Tax Cuts Will Bring Back Deficit; Reagan: "Eight Years of Tough Times"; Most Want Bush's or Larger Tax Cut?; Dan "McCarthy" Burton
1) Tax cuts, not spending hikes, concern the media. On
Face the Nation Bob Schieffer warned Dick Cheney about how "you're
putting tax cuts in place" but if "the surplus is not there, the
tax rate would still be there, which means that you could put the
government back into deficit."
2) Reagan's tax cuts led to "eight years of tough
times." Yes, a Washington reporter actually believes that.
3) Brit Hume on Fox News Sunday and Eric Burns on Fox News
Watch both pointed out how the CBS Evening News failed to report that a
poll by its own network found most supported Bush's tax cut plan. Plus,
CBS's John Roberts had insisted that "new polls...show voters
leaning slightly in favor of the Democratic plan." But, a Reuters/Zogby
poll actually discovered a plurality support either Bush's plan or an
even larger tax cut.
4) Upset by Beth Dozoretz having to appear before the
House committee probing pardons, Nina Totenberg charged that "not
really since the end of the McCarthy era" has a witness been made to
take the 5th in public. Al Hunt asserted that Bush was as bad as Clinton:
"Armand Hammer was even sleazier than Marc Rich."
5) ABC's Jackie Judd highlighted how "Rich was
doing business last summer...with known Russian mobsters." NBC's
Lisa Myers added that the CIA and FBI knew about it but "Clinton
didn't even ask either agency about" it. CBS's Anthony Mason
revealed "Rich helped Communist Party leaders" in the Soviet
Union "move billions out of the country through fraudulent
6) Letterman's "Top Ten Things You're Likely to
Hear in a Meeting With Les Moonves," the CBS President who hasn't
appreciated David Letterman joking about his lunch with Fidel Castro.
Correction: The opening sentence of the first item in the March 1
CyberAlert used an un-referenced "it." In the place of
"it" the phrase "his tax cut plan" should have
appeared, as in Bush's, which was clear in the table of contents
listing. So, the sentence should have read: "A CBS News poll of those
who watched President Bush's Tuesday night address to Congress found 67
percent support his tax cut plan, a more than two-to-one margin over the
31 percent who oppose it, but Wednesday's CBS Evening News didn't
mention their own poll."
address to Congress last week President Bush outlined proposed spending
hikes and tax cuts, but to the Washington media corps only the tax cuts
pose any danger. Appearing Sunday morning on CBS's Face the Nation, Vice
President Dick Cheney was pressed about halting the tax cuts if the
surplus does not materialize. Bob Schieffer warned about how
"you're putting tax cuts in place" but if "the surplus is
not there, the tax rate would still be there, which means that you could
put the government back into deficit."\
Co-host Gloria Borger asked: "Why not phase in
tax cuts?" Cheney explained they are being phased in and will not be
fully implemented until 2006.
Schieffer then demanded: "Then if it is phased
in, if you got to a point down the line where the surplus was not there,
then would you halt the tax cuts at that point?"
Cheney responded: "Remember what's actually
happening here. We haven't collected any money yet. What we have in
place is a tax code and we have estimated expenditures and we have
estimates of how much revenue we're going to get out over the text ten
years and what we want to do is change the tax code so that we never
collect a certain amount of revenue -- $1.6 trillion that we think we
ought to leave with taxpayers. There's sort of a notion that somehow
we're giving money back. In a sense, we're not going to collect that
revenue if we don't need it. We don't think we need it."
Schieffer remained unsatisfied: "But, if that's
what you say, you're talking about cutting tax rates, you're putting
tax cuts in place that if the surplus is not there, the tax rate would
still be there, which means that you could put the government back into
deficit, Mr. Vice President, isn't that correct?"
sizable tax cut led to "eight years of tough times." That's
right, the Reagan '80s were "tough times" according to NPR
reporter Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington over the weekend.
After columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed out how
Bush's one percent of GNP tax cut isn't so big compared to Kennedy's
at two percent of GNP and Reagan's at three percent of GNP, Totenberg
interjected: "Well, if Reagan's was small, and you're equating it
with this one, you know Katy bar the door because we got into a terrible
fix over that."
Krauthammer: "Twenty years of expansion."
Totenberg: "We didn't have that initially. We
didn't. We had ten years, we had eight years of tough times."
