Two Jonathan Weisman reports from Monday on Obama's big-spending new budget underlined the New York Times' ongoing liberal obsession with "income inequality," with Weisman's report loaded with language that could have come straight from a liberal protester: "the rich are getting much richer."
(Of course, such hand-wringing doesn't stop the paper from hawking $38,000 handbags or gold-plated lamb skulls.)
Weisman at least glancingly dealt with the massive debt that would result from Obama's soak-business-and-the-rich ideas in "Obama’s Plans for Deficit and Taxes Are Detailed on Eve of Budget Proposal."
President Obama will propose a 10-year budget on Monday that stabilizes the federal deficit but does not seek balance, instead focusing on policies to address income inequality as he adds nearly $6 trillion to the debt.
The budget -- $4 trillion for the 2016 fiscal year -- would hit corporations that park profits overseas, raise taxes on the richest of the rich and increase the incomes of the middle class through new spending and tax credits. Mr. Obama will challenge the newly elected Republican Congress to answer his emphasis on wage stagnation, according to congressional aides briefed on the details.
The central question that Mr. Obama’s budget will pose to Congress is this: Should Washington worry about what may be the defining economic issue of the era -- the widening gap between the rich and everyone else -- or should policy makers primarily seek to address a mountain of debt that the White House hopes to control but only marginally reduce as a share of the economy?
But even as Mr. Ryan criticized proposals that could be viewed as pitting class against class, he acknowledged a reality that many Republicans have long avoided: The rich are getting much richer. Republicans once held that liberal economic policies would stifle “the job creators.” Now, Mr. Ryan said, the creators are doing well. Others are not.
Weisman concluded with a condescending quote from a Bush adviser suggesting that when it comes to the middle class, conservatives finally get it.
Simply acknowledging that is an important step, said Pete Wehner, a domestic policy adviser to President George W. Bush. Middle-class incomes have stagnated in the face of globalization, technological changes, and rising health care and higher education costs.
“Republicans have had almost nothing to say about it,” Mr. Wehner said, encouraging Congress to meet the president’s proposals with their own. “The real issue is social and economic mobility, how people can move up the ladder. Sometimes conservatives deny a problem exists because by acknowledging the premise they fear it will lead them to policies they can’t accept.”
In contrast, the Washington Post didn't even mention income inequality in its own report on Obama's gold-plated budget.
A Times headline over a related Weisman story sold Obama's budget by calling it "bold" -- not big-spending or debt-busting, but bold: "Obama’s Budget: Beyond the Boldness, Nuggets With G.O.P. Appeal." In it, Weisman appeared to state as fact that amnesty for illegals "would lift the economy."
The fiscal 2016 budget rests on two major presidential pushes that have virtually no chance in Congress: large tax increases on multinational corporations and the rich, and the passage of a comprehensive immigration law that would lift the economy with millions of new and newly legalized workers.