Dennis Cauchon at USA Today has been one of a very few establishment press reporters willing to expose federal workers' disproportionate pay and benefits (previous examples here and here) as well as Uncle Sam's precariously dangerous financial situation.

Cauchon has two USAT items today on the latter topic (HT to NB commenter Gary Hall): "U.S. funding for future promises lags by trillions," which reports that federal obligations totaled $61.6 trillion as of September 2010, a $5.3 trillion increase from a year earlier, and "Government's Mountain of Debt," which itemizes those obligations by major source.

Unsurprisingly, 75% of federal obligations, or a combined $46.2 trillion (actually more, which will be seen at the end of this post), relate to Social Security and Medicare, which no one but a few deluded leftists believe (or pretend to believe) are sustainable in their current form. Unfortunately, at the end of his first story, Cauchon quoted one of them, Michael Lind, whom the USAT reporter described as "policy director at the liberal New America Foundation's economic growth program," who said the following:



On Friday, Cass Sunstein, the White House's 56 year-old Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (pictured at right), attempted to disavow a 42-page paper he wrote called "Lives, Life-Years, and Willingness to Pay," which recommended that the government reduce resources directed at benefitting the elderly in favor of increasing what goes to young people, because young people have more years of life ahead of them. His statement, as carried at CNS News:

“I’m a lot older now than the author with my name was, and I’m not sure what I think about what that young man wrote,” he said. “Things written as an academic are not a legitimate part of what we do as a government official. So I am not focusing on sentences that a young Cass Sunstein wrote years ago.

So, dear readers, before you go to the rest of this post, guess how "young" Sunstein was when he engaged in his de facto "death panels" advocacy.

... Ready? Okay, here goes:



In his newest CNN.com op-ed titled "Don't Doom GOP's Chance to Win in 2012," David Frum clearly outlines the Republican Party's best chance for victory – if they don't come off as "Medicare-annihilating racist maniacs." He then goes about making the case that Republicans are doing just that.

"It is Tea Party conservatism itself that is Obama's last, best hope for a second term," Frum boldly concludes in a stinging indictment of the Tea Party.

He claims that the Republicans' refusal to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama agrees to the Ryan budget plan is akin to the "militant wing" of the party mounting a coup and dragging the GOP to defeat in 2012.
 



"I am fairly certain that when Paul Ryan first decided to publicly share his admiration of Ayn Rand, he could not have imagined it would lead to him speed-walking to his SUV to avoid a young Catholic trying to give him a Bible and telling him to pay more attention to the Gospel of Luke," Time's Amy Sullivan snarked in a June 3 Swampland blog post.

 



New York Times columnist Paul Krugman demonstrated perfectly Friday evening the double-talk required from America's left to convince the public Medicare is fine despite recent warnings by its Trustees that it will go bankrupt in thirteen years without major changes.

In his blog posting at the Times website, the Nobel laureate insisted the senior health insurance program "is sustainable in its current form" - as long as changes are made to what it covers, that is:



Fox News's Greta Van Susteren on Saturday took issue with New York Times columnist Charles Blow's recent piece "False Choice."

In it, the perilously liberal commentator criticized Republicans for wanting to solve the nation's economic woes with a mixture of tax and spending cuts:



MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday got a much-needed economics lesson from CNBC's Joe Kernen.

In the midst of a discussion about the economy and how it's going to impact the 2012 elections, the "Hardball" host bragged about having studied economics in grad school leading Kernen to marvelously ask, "You studied economics?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



It never ceases to amaze me what people on MSNBC are willing to say while cameras are rolling.

On Wednesday, the perilously liberal Cenk Uygur - with a straight face no less! - told Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) in the midst of a budget discussion, "I'm actually a fiscal conservative" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



On Monday, New York Times reporter Raymond Hernandez profiled Democrat Kathy Hochul, the winner of the recent special congressional election to fill a seat from a Republican district in New York state, in "Her Inheritance: An Eagerness to Serve."

Praising the Democrat in personal terms the Times rarely if ever uses when discussing a local Republican like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Hernandez hit every Lincolnesque cliche in the "devout Roman Catholic" Hochul’s humble family background, which he painted as a challenge overcome by the candidate.

A few months before Kathy Hochul was born, her family was living in a 31-by-8-foot trailer not far from the hulking Bethlehem Steel plant near Buffalo. When things got a little better, they moved to the second-floor flat of a home in working-class Woodlawn.


File this one under: Imagine If The Partisan Tables Were Turned.

On her MSNBC show this evening, Rachel Maddow repeatedly mocked Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell as "little Mitch, the rodeo queen."

Maddow was miffed over McConnell's arranging a Senate vote on the raising of the debt ceiling, and by extension the Republican position on Medicare reform.  And so, for about ten--interminable--minutes, Maddow beat into the ground a labored metaphor, somehow analogizing McConnell to the cowgirls in Utah who were forced to compete on stick ponies because the real horses had been sidelined by illness.

View video after the jump.



After Democrats won a special congressional election in New York State, New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse seemed comfortable leading the early cheers for Democrats looking to win back the House of Representatives, in Tuesday’s "Political Memo," "Surprise Victory in New York Invigorates Democrats Looking to 2012."

It’s not something the Times does after Republican wins in special or off-year elections - those victories are typically downgraded as unimportant and atypical, like the Times treated the 2009 G.O.P. wins in governors’s races in Virginia and New Jersey, which turned out to be accurate harbingers of electoral success in 2010.



Harry Smith asked Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) a spectacular question on Sunday's "Face the Nation."

Unfortunately, when he asked his guest if the Democrats have a plan to save Medicare, the substitute host let her completely dodge it (video follows with transcript and commentary):