Hmmm. Eight years from the 1983 recovery would bring
us to 1990, just before the brief downturn in 41's presidency, which makes
News Sunday Brit Hume pointed out how, as documented in CyberAlerts last
week, the CBS Evening News failed to report that a poll by its own network
found most supported Bush's tax cut plan. The CBS decision was also
raised by Eric Burns on FNC's Fox News Watch on Saturday night.
And, an update: Last Thursday, CBS reporter John
Roberts insisted that "new polls...show voters leaning slightly in
favor of the Democratic plan." But, a Reuters/Zogby poll actually
discovered a plurality support either Bush's plan or an even larger tax
Hume alerted a larger audience to the media bias he
had noted on last Thursday's Special Report with Brit Hume, telling
panelists during the roundtable segment on the March 4 Fox News Sunday:
"CBS News did an overnight poll, pretty good-sized
sample, overnight poll following the speech and found that 88 percent of
those who watched thought the President was expressing their priorities.
In addition, 67 percent of the people in this poll, whether they watched
the speech or not, favored the tax cut. That poll went unmentioned on the
CBS Evening News. By the next night the CBS Evening News had a report that
was talking about new polls showing that people favored the Democratic
plan. Well, a search for what that poll is has not turned up anything
convincing. We're not sure. There is an ABC News poll that may tend to
reflect that, we're not sure. But some of the media coverage has been
Indeed, the March 2 CyberAlert reported that in a
March 1 CBS Evening News story John Roberts asserted: "New polls,
however, show voters leaning slightly in favor of the Democratic
plan." CyberAlert suggested Roberts may have been picking up on this
question in an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on February 26:
"Which of these would you prefer: a large tax-cut plan that provides
an across-the-board tax cut for everyone, or a smaller tax cut plan that
provides targeted tax cuts mainly for lower and middle-income
people?" Fifty-three percent responded "smaller tax cut"
while 43 percent preferred a "large tax cut."
On Friday, the MRC's Rich Noyes alerted me to
another poll to which Roberts may have been referring: A post-Bush speech
Reuters/Zogby survey. In a March 1 story Alan Elsner of Reuters reported
the poll of 601 registered voters found:
"Voters supported a tax cut by 51-39 percent but
were divided on what kind of tax cut. Some 38 percent backed Bush's
proposal for a $1.6 trillion cut over 10 years but 40 percent preferred
the Democratic Party's smaller $800 billion package." Elsner added,
however, that "eight percent wanted the $2.5 trillion cut proposed by
some Republicans." So, by 46 to 40 percent the public actually wants
a tax cut as large as Bush's or larger.
For more on CBS's Thursday night coverage, go to
the March 2 CyberAlert:
For details about how the day after Bush's speech
the CBS Evening News skipped their own network's poll and instead
featured Roberts with a woman in an Omaha restaurant who thought Bush's
tax cut "could probably be reduced" as he added that another
woman "fears the President is rolling the dice on eight years of
success just for political gain," go to the March 1 CyberAlert:
For details about the CBS News poll which was
acknowledged on The Early Show, go to:
to make Clinton look okay by comparison. Over the weekend Nina Totenberg
charged that "not really since the end of the McCarthy era" has
a witness been made to take the 5th in public and Al Hunt asserted that
Clinton's pardons may be worth criticizing, but "Armand Hammer was
even sleazier than Marc Rich."
-- Picking up on how Democratic fundraiser Beth
Dozoretz appeared before the House Government Reform Committee to invoke
her Fifth Amendment rights, NPR's Nina Totenberg implied committee
Chairman Dan Burton is some form of a McCarthyite. She complained on
"Not since really the end of the McCarthy era have
they made people come up and do that, or maybe Jimmy Hoffa was the last
one. Ollie North, when he took the 5th initially over on the House side,
he came to the Hill, once they realized he was going to take the 5th they
didn't make him sit there."
-- Desperately trying to show how Clinton really
didn't do anything previous Republican Presidents didn't do, on
Saturday's Capital Gang on CNN Al Hunt, Executive Washington Editor of
the Wall Street Journal, charged:
"Clinton is the worse culprit, but we also were
reminded that this connection, these political connections, is not new
with Clinton. Armand Hammer was even sleazier than Marc Rich. He gave over
$200,000 to the Bush campaign in 1988, was pardoned later. Bingo. Who was
his lawyer? The politically connected Ted Olson, the nominee to be the
next Solicitor General. Bingo. And Mr. Rich, who for the last, who for ten
years, in between government stints, who was his legal angel to the tune
of $2 million? Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to the Vice President of
the United States today, Mr. Cheney. So I agree Clinton is far worse but
let's not pretend these other were innocents."
