Albany Times Union: Obama Tax Hikes Not Class Warfare, Just ‘Fairness’

It’s good to see the editorial board at the Times Union isn’t even bothering to mask their liberal bias these days.  Via a blog known as The Observation Deck, which boasts some of the more prominent members of the newspapers staff, including editor and vice-president, Rex Smith, editor-at-large, Harry Rosenfeld, and publisher George R. Hearst III, the Union has been printing some of the most biased editorials in New York media in recent weeks.  Yesterday’s entry was no different - completely lacking in substantiating facts, and holding a unique disdain for economic reality.

The title of the editorial in question parrots the Obama stance on taxes in a nutshell – Class Warfare?  No, FairnessAnd the opening statement leaves little question as to whether or not the newspaper will be offering valuable criticisms and analysis, or whether they will remain loyal liberal lapdogs:

Only in an America with a Congress hijacked by the opposition to President Barack Obama and so capable of rebutting economic common sense would a proposal to raise taxes on millionaires be “class warfare.”

The hijacking phrase is no accident, as the media, Democrats, and the President have all been in lockstep in trying to portray Tea Party freshman and Republicans in general as terrorists.  The problem here is that Congress was not hijacked at all – control of Congress was voted on by the American people in 2010.  This is a page directly from the media playbook; use loaded terms such as ‘hijack’ to paint the opposition as fringe lunacy. 

The real problem here lies in another phrase – rebutting economic sense.  What does the Times Union use to buttress their view of economic common sense?  Utter nonsense.

The editorial opens with this seemingly rhetorical question:

How can a $1.3 trillion annual deficit be substantially reduced when people who easily could pay more can’t be taxed further?

How can a deficit be reduced?  To paraphrase an oft-used election mantra - It’s the spending, stupid. 

The answer to this question is rather simple.  While the Democrat controlled Senate failed to pass a single budget resolution in well over 800 days, Republicans were offering solutions to the spending crisis.  Democrats, the true Party of No, roundly criticized Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that would cut federal spending by over $4 trillion, and blocked the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year that would have cut nearly $6 trillion in federal spending.  But brushing that aside, there is one huge spending albatross which could reduce the deficit by, say, $1.4 trillion alone. 


In a letter sent from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office to Speaker of the House John Boehner, it was revealed that repealing provisions in the plan “would yield gross savings of $1,390 billion…”

The Times Union however, simply offers the same solution as the President, increase taxes on the wealthy.  With the economy in such dire straits, taxing job creators at an even higher rate seems counterintuitive.  Even those with only a rudimentary grasp of economic common sense know you simply don’t raise taxes in a recession.  Right?

Citing Warren Buffett’s New York Times column which indicates that ‘millionaires get off way too easy’ as proof that tax increases are necessary, the Times Union states: 

“It’s a sad country that Mr. Obama leads when his insistence that people making more than $1 million a year pay taxes at the same rate as the middle class is so contentious.”

This statement, which represents the general consensus of Buffett, President Obama, liberal ideology, and this newspaper, is a flat-out lie.  Even the Associated Press has put that notion to rest with a Fact Check that states (emphasis mine):

“On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.”

One piece of economic common sense seems to elude liberals.  The fact that tax cuts can actually increase tax revenues.  The Heritage Foundation demonstrates that lower tax rates in the 1980s led to an increase in tax revenues of 99.4%, and that under Presidents Reagan and Bush:

“… federal revenues increased even with tax cuts, federal spending did not decrease, the country experienced the longest period of sustained growth during peacetime in its history, and the rich paid more taxes proportionately than they had before the tax cuts were implemented.”

In the end, the very premise of the editorial is false in stating that the President’s plan does not constitute class warfare.  Duane Lester of All American Blogger explains why it is:

“It pits the people against the rich, or as another put it, the proletariat against the bourgeoisie.  Obama is targeting a class, in this case the upper-upper class, and saying to another class, ‘They are not doing as much as you. They need to do more.’ It’s classic class warfare.”

Class warfare.  Economic nonsense.  Is this what you want to hear from your local newspaper?  Is this what you want for four more years?

Rusty can be contacted via Twitter @rustyweiss74

Media Bias Debate Taxes National Debt Budget Economy 2012 Presidential New York Rex Smith President Obama Harry Rosenfeld George R. Hearst III Warren Buffett