Our readers are smart and probably don’t need the following lesson in connecting the dots but for those stumbling upon our site or just curious as to what is really happening out there versus what the media is spoon feeding us, maybe this will help.
If one were to read recent headlines about the economy, one might think that it’s slowly getting better, right? You search on msnbc.com with their tag “U.S. Economy” and there’s not one negative story on the whole page of results – at least for the U.S. There are a number of stories about how sanctions against Iran are damaging Iran’s economy and how that is filed under U.S. Economy, one can only wonder. The WaPo has ones like: “National Retail Federation says holiday sales to rise 4.1% amid uncertainties”, “US Home prices jumped in August by the most in 6 years as housing market steadily recovers”, and “Do we actually need a fiscal cliff deal by Dec. 31?”
However, let’s throw a few data point “dots” out there for you to connect. First, the GDP grew only by 1.25% for April through June with a track record that points at slower and slower growth. Second, median household income has dropped by about $3,000 since June 2009. Third, the August employment numbers were revised down by 22,000 jobs from 163,000 to 141,000 and unemployment rose from 8.2 to 8.3% – the working population grew by 198,000 in that same period.
‘Puter pointed out the federal government borrowed 43¢ for every dollar spent, but that is looking at the discretionary spending. If the government was completely shut down and spent nothing on defense, education, research, transportation, etc. – all of the discretionary spending line items – we would have broken even for FY2011 and in FY2012 we would be borrowing $8 Billion. That’s with the entire government and military shut down and no expenditures. Why? The Mandatory programs: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, TARP and other mandatory programs plus the mandatory interest payments. Watch this dry, but informative video for details.
So this sounds like an economy on a road to recovery? Look, I’ve got kids and I’d like to retire someday so I’m all for hoping and working to make it better, but to do so means that you have to look at this realistically. This is something the media isn’t doing.
Which brings me to the last dot to connect. So with the media doing a bit of sugar coating of the economy’s status, maybe they are focusing on other issues like foreign affairs? Well, not really. Can you imagine if there were a Republican in office and something like this attack in Libya occurred? There would be calls for who knew what when and who was responsible and where did our intel breakdown. But, aside from Univision, hardly any outlet is piecing together the problems with the Obama Administration’s missteps with regards to the Libya attack.
So where does this path lead us? Well, unless someone else has an option to offer me (which I’m happy to print), I see two:
1. The media is incompetent – instead of asking the hard questions and peeling back the onion of misleadings handed to us by our politicians, they are ignoring it in favor of trivial entertainment news and things like the Weather Channel is now going to name winter storms. Maybe they should lay out the timeline of the events and communications and efforts by the Obama Administration.
2. The media is complicit in aiding the Democrats – purposely or subconsciously bolstering positive stories and squelching negative stories. Many poo-poo this idea but some at AEI have some data to support this theory.