The New Republic’s senior editor Jonathan Chait wrote an interesting op-ed on Sunday determined to prove that President Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 haven’t resulted in increased tax revenues (hat tip to Dave Pierre), while also attempting to make the case that tax hikes are better fiscal policy. The article’s title was “Bush’s Silly Budget Logic,” which is quite apropos given the fuzzy math and distorted recollection of history employed by the author: “There's no dispute among economists. Conservative, moderate or liberal, every credentialed economist agrees that the Bush tax cuts caused revenues to drop.”

Really? Well, let’s look at some of the facts first, shall we? For instance, according to the historical tables supplied by the Office of Management and Budget, tax receipts in FY 2003 were $1.783 trillion. The most recent estimate for FY 2006 is $2.402 trillion, a 35 percent increase. Simple, right?

Unfortunately, not for Chait who chose to represent an incomplete and misleading picture to his readers:

Those of us that study the economy and how it is reported by the drive-by media are constantly amazed by how those covering financial issues continually misrepresent statistics to advance their agenda. No finer recent example has occurred than on “The Chris Matthews Show” Sunday when the host bemoaned new highs set by the Dow Jones Industrial Average last week as not accurately reflecting what is going on in the economy.

In his final segment, Matthews actually had the nerve to state, “Eighty percent of the workforce finds their paycheck barely keeping up with inflation.” In reality, nothing could be further from the truth, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics just this past Wednesday released data indicating that the average American's real wage after adjusting for inflation has risen by 2.2 percent since September 2005 as reported by NewsBusters.

Matthews also referenced a recent Wall Street Journal poll suggesting:

In his “New Rules” segment on Friday night’s “Real Time”, host Bill Maher strongly attacked some of America’s leading conservatives, as well as right-wing think tanks for having been so wrong in their predictions about the Iraq war.

Shades of Jimmy Carter! 

I was dutifully working my way through Robert Kuttner's Boston Globe column of this morning, Cleaning Up the Mess, on the lookout for some outrageous MSM morsel with which to arouse NewsBusters readers.

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house... nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." -- Exodus 20:17

My colleagues Julia Seymour and Amy Menefee have an excellent piece at the MRC's Web site about the media's latest twist on class warfare.

According to the Times, American houses of worship aren't rendering what is due Caesar.

A huge point has been virtually if not totally ignored since the announcement on Friday that the reported federal deficit for the fiscal year that ended a week ago was $250 billion -- The Bush Administration has done what it said it would do about the deficit three years ago, and has done it a full three years early, i.e., in half the time predicted.

This continues what has been a very difficult past few years have been for those who deride supply-side economics. If Washington, with a little help from the states, lets the supply-side engine continue to chug along for next several years, the results could be so positively stunning that it would become impossible for supply-side detractors in touch with any part of the real world to hang on to the comfort of their static-analysis fantasyland.

But first, let's recap what has happened in the past three fiscal years:

All three broadcast networks last night reported on the Dow record high, pointing to falling oil prices as a reason for the latest market rally.

But the market's been heading on an upward trend for years, throughout climbing oil prices and the media's persistent pessimism on the economy.

Of the three networks, I found CBS had the most negatively-slanted coverage, and NONE of the big three gave any thought to the Bush tax cuts being a catalyst for economic growth.

The October 1 edition of ABC’s “World News Sunday” preached that the 51 houses of worship in Stafford, Texas are a holy terror to the city’s finances, citing the mayor’s complaints about lack of tax revenue. But reporter Geoff Morrell left out that the city has already enacted more regulation to discourage churches and that at that beginning of the year, the mayor gave a very positive assessment of the city’s finances.

To save you the trouble, let me sum up Joan Vennochi's Boston Globe column of today, Carnage on the streets falling on deaf ears:

If you read the lawsuit, you won't get to the gist of what the State of California really wants from the six car companies it sued over their alleged contribution to the state's alleged global-warming problem.

(Aside: part of me would LOOOOOVE for this suit to go forward, so that global warming arguments can be shredded in open court.)

Here is the "relief" the lawsuit (15-page PDF) requests:

The People request that this Court:
1. Hold each defendant jointly and severally liable for creating, contributing to, and
maintaining a public nuisance;
2. Award monetary damages according to proof;
3. Enter a declaratory judgment for such future monetary expenses and damages as may
be incurred by California in connection with the nuisance of global warming;
4. Award attorneys fees;
5. Award costs and expenses; and
6. Award such other relief as this Court deems just and proper.

That's pretty vague. But this BBC article on the suit has this interesting unattributed sentence about what the state is actually after, something I have not seen mentioned in any other article I read on the topic: