DEFICIT POLITICS

David Hogberg notes that tax cuts and spending programs are not treated equally:

An editorial in the Washington Post titled “Debt and Taxes” prompted me to write, “Do you suppose we’ll ever see a liberal-newspaper editorial titled ‘Debt and Prescription Drug Coverage’?” I might as well have asked, “Will Robert Byrd ever learn humility?”

As the prescription-drug benefit to Medicare heated up last week, the words “debt” and “deficit” were, quite literally, exceptionally difficult to find. Both the Washington Post and the New York Times ran seven news articles related to the prescription-drug benefit. Not one contained any mention of what the $400 billion program would add to the deficit or the national debt. Some suggested that it didn’t go far enough: An article in the Times with the lamenting headline “Seniors May Find Drug Benefit Lacking” began, “Seniors expecting a generous Medicare prescription drug benefit from Congress are likely to be disappointed.” The one exception appeared in an editorial in the Times (!). After complaining that the benefit was not enough, the editorialists conceded, “But given the current state of the federal deficit, Congress has picked the right priorities.”

(Hat tip: Reductio Ad Absurdum)

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.