January 06, 2011 10:07 am ET by Jamison Foser
Shouldn’t an article about Republican pledges to reduce the budget deficit that mentions in its lede the GOP’s desire to repeal last year’s health care reform legislation mention that doing so would increase the deficit?
Of course it should. The real question: Is anyone awake at the Washington Post?
In the past week, the Post has run at least seven articles mentioning the House GOP’s plan to vote to repeal health care reform without mentioning that doing so would increase the deficit. Here’s a particularly egregious example:
One urgent concern for lawmakers in both parties is the country’s bleak fiscal outlook, stemming from heavy government spending and ballooning retirement costs. House Republican leaders said that immediately after the health-care vote they will debate spending cuts, targeting specific programs such as public television.
Immediately after asserting that Republicans are urgently concerned about the nation’s bleak fiscal outlook, the Post notes that Republicans are trying to repeal health care reform — but doesn’t mention that doing so would worsen the nation’s fiscal outlook. Incredible. (Note also that the Post asserts that the bleak fiscal outlook stems “from heavy government spending” — no mention of the revenue side of the equation. The Post‘s framing plays along with the false conservative claims that only spending counts towards deficits, and only spending reductions should be considered to reduce them.)