Thanks for nothing, New York Times. I refer to the analysis piece in the Sunday edition, above the fold on Page 1, that totally obscures the causes of the economic mess that is destroying the middle class and making the poor even poorer. Yet another example of how absurd it is to accuse The Times and other corporate-owned news operations of being part of the liberal media.
The writer, David Leonhardt, states early on that America’s economic problems begin and end with debt, which he links to our aging population and slow economic growth. Astonishingly, he neglects to mention that the huge size of the debt is directly attributable to George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and his decision to launch two unfunded, enormously expensive wars on the other side of the world.
Instead, Leonhardt seems to blame the so-called debt crisis on the apathy and unrealistic expectations of the general public:
Most voters in [the United States and Europe] have yet to come to grips with the notion that they have promised themselves benefits that, at current tax rates, they cannot afford. Their economies have been growing too slowly, for too long, to pay for the coming bulge of retirees…
On the most basic level, affluent countries are facing sharply increasing claims on their resources even as those resources are growing less quickly than they once were…
The increasing claims come from the aging of the population, while the slowing growth of available resources comes from a slowdown of economic expansion over the last generation. A complex mix of factors, varying by country, has slowed growth, and the slowdown has been exacerbated everywhere by the worst financial crisis and global recession in 70 years.
Yes, but who and what caused the slowed growth of resources and the financial crisis that exacerbated the slowdown? Leonhardt dances around this essential question, perhaps because he and his editors would rather not flatly state that one percent of the population — including the owners of The Times — have thrived at the expense of the other 99 percent, largely because of laws passed by high-level political officeholders whose interests are aligned with the one percent, not with the rest of us.
Some readers would call Leonhardt’s handling of the debt issue intellectually dishonest, but that doesn’t quite say it. The man writes as if he’s a willing stooge for the people who are steadily and intentionally lowering the living standards of average Americans. More than once he stresses the “hard choices” we face, but not until the story’s 12th paragraph does he casually mention that there is “debate” in this country about “whether the affluent, who have done very well in recent decades, should pay more taxes.”
The debate is over. Most Americans have caught on to why the economic situation is so bleak. We’re strongly in favor of higher taxes on the rich and many other common-sense measures that Leonhardt’s article either doesn’t mention or carefully downplays.