As the fiscal cliff gets ever nearer, the mainstream media is crowing about how Republicans appear willing to raise taxes. Consider what Suzy Khimm wrote at The Washington Post on Monday:
The dam has finally broken on higher tax rates: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has proposed letting the Bush tax cuts expire for income above $1 million — the first time he has agreed to let tax rates rise since the beginning of this debate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has alternately proposed conceding on the $250,000 cutoff for individual income but maintaining the other parts of the Bush tax cuts that benefit the wealthy — the tax cuts on capital gains, dividends, and estates, as well as suspending restrictions on individual tax exemptions and deductions.
As noted on Monday, Tea Party Patriots stands against including tax increases in any deal on the fiscal cliff. The fact is that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Spending is expected to skyrocket as health care and interest costs increase dramatically; and everyone in Washington knows it. Yet, Democrats would rather focus on economically harmful tax increases that do almost nothing to curb our massive deficits, and it appears Republican leadership in both chambers of Congress is kowtowing to President Obama and his allies.
Long ago, the media was viewed as the watchdog of the government. People trusted media sources to report the facts on government activity. Yet Khimm notes the following in the close of her post:
As such, neither proposal will be the endgame for taxes. But they do lay the groundwork for a way around one of the biggest impasses in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. As my colleagues report, White House officials say that “a threshold of $375,000 or even $500,000 might be more acceptable.”
In her own subtle way, Khimm is essentially saying tax hikes are the major holding point in this debate. This means tackling America’s $1.1 trillion deficit is not on the table for either side. Also absent is the fact that increasing taxes on all those making over $250,000 in the way the President wants would only raise 1.88% of the next decade’s spending.
In Khimm’s mind, and other allies in the media, the big breakthrough is on economically harmful taxes that won’t even dent future fiscal problems. Apparently, the Democratic refusal to instill any real fiscal discipline in return for taking more of your hard-earned money is not worth reporting on.