One of the favors the media routinely perform for liberal
politicians is citing left-of-center think tanks as
"non-partisan" entities, who just happen to have evidence
proving the awfulness of conservative policies. A classic
example occurred on the July 7 CBS Evening News, as
reporter Chip Reid cited "the non-partisan Tax Policy Center" as
showing how Barack Obama's "tax cuts" are superior to John
In fact, the Tax Policy Center is the product of the left-leaning
Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. The Tax Policy Center
data cited by CBS followed the liberal approach of portraying tax cuts
as a government giveaway, and calculating the raw dollar value of each
person's "benefit." Reid reported: "A recent study by the non-partisan
Tax Policy Center says Obama's plan would give a cut of more than a
thousand dollars to families making between $37,000 and $66,000 a year.
Under McCain's plan, they'd get just $319."
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That morning, ABC's Diane Sawyer confronted McCain economic advisor
Meg Whitman with the Tax Policy Center's complaint that the Republican's
tax plan would "add $4.5 trillion to the national debt." A few days
earlier, ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos similarly
promoted Tax Policy Center data as proving that McCain's tax plan was
tilted to the rich: "The bottom 60 percent will get about $150....The
top 0.1 percent — that's approaching $3 million a year — get almost
$270,000. How do you sell that as a plan that targets Sam's Club more
than the country club?" Neither ABC reporter bothered to tell viewers
about the group's liberal orientation.
The other side of the story comes from the conservative Tax
Foundation, which reported that Obama
would shift more of the tax burden
to a relative few families: "Obama's plan would greatly accelerate the
decades-long trend toward a federal government that depends for tax
revenue almost exclusively on a few high-income people....1.13 million
Americans would pay more in all federal taxes than 128 million of their
fellow citizens combined."
That's an aspect of tax fairness that rarely gets mentioned by TV
reporters who seek out liberal analysts to prove liberal points. A Nexis
search shows the Tax Foundation has not been cited on network TV in more
than three years.
For more, see the
June 30 and