Appearance Alert!
Brent Bozell talks about MRC's "Worst of the Worst 2014" on FNC's Hannity, 10:30pm ET/PT

CyberAlert -- 03/05/2001 -- Tax Cuts Will Bring Back Deficit

Printer Friendly Version

Tax Cuts Will Bring Back Deficit; Reagan: "Eight Years of Tough Times"; Most Want Bush's or Larger Tax Cut?; Dan "McCarthy" Burton

1) Tax cuts, not spending hikes, concern the media. On Face the Nation Bob Schieffer warned Dick Cheney about how "you're putting tax cuts in place" but if "the surplus is not there, the tax rate would still be there, which means that you could put the government back into deficit."

2) Reagan's tax cuts led to "eight years of tough times." Yes, a Washington reporter actually believes that.

3) Brit Hume on Fox News Sunday and Eric Burns on Fox News Watch both pointed out how the CBS Evening News failed to report that a poll by its own network found most supported Bush's tax cut plan. Plus, CBS's John Roberts had insisted that "new polls...show voters leaning slightly in favor of the Democratic plan." But, a Reuters/Zogby poll actually discovered a plurality support either Bush's plan or an even larger tax cut.

4) Upset by Beth Dozoretz having to appear before the House committee probing pardons, Nina Totenberg charged that "not really since the end of the McCarthy era" has a witness been made to take the 5th in public. Al Hunt asserted that Bush was as bad as Clinton: "Armand Hammer was even sleazier than Marc Rich."

5) ABC's Jackie Judd highlighted how "Rich was doing business last summer...with known Russian mobsters." NBC's Lisa Myers added that the CIA and FBI knew about it but "Clinton didn't even ask either agency about" it. CBS's Anthony Mason revealed "Rich helped Communist Party leaders" in the Soviet Union "move billions out of the country through fraudulent commodities deals."

6) Letterman's "Top Ten Things You're Likely to Hear in a Meeting With Les Moonves," the CBS President who hasn't appreciated David Letterman joking about his lunch with Fidel Castro.


Correction: The opening sentence of the first item in the March 1 CyberAlert used an un-referenced "it." In the place of "it" the phrase "his tax cut plan" should have appeared, as in Bush's, which was clear in the table of contents listing. So, the sentence should have read: "A CBS News poll of those who watched President Bush's Tuesday night address to Congress found 67 percent support his tax cut plan, a more than two-to-one margin over the 31 percent who oppose it, but Wednesday's CBS Evening News didn't mention their own poll."

1

In his address to Congress last week President Bush outlined proposed spending hikes and tax cuts, but to the Washington media corps only the tax cuts pose any danger. Appearing Sunday morning on CBS's Face the Nation, Vice President Dick Cheney was pressed about halting the tax cuts if the surplus does not materialize. Bob Schieffer warned about how "you're putting tax cuts in place" but if "the surplus is not there, the tax rate would still be there, which means that you could put the government back into deficit."\

Co-host Gloria Borger asked: "Why not phase in tax cuts?" Cheney explained they are being phased in and will not be fully implemented until 2006.

Schieffer then demanded: "Then if it is phased in, if you got to a point down the line where the surplus was not there, then would you halt the tax cuts at that point?"
Cheney responded: "Remember what's actually happening here. We haven't collected any money yet. What we have in place is a tax code and we have estimated expenditures and we have estimates of how much revenue we're going to get out over the text ten years and what we want to do is change the tax code so that we never collect a certain amount of revenue -- $1.6 trillion that we think we ought to leave with taxpayers. There's sort of a notion that somehow we're giving money back. In a sense, we're not going to collect that revenue if we don't need it. We don't think we need it."
Schieffer remained unsatisfied: "But, if that's what you say, you're talking about cutting tax rates, you're putting tax cuts in place that if the surplus is not there, the tax rate would still be there, which means that you could put the government back into deficit, Mr. Vice President, isn't that correct?"

2

The last sizable tax cut led to "eight years of tough times." That's right, the Reagan '80s were "tough times" according to NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington over the weekend.

After columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed out how Bush's one percent of GNP tax cut isn't so big compared to Kennedy's at two percent of GNP and Reagan's at three percent of GNP, Totenberg interjected: "Well, if Reagan's was small, and you're equating it with this one, you know Katy bar the door because we got into a terrible fix over that."
Krauthammer: "Twenty years of expansion."
Totenberg: "We didn't have that initially. We didn't. We had ten years, we had eight years of tough times."

Hmmm. Eight years from the 1983 recovery would bring us to 1990, just before the brief downturn in 41's presidency, which makes no sense.

3

On Fox News Sunday Brit Hume pointed out how, as documented in CyberAlerts last week, the CBS Evening News failed to report that a poll by its own network found most supported Bush's tax cut plan. The CBS decision was also raised by Eric Burns on FNC's Fox News Watch on Saturday night.

