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That Never Were at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
Conservative talking heads screaming the loudest about reducing the deficit aren't willing to go after the top 1% income earners.
"...in the lead op-ed piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, Cato Institute fellow Alan Reynolds claims a higher marginal tax on the super rich will bring in less revenue.Reynolds uses my tax proposal from last February as his red herring. “Memo to Robert Reich,” he declares, “The income tax brought in less revenue when the highest rate was 70 percent to 91 percent [between 1950 and 1980] than it did when the highest rate was 28 percent." robertreich.org 6/16/2011Reich goes on to explain how Alan Reynolds plays with the facts of Reich's proposal, skewing the argument to support not taxing the super rich.
The Pew Research Center for People and Press conducted studies about the media coverage of health care and its ultimate effects.
■The health care debate was tailor-made for ideological talk shows. No media sector devoted as much time to health care as the political and polarizing talk show hosts. Accounting for 31% of the airtime from June 2009 through March 2010, the subject was more than twice as big in the talk show sector as it was in the overall media (14%).
■Liberal talk show hosts devoted more airtime to health care than conservative hosts. Left-leaning talk hosts, who broadly supported health care legislation, spent 44% of their time talking about health care issues during the time studied. The right-tilting hosts, who vigorously opposed it, devoted 26% of their time to the subject.
■Opponents of health care legislation won the message war. A Nexis search of key terms in the health care debate finds that opponents' terms appeared almost twice as often (about 18,000 times) as supporters' top terms (about 11,000). In short, the opponents' attacks on government-run health care resonated more widely than the supporters' attacks on the insurance industry.
■The debate centered more on politics than the workings of the health care system. Fully 41% of health care coverage focused on the tactics and strategy of the debate while various reform proposals filled another 23%. But only 9% of the coverage focused on a core issue -- how our health care system currently functions, what works and what doesn't. How the Press Covered Health Care Reform 6/21/2010 Pew Research Ctr PublicationsCongress hasn't stepped up to the plate either. They don't have to. They have a sweet deal through the federal government.
Lawmakers can choose among several plans and get special treatment at federal medical facilities. In 2008, taxpayers spent about $15 billion to insure 8.5 million federal workers and their dependents. . Among the advantages: a choice of 10 healthcare plans that provide access to a national network of doctors, as well as several HMOs that serve each member's home state. By contrast, 85% of private companies offering health coverage provide their employees one type of plan -- take it or leave it.Health care reform is a political football for offensive and defensive plays by parties of both sides. Glenn Kessler, The Fact Checker for the Washington Post wades through the rhetoric:
LA Times 8/2/2009
President Obama had promised that his health care plan would not increase the deficit, so the White House last year was on pins and needles waiting for the official CBO score. The final verdict: in the first ten years the health care bill would reduce the deficit by $143 billion. The CBO did not even try to offer a deficit-reduction number for the second decade, but gave a vague response that Democrats have translated into a hard figure of $1.2 trillion. . .In many ways, the focus on the numbers is silly. The CBO has a respectable track record, but CBO's numbers are based on models, and models can be flawed. No one really knows exactly what the impact of legislative changes will be ten years from now, let alone how population growth, economic growth or other factors ultimately will affect the bottom line. It would be more logical to offer a range, but CBO is expected to produce an actual number. Washington Post 1/13/2011The only reform we'll get is the reform we demand. As you can see from the above, whoever controls the message controls the conversation. In order to do this effectively, we need to understand the facts about health care reform; what it costs, how it works, who is eligible. Only then will we be able to make informed decisions and insist they be carried out by our elected officials.