AP's Taylor Ignores Suffering, Obsesses Over Unemployment Rate's Effect on Obama's 2012 Reelection

January 30th, 2011 10:48 AM

On Wednesday, the Associated Press's Andrew Taylor covered the latest deficit projections released by the Congressional Budget Office.

In his treatment of the predicted unemployment rate, Taylor betrayed no concern whatsoever about the plight of the millions of unemployed who are in that position largely because the Obama administration attempted to bring about an economic recovery through government "stimulus" and government intervention instead of cutting taxes, or even leaving what appeared to be an incipient recovery in late 2008 continue. Instead, as AP reporters Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti did last September in advance of last year's poverty report from the Census Bureau, when they fretted over the report's impact on the Congressional midterm elections, a terrified Taylor spent two paragraphs worrying about the high unemployment rate's impact on the President's reelection prospects:

Though the analysis predicts the economy will grow by 3.1 percent this year, it foresees unemployment remaining above 9 percent.


Dauntingly for Obama, the nonpartisan agency estimates a nationwide jobless rate of 8.2 percent on Election Day in 2012. That's higher that the rates that contributed to losses by Presidents Jimmy Carter (7.5 percent) and George H.W. Bush (7.4 percent). The nation isn't projected to be at full employment - considered to be a jobless rate of about 5 percent - until 2016.

Along the way, Taylor engaged in another obsession of the wire service and its establishment press counterparts: characterizing potential upward changes to a tax-rate structure that has essentially been in place with few modifications since 2003 as the end of "the Bush tax cuts," as exemplified in these excerpted paragraphs:

The latest deficit figures are up from previous estimates because of bipartisan legislation passed in December that extended George W. Bush-era tax cuts and unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and provided a 2 percentage point Social Security payroll tax cut this year.


... CBO predicts that the deficit will fall to $551 billion by 2015 - a sustainable 3 percent of the economy - but only if the Bush tax cuts are wiped off the books. Under its rules, CBO assumes the recently extended cuts in taxes on income, investment and people inheriting large estates will expire in two years. If those tax cuts, and numerous others, are extended, the deficit for that year would be almost three times as large.

Boy, Andrew Taylor sure seems to want tax increases. Maybe we should nickname him "Tax a Trillion Taylor."

Back on point: Taylor's and the AP's consistent indifference towards the individual unemployed stands in stark contrast to how the wire service and the establishment press doggedly pursued the topic during the first few and final years of the Bush administration, when the unemployment rate was far lower than its current 9.4%.

That's bad enough. But what's far more offensive is the press's obsession, most obvious at AP but also evident elsewhere, not with how long-term unemployment is affecting real people and real families, but instead over how it affects one party's or one president's electoral chances, especially given that the party they're worrying about is the one whose policies have extended the suffering. This is at the same time truly shameless, and truly shameful.

Anyone who doesn't believe that Obama's policies have piled on the pain needs to explain away this:


Good luck.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.