CNN/Money's Laugher on Economic Policy Institute's 'Stagnant Wages' Report: Part 2

Previous Post: Part 1 -- Evaluating EPI's "Stagnant Wage" Claims


The first sentence of CNN/Money's Labor Day report entitled "GDP Growth Not Reaching Paychecks" certainly had entertainment value (bold is mine):

The economic expansion that began six years ago has failed to benefit most workers, according to a report from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, released Monday.

Clearly, CNN/Money blindly accepted at face value this description found at EPI's "About" page:

The Economic Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy.

Interesting. I can call myself "the world's fastest human," but that doesn't make me that person.

From the EPI's own description of itself, you would surely have no clue that one of EPI's founders is the editor of a far-left staple, The American Prospect, who not only frequently called for the impeachment of Alberto Gonzalez before the Attorney General announced his departure last week, and but has also called for President Bush's impeachment.

But in fact, EPI Founder Robert Kuttner, who is still on the organization's board, "tripled down" in mid-August, advocating the impeachment of Gonzalez, and Bush, and Dick Cheney all in the same column, and mixing in some of the far left's most tiresome nostrums about the administration:

First Gonzales, then Bush
Impeachment should be a serious option -- with an intermediary step.
Robert Kuttner | August 13, 2007

In American politics, brave actions are politically unthinkable until someone thinks to act on them. Then public opinion can turn, sometimes with surprising speed.

For several months, I have been arguing with friends and colleagues that impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney should be a serious political option. Just two of their crimes and misdemeanors -- willfully lying America into war and firing federal prosecutors for purely political reasons, then further obstructing justice by stonewalling about the dynamics of the firings -- are more than adequate constitutionally to impeach. There are several other offenses, ranging from defying the lawful mandates of Congress and the courts, to gross invasions of civil liberty, to denying democracy itself by systematically undermining the right to vote. And, in the seventh year of this eerie administration, in which the president is a puppet of the vice president (rendering the usual mechanisms of accountability opaque), the curtain has only just begun to be pulled back on Cheney.

..... If the Democratic leadership in Congress works up the nerve to impeach Gonzales, the process would make it less unthinkable to imagine impeaching Bush -- and could well elicit more evidence of impeachable conduct. Even if Bush retained office, public attention would be focused on his misdeeds and those of Cheney. Republicans would be forced either to abandon Bush as they ultimately abandoned Nixon, or to defend odious actions. Either way, they would pay dearly in 2008. At worst, Bush would toss Gonzales overboard before the waters rise around his own neck.

Kuttner has been playing the Gonzalez impeachment tune for quite some time, going back at least as far as this March column in the Boston Globe. He also has been hysterically promoting the "Cheney really runs things" line for longer than that.

A further look at EPI's board is enough to make one think that its claim of non-partisanship is an April Fool's joke that was mistakenly never withdrawn -- unless "nonpartisanship" is achieved by assembling a collection of socialists, public- and private-sector union bosses, and genuine career Democrats. Here are most of the remaining names:

Chairman of the Board Gerald W. McEntee
President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

The World Socialist Web Site can't even abide by McEntee, noting that:

"In April 1998 a federal grand jury in New York indicted William Hamilton, Carey's top political lobbyist, on six counts of fraud, perjury, embezzlement and conspiracy. The indictment also cited top AFL-CIO leaders--including Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, McEntee, another high-ranking AFSCME officer, Paul Booth, and SEIU President Andrew Stern--for their involvement in Carey's money-swapping scheme."


Secretary-Treasurer Julianne Malveaux
Economist, writer, syndicated columnist; owner, Last Word Productions

This woman's outrageous rants could fill a book -- a very, very long book. Here's part of her reaction to the September 11 terror attacks:

"As outraged as I am, I am also reconciled to the fact that this attack, despicable as it is, was also provoked. The United States has insisted on playing 700-pound gorilla with the rest of the world, failing to cooperate with international treaties, to participate in international conference. Our message has been 'our way or the highway,' and it seems that such a message begs someone to humble us. Our grandmas used to tell us that the bigger you are the harder you fall. No one hoped that the World Trade Center would come toppling down, but many wondered how the hubris the US has showed the world would play itself out. You can’t be the biggest, the baddest, the strongest, the mightiest, without having a corner of compassion, cooperation or humility. Or, your opponents look for cracks in your armor. Sadly, startling, it looks like they found ours."


Other heads of major unions: AFT, IAM, CWA, SEIU, UAW, USW, UNITE


Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO


Former Secretaries of Labor Robert Reich (Clinton Administration) and Ray Marshall (Johnson Administration)

EPI's Wikipedia page describes the organization as "progressive," while the page on current president Lawrence Mishel calls it "liberal." Neither entry has the gall to claim that EPI is "nonpartisan."

EPI even provides gullible journalists further guidance on how it should be described:

Describing EPI
The Economic Policy Institute is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan research institute — or "think tank" — based in Washington, D.C. EPI researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States and around the world.


EPI should be described in the same manner as other major research institutions, such as the Heritage Foundation, the Brookings Institution, the CATO Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute, which are generally not labeled according to their funding sources.

Where does EPI fit on the political spectrum?
EPI is nonpartisan, and our economic research, which is based on government data and other neutral sources, should require no label.

I find it quite appropriate that the President of UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) is on EPI's Board, because the organization's claims of nonpartisanship leave me in stitches.

Cross-posted at

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.