Back in May, Fox news tried to force a meme called the “fiscal cliff” on their websites. According to the story, it’s a term used by financial insiders to describe a scenario where, if the Bush Tax Cuts are allowed to expire, the economy will go into a freefall, put us in another recession, and shrink the economy by 1.3% This is all fine and dandy for frightening people, except that good ol’ FNC didn’t tell the whole story, probably because that wouldn’t fit into their future tactics. So, as a result, they left out the parts of the report that they can’t use for that purpose.
From the CBO website:
Under those fiscal conditions, which will occur under current law, growth in real (inflation-adjusted) GDP in calendar year 2013 will be just 0.5 percent, CBO expects—with the economy projected to contract at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the first half of the year and expand at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second half. Given the pattern of past recessions as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research, such a contraction in output in the first half of 2013 would probably be judged to be a recession.
In other words, Fox News didn’t feel the need to inform their audience that if the projections become a reality, the expansion after the influx recession will be a case of loss outweighed by gain very quickly, and in the long run. NPR reports that there would be some short-run tax increases for the middle class of up to 5%, which brings me to Obama’s compromise: Allow the cuts to stay in place for people making up to $250,000 a year, but drop them for people who make more in order to enact a fairer system. This was immediately attacked in a myriad of segments.
More recently, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke bluntly on behalf of the Democrats:
"So if we can't get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus."
Fox News couldn’t be offended enough. They repeatedly characterized Murray’s statement as a threat, accused Democrats of “us(ing) your paycheck to play political hardball”and came up with a headline comparing taxpayers to hostages.
For real balance, I recommend this report from the well-respected Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. It makes a strong case that the Bush tax cuts provide very little for people who aren’t in the top 20%, and that the only reason to even phase them out, as opposed to dropping them outright is that a sudden departure might mess with the tax code too much. Even the far-right WND acknowledges this.
Greta Van Susteren opens the segment by comparing Murphy’s words to Russian Roulette-
America Now makes comparisons to “The Godfather”-
Funny how this language never appeared when the right pulled far worse stunts as negotiation tactics.