Then And Now

It's a funny thing how drastically different a story can be covered.

Bush was a disaster and deserved a lot of the bad press he received.  Back in 2004 I stated on a number of occasions that he did not deserve to be re-elected and had the Democrats nominated someone halfway decent he would have been soundly defeated.

Now we have Obama, a man who won because of personality and hype, who within his first few days in office has already proven himself a far greater disaster then Bush had ever hoped to be spending us so far into debt that I doubt this country will ever be able to recover in my lifetime.

But it's how the press view this that amazes me.  Let's explore.

First is Bush.  How many times did you hear the "Bush deficit"?  For good reason.  Bush did rack up the highest deficit in US history.  But let's look at some articles and how they discussed it...

Let's start with some of the left wing's sites.  First is Common Dreams.  They put out an article titled "The Bush Budget Deficit Death Spiral".  No hiding that, they put deficit right there in the title.  Here's how they start the article:

Lenders talk about a “debtor’s death spiral.” It occurs when borrowers get so far in over their heads they begin borrowing money just to cover the interest payments on past borrowings. The borrowers have to do this to keep the lending flowing but they can no longer plausibly pay down the principal. As new debt compounds on old, bankruptcy becomes imminent. Further lending is foolhardy. Foreclosure is only a matter of time.

While I don't disagree with what they say, I must point out here that it is a very gloom and doom opening to an article.

Another leftwing site, Think Progress, put out an article titled "Bush Celebrates Fourth Largest Deficit In History".  This was written in 2006 when they predicted a deficit of $296 Billion.  Since the Bush tax cuts actually resulted in more revenue coming in to the treasure the deficit, while still bad, actually came in around $248 billion which actually wasn't the 4th highest in history.  In 2006 and 2007 after the Bush tax cuts went into effect we actually had record revenue.

Even the more mainstream media made it clear that Bush was spending more then he took in.  MSNBC wrote as their headline "Bush Deficit Plan Seen Having Murky Math".

CNN wrote in a 2008 article the following opening paragraph:

President Bush's budget chief blamed the faltering economy and the bipartisan stimulus package for the record $482 billion deficit the White House predicted for the 2009 budget year.

Again, right up front they make it very clear Bush spent more then he took in.

Now we jump to today.  Obama's new budget racks up well over $1 TRILLION in new spending above and beyond what we collect in taxes.  This is more then double the worst deficit Bush ever had.  Let's now look at some of these same sites and see how this is reported...

First is the left wing Common Dreams.  The Obama budget article is titled "President Obama Announces Historic Budget".  No mention within the article about any deficit.  After some digging I did find one article that mentioned the nearly impossible to ignore trillion dollar deficit in Obama's new budget.  "The Obama Gap" Common Dreams titled this one and now compare this opening paragraph to the gloom and doom above:

“I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years.”

What about Think Progress, is their bias just as blazen?  Yup, just look at the title in the URL:

In that article they write:

Indeed, when Bush entered office in 2001, he inherited a budget surplus of $128 billion. He bequeathed a budget deficit of over $1 trillion to President Obama.

So somehow the $482 Billion deficit CNN predicted ballooned into over $1 Trillion and it's all Bush's fault?

Moving on, let's see what the more mainstream media has to say...

First I'd like to start with a very misleading article I found in the Washington Post, "Obama's First Budget Seems to Trim Deficit".  Well that sure sounds great doesn't it.  For those American's who fail to read past the title I'm sure they are patting themselves on the back saying Obama sure is great wanting to cut the Bush deficit.  But let's dive deeper, here's the opening paragraph:

President Obama is putting the finishing touches on an ambitious first budget that seeks to cut the federal deficit in half over the next four years, primarily by raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy and by slashing spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration officials said.

An Ambitious first budget?  You didn't hear those words when it was Bush's budget... then it was a "death spiral".  And he plans to cut the federal deficit in HALF over the next four years?  Well since it somehow ballooned up to over $1 Trillion, in four years our hopes are that we'll see it sink back to slightly higher then Bush left it?  And it isn't until seven paragraphs in that you get any details on the level of deficit we're talking here...

Even before Congress approved the stimulus package this month, congressional budget analysts forecast that this year's deficit would approach $1.2 trillion -- 8.3 percent of the overall economy, the highest since World War II. With the stimulus and other expenses, some analysts say, the annual gap between federal spending and income could reach $2 trillion when the fiscal year ends in September.

Obama proposes to dramatically reduce those numbers, said White House budget director Peter Orszag: "We will cut the deficit in half by the end of the president's first term." The plan would keep the deficit hovering near $1 trillion in 2010 and 2011, but shows it dropping to $533 billion by 2013, he said -- still high but a more manageable 3 percent of the economy.

CNN seems to have forgotten all about murky math with their take on Obama's budget.  "Obama Outlines Ambitous Adgenda For 'Lasting Prosperity'".  Considering the opened their article about Bush's budget plan with discussing the projected deficit, how did they start this one?

President Obama on Tuesday outlined an ambitious agenda that requires "significant resources," even as he aims to halve the deficit by the end of his first term.

There's that word ambitious again and just like the Washington post makes it appear that he will be cutting back someone else's out of control spending.  In fact they even write:

"It reflects the stark reality of what we've inherited -- a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession," he [Obama] said.

Another interesting take on this is from NPR.  Their article was simply titled "Inside Obama's First Budget".  They write the following:

President Obama unveiled a multi-trillion-dollar budget Thursday, an ambitious plan to boost clean energy development, access to education and health care coverage. Some of those costs would be offset in part by allowing tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest households.

Now what's really interesting here are those who honestly believe that increasing the tax on the top 2% of income earners is going to be the solution.  The fact of the matter is even if you were to tax the top 2% of income earners at a rate of 100% totally confiscating every penny they earned you would still come up with less then half of what is needed to cover just this new spending.  So where is this money coming from if not those earning over $250,000 as Obama claims?  That's the question we should be asking because it's becoming quite clear that the middle income wage earners, of which most of NH is, are going to be expected to shoulder some of the spending debt sometime in the near future.

After looking at the coverage of the Bush budget deficit and the Obama budget deficit is there really still a question of Media bias?