NPR, you've done it again.
Just this morning, Morning Edition ran two stories back
. The first examined Democrats in the electoral cross hairs because the President wants to roll let Bush's tax cut expire only for the richest payers
A full-blown congressional debate on the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts is expected this fall, but some lawmakers have already weighed in on the most controversial issue: whether it makes sense, at a time of huge budget deficits, to extend those tax cuts for household income that exceeds $250,000.
Excuse me, "makes sense"? Here we are facing an unprecedented deficit, a crushing and growing debt, and turning down revenue from the only Americans who can afford it
doesn't make sense?!? Oh, and just to top off the craptastic reporting with a cherry and a heaping dollop of Fuck You, they follow that bit of pandering treacle by adding up exactly how much in taxes a wealthy couple spends. "Milkove is one of those people who carefully tracks just about every dollar spent, so we're able to get a good picture of how much sales tax they pay in a year." Well, la-de-fucking-da. Then the story leaves the yuppies for a moment to get a quote from one of those think tank flunkies, this one from something called The Tax Foundation
"People get very frustrated at taxes that are relatively small compared to big taxes," says Gerald Prante, an economist at the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based tax-tracking think tank.
"I mean, if you look at this list," he says, looking at the tax tally that Milkove came up with, "everything is chump change compared to the federal income tax.
I decided after something happened to look into this foundation. Look what I found on their "About Us" page:
The year was 1937, the heart of the Great Depression. During the previous decade, first under Herbert Hoover, then under Franklin Roosevelt, federal spending had climbed 170 percent; over the previous five years internal revenue collections had risen 198 percent.
Concerned about the effect such expansion might have on private sector growth, a small group of business executives gathered in New York City to discuss how they could monitor fiscal activities at all levels of government and convey the information to the general public. They decided to launch an organization which, through research and analysis, could inform and educate Americans using objective, reliable data on government finance.
In the subsequent seven decades, the Tax Foundation has been a national leader in promoting a sense of "tax consciousness" in the public.
(Yeah, I emphasized.)
On the surface, this dissemination of "tax consciousness" seems laudable, right? Who could argue about that? Ah, but let's remember what happens when the news is too one-sided
. If the only news about taxes comes from those with a direct financial interest in lower taxes
, no one gets the whole story. Furthermore, this kind of foundation is one of those whose funding could fuel itself. The more they prove able to lower taxes through "education," the more they will undoubtedly receive from people who, well, saved when taxes were lowered.
I digress, though. What was it that prompted my trip into Rage Town? After these stories, two of those "enhanced sponsorships" popped up near the 6:30 mark, just before the 5 minute national and local news recaps. One (IIRC) was for Progressive Insurance . . . and the other . . . (drum roll, please) . . . was for
The Tax Foundation!!!*
Here, they described themselves as a group dedicated to lowering the size of government.
Motherfuckers. No, not you, Tax Foundation. You're only doing what everyone would expect from a scorpion. It's your nature, after all, to lie, lie, lie. I'm looking right at the turtle carrying you across this pond, those Nice Polite Republicans who have hijacked what used to be Public Radio.
Hey, NPR: Somewhere in your reporting, why don't you mention that income taxes today are lower than they have been in eighty years
?!? Really. And don't just take my word for it. Look it up.
It used to be that the top tax rate was 91%. I remember those times. They were pretty okay. Now, there's debate in raising the top tax to less than half of its historic high, and people can only talk on the radio about how high
taxes are? How about a little historical perspective?
For shame. Really, for shame. NPR could report on taxes fairly. Their Planet Money thing noted that most people in Denmark believed taxes are a good thing
. Don't bother following the link to the podcast, though. Only the first minute seems to be there. I shouldn't be surprised, I suppose. It seems the entire NPR agency is bent on squelching any data that would support increased taxes, as per apparent marching orders from their supporters like The Tax Foundation and their Koch overlords.
Haven't heard about the Koch brothers, have you? Well, do some reading
. That Charles especially has his paws in everything, including NPR and PBS. In fact, quoted in the article is a man who knows the brothers Koch personally, a Bruce Bartlett, an economist . . . who has been featured on Planet Money
. More and more, my letter to Adam Davidson
reveals not how much he needs to learn about finance and monetary policy, but how much he knows about these topics, but is probably paid to obfuscate them.
I am simultaneously enraged and deflated. Enraged, because of the obvious shenanigans someone is playing at NPR headquarters. Deflated, because I feel I can do nothing about it. I am watching fascism in its literal form
, and know that crying out about it, if only to warn others, will do nothing. It's like watching an oncoming train while tied to the tracks.
No, that's not it. More accurately, it's like watching a beautiful house burn, and noting that a group dressed as firefighters are squirting the flames with a hose charged with gasoline. NPR is part of that process, but instead of delivering the propellant through a hose, they are merely part of the gasoline bucket brigade. They don't fuel the fire as much as Fox and others, since they aren't heard by nearly as many and their spin isn't nearly as obvious; but fuel the fire of lies they do.
I can't do this anymore. I can't in good conscious give money to an organization seemingly bent not only on infusing commercial advertising into supposedly public radio, but furthermore does so while being nakedly brazen about the editorial control this advertising has on its news content. This has to stop, but I fear the edifice of our constitutional democracy will burn beyond recognition before it does.
*Oops. It was another group, not The Tax Foundation, but still one whose motives I would question. See addenda after the cut for more details, or this post
for even more. Even though I got the name of the organization wrong, I kept the Tax Foundation rant in simply because both organizations, I'm quite sure, exist for the same reason. There are many different subspecies of scorpion.( This is turning out to be an ongoing investigation. Click here for continuing updates! )