Skip to main content

I could not even finish my bowl of raisin bran this morning because of an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that attempts to explain the basics of the fiscal cliff. The article includes an error that I know will feed the feeble minds of the anti-tax crowds. For a quick diary about the matter, please jump.

The "'cliff' primer" offered by the AJC is split up into sections headed with rhetorical questions like "What is the fiscal cliff, anyway?" Reading the section entitled "Why would recession happen?" gave me a start. It completely omits the effect of spending reductions on the GDP (and it includes a funny typo):

Why would recession happen? "If the government gets more revenue, people have less money to spend on other things. When taxes go up, the economy does (sic) down." -- Georgia State University economist Rajeev Dhawan
So, I just sent this note to the authors of the article...  I hope it has some effect.
Dear [authors],

There is a glaring omission in your article that needs to be corrected in a written column in tomorrow's paper with an equally large headline.

Your explanation of "Why would recession happen?" is only half correct. It omits entirely the effect of reduced spending on the economy. I am not an expert, but it requires very little digging to find that the Congressional Budget Office predicts a 1 & 1/2 percent effect on GDP from the taxation portion of the cliff and a 3/4 percent effect from the spending portion of the cliff. See

Also, as the CBO notes, the two effects do not work in the same manner:

    The estimated economic effect next year of those changes in spending is about half the estimated effect of extending the expiring tax provisions, even though the budgetary impact of the changes in spending is less than one-quarter of the impact of the changes in taxes. The larger “bang for the buck” next year of the spending policies under the alternative fiscal scenario occurs because, CBO expects, a significant part of the decrease in taxes (relative to those under current law) would be saved rather than spent.

Your omission is important, because, as written, your article puts all the emphasis on the tax element, fueling the minds of trickle-down economic theorists who would hold this country hostage to their narrow minded economic thinking.

Please issue a correction as soon as possible.

Originally posted to Ticonderoga on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst [a]re full of passionate intensity." Yeats: "The Second Coming" (1921)

    by Ticonderoga on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:00:30 AM PST

  •  Naked capitalism blog has had a recent run in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya, Wolf10

    with tge CBO that you might be interested in.  See today's edition.

  •  The Yurnal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya, Finnegan05

    I haven't followed the fortunes of the paper in the last couple of decades. After they ate, and negated, the Constitution, they headed for corporate consolidation and ever smaller staffing. They also got farther and farther to the right in their editorial policy, although the Op/Ed page would have "diversity."

    In other words, the few unique voices were hunted out, disappeared, and the replacements were compliant drones. The paper's editorial preference was corporate growth. At its best, it was Democratic Leadership Council a la Andy Young.

    It wouldn't be surprising that they exist solely to please Apharetta dwelling McMansion dwellers.

    If money is the root of all evil, then what is Mitt Romney?

    by The Geogre on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:46:58 AM PST

  •  no link to ajc article? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  I can't find the online version of the article. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "The best lack all conviction, while the worst [a]re full of passionate intensity." Yeats: "The Second Coming" (1921)

      by Ticonderoga on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:14:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why do you still read the AJC? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's garbage. Ralph McGill and Henry Grady have been shamed. The papers heralded the dawn of a new vision of the south and now I wouldn't use it for toilet paper. It is funny you pointed out the typos because that paper is full of typos.

        But I do have to say Misty Williams and Carrie Teegarden are intelligent, progressive women who do the legacies of the late editors proud.

        We need a Georgia Kossacks group :P

        "I'm not worried. If there's something bad out there, we'll find, you'll slay, we'll party!" -- Xander

        by Finnegan05 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:53:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I buy it so I can do the (0+ / 0-)

          crossword while I sit at the coffee shop. I glance at the editorial pages to see what "two views of" they've got for the day (I SO hate that) and see what the idiots have written to the editor. Then I glance through the Vent, so I know what the "regular" people are thinking. Finish up with Dear Abby and the comics, and I'm done.

          It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

          by sboucher on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 05:17:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site