A week after NPR’s Nina Totenberg, on Inside Washington, urged imposition of a “Katrina tax,” on the same show this weekend she dismissed the idea of cancelling $24 billion of transportation bill earmarks as small change and suggested that “if you canceled the tax cuts, you'd get $225 billion." She rejected the contention that would hurt the economy and forwarded the standard liberal class warfare argument that “if people who are richer in this country don't pay more, we can't take it out of the hides of poor people, which is what the conservative group that is actually in Congress that's put out earmarks of what they think we ought to cut -- Medicaid, Medicare.”
Evan Thomas, Assistant Managing Editor of Newsweek, soon chimed in to point out how “there's no law in the Bible that says a Republican can never raise taxes." He recalled how “Ronald Reagan raised taxes, you know, he cut taxes, but then he raised taxes. George Bush, the father, raised taxes.”
Complete transcript of the remarks by Totenberg and Thomas follow. UPDATE: On another weekend TV talk show, the McLaughlin Group, Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift also looked to undoing tax reductions to pay for Katrina.
On the Thursday, September 22, 2005, 4 pm PDT broadcast of the National Public Radio (NPR) news, newscaster Corey Flintoff appeared to give Cindy Sheehan's forthcoming anti-war demonstration a free plug. After playing an audio clip of President Bush from a press briefing at the Pentagon, Flintoff tagged the clip with the following (audiotape on file):
Fuller quotation of Totenberg follows.
Criticism for budget deficits has been replaced by calls for big government
NPR's All Things Considered tonight carried a story from reporter Frank Langfitt focusing on how Wal-Mart brought their efficient distribution system to bear in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, particularly in Kenner, Louisiana, where their supplies arrived before federal or Red Cross help. He did conclude by noting that Wal-Mart is videotaping their charity for reporters. But hey, why not? Wal-Mart has been quite a whipping boy for negative media coverage.
On NPR's Morning Edition on Tuesday, ABC reporter Judy Muller unleashed another of her occasional commentaries for public radio. (Listen here.) Some of them are light, but Tuesday's was tough. Muller was angry at the inattention poor black people get outside of natural disasters, saying "Hurricanes don't discriminate, but society does discriminate." Here's the transcript of what she said, beginning with mockery of the president:
In fact, under the Bush administration domestic spending has soared much faster than inflation, a trend illustrated by the huge transportation bill this year packed with spending on infrastructure projects. And if infrastructure spending has suffered in some way, massive new spending on such things as a prescription entitlement program are just as responsible.
Full transcript, and more about Inside Washington, follows.
On NPR's Morning Edition today, co-anchor Renee Montagne was interviewing David Wessel of the Wall Street Journal on the hurricane's effects on the national economy. But she was a little over the top in her tone with her first question: "Is the hurricane the last straw for the economy?" (Hear it here.)