Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hey, That's No Way to Analyze the Problem

See if you can spot the same triggers in this part of William Bennett's editorial:

This entire debate begins with the assumption that the Bush tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 led to a ballooning of the deficit problem. But as Brian Riedl at the Heritage Foundation has shown, those cuts, at every level, are responsible for only 14% of our current deficit problem, with the tax cuts at the upper margins being responsible for only 4%.
Indeed, the bulk of our deficit problem is because of "above-average spending, not below-average revenues." And there is a serious question as to whether raising rates on the wealthy raises more revenue at all based on behavior, flexibility and numbers.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal editorial page analyzed what marginal tax rates would yield at the upper brackets even if 100% of income were taxed and assets were not moved around (a mighty assumption). The answer: There simply is not enough money to be taxed among the wealthy to solve our deficit and debt problems.
If you want to argue that the Bush tax cuts didn't add to our deficits and didn't hurt our long-term financial outlook, then why would you turn to the Heritage Foundation? Who is the Heritage Foundation? Well, it's hardly a non-partisan operation. It clearly advertises itself as a conservative organization and it opposes tax increases of any kind. Why would someone cite their research and not expect for the point to be dismissed as being biased?

Then, Mr. Bennett cites The
Wall Street Journal's editorial page. And this is run by whom? It's well in the hands of conservatives, and the Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

What a poor example of making a case. This op-ed should have come with a warning attached to it: nothing in it "is intended to be a factual statement."

The problem is, organizations like CNN will run this material, and it will have virtually no effect on advancing the debate or informing the public. It won't influence anyone to change their mind unless that person is completely uninformed and easily manipulated. Anyone fully versed in the details of the debate will see the triggers in this article and realize that Mr. Bennett has turned in a lazy piece.

Yes, the big question here is: "why did CNN even bother to run it?"
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