Yesterday, I saw this headline, US Already in ‘Recession,’ Extend Tax Cuts: Bill Clinton.’ What the hell was he thinking, I asked myself, ready to write a scathing rebuke to our 42nd President, a man whom I generally respect. Then I read the article. And I read it again. I really didn’t find that quote, at least not from the video in the article. The closest was this,
MARIA BARTIROMO: So does that mean extending the tax cuts?
PRES. BILL CLINTON: Well, I think what it means is they will have extend– they will probably have to put everything off until early next year. That’s probably the best thing to do right now. But the Republicans don’t want to do that unless he agrees to extend the tax cuts permanently, including for upper income people.
And I don’t think the president should do that. That’s going to– that’s what they’re fighting about. I don’t have any problem with extending all of it now, including the current spending level. They’re still pretty low, the government spending levels.
So, Clinton agreed that a temporary extension, till the end of the year, might be necessary, but, he said, Republicans wouldn’t agree to a temporary one and a permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts would be a bad idea.
Business Insider reported that the media did the same thing to Larry Summers, who actually said the rich should pay more.
Why are they doing this? Could it be because the vast majority of cable news pundits are themselves in the 1%? Maybe. The more logical answer is that the media loves and gains ratings from discord, even if it’s manufactured. There’s nothing shocking about a Democratic party that is in agreement. Americans want to hear about a party in disarray. Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi says that journalists don’t even believe that Romney stands a chance. I don’t know if I’m ready to go there, yet, but they do make a lot more money from a close race than from a distant one. Why not try to create a close race? Why not confuse the hell out of Clinton Democrats, just cause it’s fun, and well, let’s not forget about a few million extra bucks in ad revenue.
I case you’re wondering about the President’s stance on extending the tax cuts. Apparently, it’s no way, no how, not even temporarily. We’ll see how the media spins that.