Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Party Protesters Rally Against "Gangster Government" - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

In the Story, Tea Party Protesters Rally Against "Gangster Government," Political Hotsheet of CBS News, an outlet I have not examined for years, allows for a fact-checked, objective report on the Tax Day events.

This story links to another article in which President Obama is explained as being "amused" by the tax protesters, and in which he is quoted as saying yesterday,
In all, we passed 25 different tax cuts last year. And one thing we haven't done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year -- another promise that we kept,"

The taxes being protested at the rallies seem to be of equal or comparable substance with another complaint at the rallies: that Obama is a communist, and the Obama Administration wants to take over and socialize the entire US economic private sector. Indeed, Michelle Bachman, Republican of Minnesota--is on record as repeating--not only at rallies--but on national television--that the economy was one hundred percent private at the time just before the Obama Administration assumed power. Her claim is that now fifty-one percent of the economy is in the controlling grasp of government.

Hotsheet reporter Daniel Riedel, however, is able to state:
Bachmann offered no facts to back up her assertion that the government owns or controls 51 percent of the U.S. economy.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis data since 1929, the highest percentage of government spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product was during World War II when government spending was 47.9 percent (in 1944). The lowest level of government spending as a percent of GDP was 9 percent in 1929 at the outset of the Great Depression.

At no time during this period was the United States' GDP 100 percent private.

The 2009 level of federal government spending was 20.6 percent.

In another link to the "Gangster" article, author Brian Montopoli points out that the idea of the current banking regulation bill as a permanent "bailout bill," originated with GOP pollster Frank Luntz. A chorus of GOP legislators and noise machine news outlets are repeating the idea in unison to try to establish that the Obama Administration is somehow taking over the economy by doing the bidding of the Wall Street banks. In a related contention, they claim the passage of the Health Care Bill signifies the stunning takeover of a total of more than half of the US economy by the US government.

These stories are stunning to me, however, because they show an actual corporate news outlet providing facts, statistics, and background checking to GOP and right wing or Tea Party talking points.

It's very rare to see a corporate news outlet suggest that any of their claims are exaggerated, much less false. Does this signal a new intent of the GOP to try to marginalize the extremist, fact-challenged Tea Party led by Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman?

It might be a wise strategy for the GOP to implement, despite the energy of the Tea Party movement. With plenty of time before the fall elections for voters to do their homework, it's worth noting that the corporate news outlets can't get away with the propagandizing they are so well-paid for by their corporate sponsors to the same extent as in the past. The public can get information from the internet now, and even from some corporate news outlets that are programming news shows to target the young Progressive-viewer market.

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