. We came across this column from 2007, which is interesting for a couple of reasons: Describing a hearing in which Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testified about the then-strong economy, Kudlow accuses Dodd of "harping about income inequality and wage stagnation, trying to change the subject from the excellent economic news and pave the way for a tax hike on the top, most successful American earners."
So, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, testifying before Congress, officially threw in with Goldilocks - moderate growth, declining inflation.
The stock market loved it, up 100 points. Stocks soared in all sectors and around the world.
Strong business, rising exports to the rest of the world, healthy consumers, low unemployment, wages on their best run in years - these were Bernanke's key bullet points.
Senate Democrats like Christopher Dodd and Chuck Schumer kept harping about income inequality and wage stagnation, trying to change the subject from the excellent economic news and pave the way for a tax hike on the top, most successful American earners. But wages are booming. And the rest of the inequality story is so much statistical illusion and faux arithmetic. (Just ask Washington economics scholar Alan Reynolds).
The Washington Times' Donald Lambro wrote, "Nine thousand pork barrel earmarks were buried in the $410 billion omnibus budget that passed the House last week," adding that "President Obama told Congress the day before it passed that he was happy it didn't contain any earmarks, eliciting gales of laughter from the Republican side of the chamber who knew better." In fact, during his February 24 address to Congress, Obama praised the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- not the omnibus legislation -- for not containing any earmarks.
USA Today uncritically reported Rep. Tom Price's false claim that President Obama's tax proposal would "eliminat[e] tax deductions for upper-income Americans." In fact, rather than "eliminating" itemized tax deductions, the proposal would limit to 28 percent the tax rate at which families earning more than $250,000 can take itemized deductions.
On State of the Union, Dana Bash remarked that the Obama administration has "got a big problem on their hands because if they -- if the president really thinks he's gonna stand up and say, 'No earmarks,' the Senate majority leader and other Democrats said, 'Uh-uh. That's the way we do business, and that's the way it's gonna stay.' " King replied, "They like their earmarks." But while Bash and King have both previously noted that Republicans requested many of the earmarks in the bill, neither gave any indication during the discussion that they did so.
On This Week, Karl Rove echoed House Republicans' distortion of research by CEA chairwoman Christine Romer in claiming that their alternative stimulus bill "produced 50 percent more jobs at half the cost" of President Obama's economic recovery plan. In fact, according to the White House, "Romer's view is that the House analysis is absolutely incorrect" and "the plan the President supports would result in substantially greater job creation than the House Republican plan."
On State of the Union, John King did not challenge Rep. Tom Price's false claim that President Obama's budget proposal "will remove the ability to make charitable contributions deductible." In fact, the provision would, beginning in fiscal year 2011, reduce the tax rate at which families earning over $250,000 can take itemized deductions from the current rates of 33 percent and 35 percent to 28 percent.
During his speech at CPAC, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed: "Congressman [Barney] Frank's definition of affordable housing is you get a house that you don't have to pay for, that everybody else in the neighborhood will pay for. And why? Well, because it's unfair that some people can have a house and some people can't. See, it's just unfair." In fact, Frank has advocated for the expansion of affordable rental housing, rather than advocating for, as Limbaugh suggested, universal home ownership.
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A Politico article reported that the Employee Free Choice Act "would allow workers to organize a union by signing a card instead of holding secret-ballot elections." However, the suggestion that a secret-ballot election is currently required before obtaining union representation at a workplace is false. Under current law, a union that shows it has the support of a majority of workers can represent the workers if their employer voluntarily agrees to recognize the union, without holding such an election.
Right-wing bloggers claimed Biden simply made up his claim that Louisiana was losing 400 jobs a day. Biden was poking Gov. Jindal who suggests he might not take the stimulus money for his state of Louisiana.
Blogger Dan Kennedy looks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data and says Biden got it right. And Think Progress confirms that Louisiana had 430 new unemployed people every day during the month of December.
Responsible journalists use that loaded phrase with care. But we're talking about Politico, so today we get this ugly effort by Jeanne Cummings:
"Class warfare returns to Washington"
Wow, Obama, not known for his angry rhetoric--in fact, he's know for the opposite--has brought class warfare back to the Beltway? Here's how Politico defends using the nasty phrase:
And right on cue, Obama defended his $1.3 trillion in tax hikes over 10 years with a little class warfare.
"I know that this will not always sit well with the special interests and their lobbyists here in Washington, who think our budget and tax system is just fine as it is. No wonder — it works for them," the president said. "I work for the American people, and I'm determined to bring the change that the people voted for last November."
You can read that passage twice or three times or ten times and you're not going to find any "class warfare." (Obama very gently tweaked "special interests and their lobbyists." That aint class warfare folks.) My hunch is Cummings and her editors knew that but didn't really care because they were wed to the phrase and they were wed to the misleading headline, which has become a sad hallmark at Politico.
ABC News' Jake Tapper, CNN's Dana Bash, and Fox News' Sean Hannity advanced the falsehood that President Obama's plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for wealthy taxpayers would cause a large percentage of small businesses to pay higher taxes. In fact, according to the Tax Policy Center, just 2 percent of tax returns that reported small business income in 2007 are in the top two income tax brackets, which include all filers with taxable incomes that would be affected.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews did not challenge former Gov. Robert Ehrlich's false suggestion that President Obama's proposal to let the Bush tax cuts for wealthy taxpayers expire would increase taxes on a large percentage of small businesses. In fact, Obama has proposed raising marginal income tax rates and reducing income tax deductions for individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and for couples earning more than $250,000 per year, and according to the Tax Policy Center, just 2 percent of tax returns that reported small business income in 2007 are in the top two income tax brackets, which include all filers with taxable incomes that would be affected.