And, an update: Last Thursday, CBS reporter John Roberts insisted that "new polls...show voters leaning slightly in favor of the Democratic plan." But, a Reuters/Zogby poll actually discovered a plurality support either Bush's plan or an even larger tax cut.

Hume alerted a larger audience to the media bias he had noted on last Thursday's Special Report with Brit Hume, telling panelists during the roundtable segment on the March 4 Fox News Sunday:
"CBS News did an overnight poll, pretty good-sized sample, overnight poll following the speech and found that 88 percent of those who watched thought the President was expressing their priorities. In addition, 67 percent of the people in this poll, whether they watched the speech or not, favored the tax cut. That poll went unmentioned on the CBS Evening News. By the next night the CBS Evening News had a report that was talking about new polls showing that people favored the Democratic plan. Well, a search for what that poll is has not turned up anything convincing. We're not sure. There is an ABC News poll that may tend to reflect that, we're not sure. But some of the media coverage has been truly odd."

Indeed, the March 2 CyberAlert reported that in a March 1 CBS Evening News story John Roberts asserted: "New polls, however, show voters leaning slightly in favor of the Democratic plan." CyberAlert suggested Roberts may have been picking up on this question in an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on February 26: "Which of these would you prefer: a large tax-cut plan that provides an across-the-board tax cut for everyone, or a smaller tax cut plan that provides targeted tax cuts mainly for lower and middle-income people?" Fifty-three percent responded "smaller tax cut" while 43 percent preferred a "large tax cut."

On Friday, the MRC's Rich Noyes alerted me to another poll to which Roberts may have been referring: A post-Bush speech Reuters/Zogby survey. In a March 1 story Alan Elsner of Reuters reported the poll of 601 registered voters found:
"Voters supported a tax cut by 51-39 percent but were divided on what kind of tax cut. Some 38 percent backed Bush's proposal for a $1.6 trillion cut over 10 years but 40 percent preferred the Democratic Party's smaller $800 billion package." Elsner added, however, that "eight percent wanted the $2.5 trillion cut proposed by some Republicans." So, by 46 to 40 percent the public actually wants a tax cut as large as Bush's or larger.

For more on CBS's Thursday night coverage, go to the March 2 CyberAlert:
http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20010302.asp#2

For details about how the day after Bush's speech the CBS Evening News skipped their own network's poll and instead featured Roberts with a woman in an Omaha restaurant who thought Bush's tax cut "could probably be reduced" as he added that another woman "fears the President is rolling the dice on eight years of success just for political gain," go to the March 1 CyberAlert:
http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20010301.asp#1

For details about the CBS News poll which was acknowledged on The Early Show, go to:
http://cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,275048-412,00.shtml

4

Trying to make Clinton look okay by comparison. Over the weekend Nina Totenberg charged that "not really since the end of the McCarthy era" has a witness been made to take the 5th in public and Al Hunt asserted that Clinton's pardons may be worth criticizing, but "Armand Hammer was even sleazier than Marc Rich."

-- Picking up on how Democratic fundraiser Beth Dozoretz appeared before the House Government Reform Committee to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, NPR's Nina Totenberg implied committee Chairman Dan Burton is some form of a McCarthyite. She complained on Inside Washington:
"Not since really the end of the McCarthy era have they made people come up and do that, or maybe Jimmy Hoffa was the last one. Ollie North, when he took the 5th initially over on the House side, he came to the Hill, once they realized he was going to take the 5th they didn't make him sit there."

-- Desperately trying to show how Clinton really didn't do anything previous Republican Presidents didn't do, on Saturday's Capital Gang on CNN Al Hunt, Executive Washington Editor of the Wall Street Journal, charged:
"Clinton is the worse culprit, but we also were reminded that this connection, these political connections, is not new with Clinton. Armand Hammer was even sleazier than Marc Rich. He gave over $200,000 to the Bush campaign in 1988, was pardoned later. Bingo. Who was his lawyer? The politically connected Ted Olson, the nominee to be the next Solicitor General. Bingo. And Mr. Rich, who for the last, who for ten years, in between government stints, who was his legal angel to the tune of $2 million? Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to the Vice President of the United States today, Mr. Cheney. So I agree Clinton is far worse but let's not pretend these other were innocents."

Kate O'Beirne of National Review pointed out his flawed logic: "Ted Olson did not get a pardon for Armand Hammer. He did not get a pardon for Armand Hammer and Armand Hammer's pardon in the Bush administration went all the way through the Department of Justice, the prosecutor's agreed with it and Armand Hammer had pled guilty and paid a fine, not like Marc Rich who fled the country."

Bingo.

