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Monday, January 7, 2013
MRC Misleads on Cost of Fiscal Cliff Deal
Topic: Media Research Center

Julia Seymour wrote in a Jan. 3 Media Research Center Business & Media Institute item:

To the chagrin of many conservatives, a deal that would result in tax hikes and lacked spending cuts was passed on New Year’s Day, hours after the the fiscal cliff deadline had passed.

Because it didn’t include spending cuts, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would cost $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

Actually, as Media Matters detailed, the CBO described the $4 trillion figure as lost revenue in comparison to what would have been collected if all the Bush tax cuts expired. Politico reported of the CBO estimate: "CBO begins its analysis from its March current law baseline that assumes all of Bush-era tax cuts would expire at New Year's Day, and therefore gives no deficit-reduction credit for the fact that the deal begins to raise rates for the wealthiest Americans." Politico added that the CBO attributed much of that figure to "lost revenues or payments on refundable tax credits."

But getting the story correct wasn't Seymour's job in the post -- it was to complain that "5 out of 6 morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC" didn't mention her defective interpretation of the deal.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EST

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