Kate O'Beirne of National Review pointed out his
flawed logic: "Ted Olson did not get a pardon for Armand Hammer. He
did not get a pardon for Armand Hammer and Armand Hammer's pardon in the
Bush administration went all the way through the Department of Justice,
the prosecutor's agreed with it and Armand Hammer had pled guilty and
paid a fine, not like Marc Rich who fled the country."
broadcast network evening shows stayed on the Marc Rich pardon story
Friday night, March 2. ABC's Jackie Judd highlighted how a "lawsuit
filed by three international companies reveals that Rich was doing
business last summer, that's just months before his pardon, with known
Russian mobsters." CBS's Anthony Mason revealed that after
communists lost power in the Soviet Union, "Rich helped Communist
Party leaders move billions out of the country through fraudulent
commodities deals." NBC's Lisa Myers picked up on the Russian Mob
angle, adding that the CIA and FBI knew about it but "that President
Clinton didn't even ask either agency about Rich's activities." She
also relayed how "Beth Dozoretz had extraordinary access to the White
House. Records show White House guards were told to expect her 76 times
over the last two years."
-- ABC's World News Tonight. Jackie Judd
"The lawsuit filed by three international
companies reveals that Rich was doing business last summer, that's just
months before his pardon, with known Russian mobsters. The suit accuses
the Russians of illegally taking control of the aluminum industry through
extortion, fraud, money laundering and murder."
Jonathan Winer, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State, explained: "In the aluminum industry, the level of
ruthlessness was unmatched. You cannot find another sector in Russia where
more people per transaction wound up dead."
Judd elaborated: "Sources tell ABC News, Rich
bought aluminum from the Russians to sell in the U.S. The proceeds from
one transaction, $1.4 million, allegedly was wired to a Rich account,
apparently at a bank in the South Pacific, known for money laundering.
According to the lawsuit, the company Rich was doing business with is
controlled by Mikhail Chernoi a notorious and feared businessman."
To Winer: "Is it possible to be doing business
with these people and not know how they do business?"
Winer: "No, it isn't."
Judd: "Marc Rich's lawyers did not return phone
calls today. There is no indication, Peter, the White House was aware of
this information, even though the lawsuit was as you say filed in December
and is a public document."
-- CBS Evening News. Anthony Mason noted: "In
the early '90s, when the collapse of communism unleashed chaos and
corruption, according to Paul Klebnikov, author of Godfather of the
Kremlin, Marc Rich helped Communist Party leaders move billions out of the
country through fraudulent commodities deals."
-- NBC Nightly News. Lisa Myers gave an overview of
what ABC's Judd further detailed: "Senior U.S. intelligence
officials tell NBC News that fugitive billionaire Marc Rich was dealing
extensively with organizations controlled by Russian mafia figures over
the last decade and that the CIA and FBI had such information at the time
Rich was pardoned by Bill Clinton. These officials say that President
Clinton didn't even ask either agency about Rich's activities. At a
hearing that went late into last night House investigators also say the
White House didn't check with intelligence agencies on reports Rich was
involved in arms trading."
Myers went on to report: "Secret Service
records obtained by NBC News show that a key figure in the pardon fiasco,
Democratic fundraiser Beth Dozoretz, had extraordinary access to the White
House. Records show White House guards were told to expect her 76 times
over the last two years alone and noted her entering the complex 43 times.
Who was she visiting? Usually POTUS, the President, or his staff. Where?
Often the residence, the private living quarters in the White House."
March 2 Late
Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things You're Likely to
Hear in a Meeting With Les Moonves." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide
Pants, Inc. Moonves, who is the President of CBS, had lunch in
mid-February with Fidel Castro, an event which Letterman has been making
fun of ever since and which he has implied led to a meeting with an upset
10. "I just had a great idea for next season -- 'Survivor
9. "What's the name of that actor who plays Dan Rather on the
8. "If it's not an idea for a Tony Danza show, I don't want to hear
7. "Okay, grandpa, I promise never to cancel 'Diagnosis Murder'"
6. "That reminds me of something Saddam Hussein said once when we
were water skiing"
5. "I'm the most powerful guy named Les in the world"
4. "Last week, at Castro's Grammy party, he let me beat a political
3. "Hey that's funny, can I give that one to Bette?"
2. "Forgive me if I don't get up -- I pulled a muscle laughing at
last week's 'Some Of My Best Friends'"
1. "You got a problem with me?" --Brent Baker
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