Monday, February 09, 2004

Let's ask the press to print the whole truth.

Scott Lindlaw of the Associated Press writes,

"There are some in Washington that are going to say, 'Let's not make the tax cuts permanent.' That means he's going to raise your taxes," Bush said at a factory. "When you hear people say, 'We're not going to make this permanent,' that means tax increase."
The Democrats running for president say they would repeal all or portions of Bush's tax cuts, and Bush seemed to step more forcefully into his re-election campaign as he defended his tax policies. Some of the cuts are to expire next year, including those for married couples, and Bush is asking that Congress make them permanent.

Under the Pickler standard, Lindlaw fails to mention that the leading Democratic candidates for president - Kerry, Edwards, and Clark - would repeal Bush's tax cuts for those earning more than $200,000, and would enact further cuts for those earning less. He further fails to mention that similar measures are supported by the vast majority Congressional Democrats.

Let's ask the press to print the whole truth. When the press discusses taxes, let's ask them to describe not simply whether they will rise or fall, but who will pay if they do. Under that standard, Lindlaw's article might read as follows: "Several Democrats running for president, including Democratic Senator John Kerry, say they would repeal Bush's tax cuts for those earning more than $200,000, while enacting further tax cuts for those earning less."

It may be a bit of generalization, but less of one than Lindlaw's, which simply states that they would repeal "all or portions," without mentioning who supports what.