CEI's Hans Bader Dissects Rex Nutting's Fatally-flawed Analysis of Obama Spending

As we at NewsBusters have noted, the liberal media have done little to discredit Rex Nutting's erroneous analysis of federal spending under President Obama. Numerous conservative and libertarian critics have pointed out how fatally flawed Nutting's analysis, but we'd like to recommend Hans Bader's post at Competitive Enterprise Institute's OpenMarket.org website, who takes on not only Nutting but left-wing Forbes columnist Rick "the House GOP are hostage-taking Nazis" Ungar, another disingenuous journalist, and one who has the benefit of an affiliation with a magazine published by a famous conservative.

You can read the full May 25 post here, but here's just a taste:

You may wonder why I am even citing the blogger Rick Ungar, who is not an economist, but rather a left-wing lawyer who wants more government control of the health care system. Ungar is a blogger at Forbes who gets his traffic there partly due to the man-bites-dog-quality of the “conservative” Forbes seemingly endorsing all sorts of left-wing talking points and legends promoted on Ungar’s blog. (Forbes’ publisher, unlike many of its staff, is conservative.) For example, this link describes Ungar’s blog post as an assertion by Forbes itself that Obama is “the smallest government spender since Eisenhower.” The fact that Ungar’s blog is on the web site of the supposedly conservative Forbes Magazine enables liberals like Roger Ebert to say that “even Forbes, of all places” agrees with whatever is the factually-baseless liberal taking-point of the day, by linking to Ungar’s blog on the site. Everything Ungar says in favor of big government, or against free market-oriented economic policies, is treated by those who agree with him as a confession or admission by a conservative magazine that markets don’t work, or that the conservative reformers that Ungar criticizes must be extremists to be criticized even at Forbes. 

Ungar’s most famous blog post was a self-contradictory, assume-your-own-conclusion blog post in which he claimed it was a “lie” for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to say he wanted state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans, because, Ungar claimed, these workers already paid 100 percent of such costs. Of course, as both the conservative National Review and the liberal Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (which endorsed Obama and opposed Governor Walker’s collective bargaining reforms) noted, state workers did not pay 100 percent of their pension and health costs.  So Ungar was completely wrong on the facts.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.