Mainstream reporters have spent so many years square pegging round holes—crediting Bill Clinton alone for the boom of the late 90s, blaming Bush alone for the crash of the late 00s, praising Obama’s intelligence, etc.—that they may not even recognize their own nonsense.
Take Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times, who begins his story today with a textbook Butterfield Paradox:
Years of low tax rates and rising federal spending, amplified by the devastating economic effect of the Great Recession, have driven the U.S. borrowing tab to more than $16 trillion from less than $1 trillion in 1981.
To Puzzanghera, those “devastating” economic effects are not the result of the $16 trillion debt; they’re a cause.
…On top of that, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts were set to expire at the end of 2012, along with a two-year payroll tax break designed to stimulate the economy. To help reduce the deficit, President Obama pushed Congress to allow some of those tax cuts to expire.
I’m sending this last graf to the Museum of Nonsense. In the land of Puzzanghera, Bush’s tax cuts raised the deficit while Obama’s payroll-tax reduction stimulated the economy.
But wait, it gets even better.