5

The broadcast network evening shows stayed on the Marc Rich pardon story Friday night, March 2. ABC's Jackie Judd highlighted how a "lawsuit filed by three international companies reveals that Rich was doing business last summer, that's just months before his pardon, with known Russian mobsters." CBS's Anthony Mason revealed that after communists lost power in the Soviet Union, "Rich helped Communist Party leaders move billions out of the country through fraudulent commodities deals." NBC's Lisa Myers picked up on the Russian Mob angle, adding that the CIA and FBI knew about it but "that President Clinton didn't even ask either agency about Rich's activities." She also relayed how "Beth Dozoretz had extraordinary access to the White House. Records show White House guards were told to expect her 76 times over the last two years."

-- ABC's World News Tonight. Jackie Judd disclosed:
"The lawsuit filed by three international companies reveals that Rich was doing business last summer, that's just months before his pardon, with known Russian mobsters. The suit accuses the Russians of illegally taking control of the aluminum industry through extortion, fraud, money laundering and murder."

Jonathan Winer, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, explained: "In the aluminum industry, the level of ruthlessness was unmatched. You cannot find another sector in Russia where more people per transaction wound up dead."

Judd elaborated: "Sources tell ABC News, Rich bought aluminum from the Russians to sell in the U.S. The proceeds from one transaction, $1.4 million, allegedly was wired to a Rich account, apparently at a bank in the South Pacific, known for money laundering. According to the lawsuit, the company Rich was doing business with is controlled by Mikhail Chernoi a notorious and feared businessman."
To Winer: "Is it possible to be doing business with these people and not know how they do business?"
Winer: "No, it isn't."
Judd: "Marc Rich's lawyers did not return phone calls today. There is no indication, Peter, the White House was aware of this information, even though the lawsuit was as you say filed in December and is a public document."

-- CBS Evening News. Anthony Mason noted: "In the early '90s, when the collapse of communism unleashed chaos and corruption, according to Paul Klebnikov, author of Godfather of the Kremlin, Marc Rich helped Communist Party leaders move billions out of the country through fraudulent commodities deals."

-- NBC Nightly News. Lisa Myers gave an overview of what ABC's Judd further detailed: "Senior U.S. intelligence officials tell NBC News that fugitive billionaire Marc Rich was dealing extensively with organizations controlled by Russian mafia figures over the last decade and that the CIA and FBI had such information at the time Rich was pardoned by Bill Clinton. These officials say that President Clinton didn't even ask either agency about Rich's activities. At a hearing that went late into last night House investigators also say the White House didn't check with intelligence agencies on reports Rich was involved in arms trading."

Myers went on to report: "Secret Service records obtained by NBC News show that a key figure in the pardon fiasco, Democratic fundraiser Beth Dozoretz, had extraordinary access to the White House. Records show White House guards were told to expect her 76 times over the last two years alone and noted her entering the complex 43 times. Who was she visiting? Usually POTUS, the President, or his staff. Where? Often the residence, the private living quarters in the White House."

6

From the March 2 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things You're Likely to Hear in a Meeting With Les Moonves." Copyright 2001 by Worldwide Pants, Inc. Moonves, who is the President of CBS, had lunch in mid-February with Fidel Castro, an event which Letterman has been making fun of ever since and which he has implied led to a meeting with an upset Moonves.

10. "I just had a great idea for next season -- 'Survivor 3'!"
9. "What's the name of that actor who plays Dan Rather on the news?"
8. "If it's not an idea for a Tony Danza show, I don't want to hear it"
7. "Okay, grandpa, I promise never to cancel 'Diagnosis Murder'"
6. "That reminds me of something Saddam Hussein said once when we were water skiing"
5. "I'm the most powerful guy named Les in the world"
4. "Last week, at Castro's Grammy party, he let me beat a political prisoner"
3. "Hey that's funny, can I give that one to Bette?"
2. "Forgive me if I don't get up -- I pulled a muscle laughing at last week's 'Some Of My Best Friends'"
1. "You got a problem with me?" --Brent Baker


>>> Support the MRC, an educational foundation dependent upon contributions which make CyberAlert possible, by providing a tax-deductible donation. Use the secure donations page set up for CyberAlert readers and subscribers:
http://www.mrc.org/donate

>>>To subscribe to CyberAlert, send a blank e-mail to: mrccyberalert-subscribe
@topica.com
. Or, you can go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters. Either way you will receive a confirmation message titled: "RESPONSE REQUIRED: Confirm your subscription to mrccyberalert@topica.com." After you reply, either by going to the listed Web page link or by simply hitting reply, you will receive a message confirming that you have been added to the MRC CyberAlert list. If you confirm by using the Web page link you will be given a chance to "register" with Topica. You DO NOT have to do this; at that point you are already subscribed to CyberAlert.
To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to: cybercomment@mrc.org.
Send problems and comments to: cybercomment@mrc.org.

>>>You can learn what has been posted each day on the MRC's Web site by subscribing to the "MRC Web Site News" distributed every weekday afternoon. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: cybercomment@mrc.org. Or, go to: http://www.mrc.org/newsletters.<<<