Have you seen, anywhere, in any media, or even heard reported or repeated on NPR, the following sentence?
“We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.”
It’s right there on Page 4 of the official Standard & Poors “Research Update” (pdf) – the actual report on what they did and why – published on August 5th as the explanation for why they believe Congress – and even the Gang of Twelve – will be unable to actually deal with the US debt crisis.
Perhaps it’s just lazy – the bullet points at the beginning of the report don’t mention the Republicans or taxes, but instead just say, for example (part of one of six quick bullet-points): “[T]he downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges…”
In order to figure out that one of the reasons why is that “Republicans in the Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,” a hard-working reporter would have to read to page four of the eight-page report. It’s just too much effort for most reporters?
Although they do also mention this in the very first sentence of the report: “We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process.” (Emphasis mine)
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Or could it be that many reporters – and virtually all of the television talking heads – are themselves relatively high income-earners who don’t relish the idea of higher taxes?
Or could it be that reporters are afraid that if they report the actual language of the S&P Research Report, then Republicans will punish them by denying them “access” – i.e. refusing to show up on their programs – which is the career and show kiss-of-death for radio and TV programs that rely on big-name politicians to work?
I don’t know the reason, but it’s fascinating to see all the huffing and puffing about the S&P downgrade of America’s debt that all seems to be working so hard to avoid mentioning that critical sentence.
Inquiring minds want to know…