Citing more liberal conventional wisdom, the ABC anchor critiqued, "[Paul Krugman] says taking away the deduction for the home mortgage deduction, the deduction for employer provided health care will end up creating a mixture of tax cuts and tax increases that is tax cuts for the wealthy and tax increases for the middle class."
A theme that has been developing from Stephanopoulos since the announcement of the commission's calls for spending cuts is how implausible the host finds the concept. He asked two variations on whether Bowles was "confident" the tough work could be done.
The network journalist has a long and detailed history of calling for tax increases. Here are a few examples from the Media Research Center's Profile in Bias on Stephanopoulos:
"There was a statistic that came out this week from the Congressional Budget Office which was just stunning to me. It said that in the last two years - from 2003 to 2005 - the increase in income for the top one percent exceeded the total income of the bottom 20 percent. Given that, what would be wrong with letting the tax cuts for the top one percent expire and plowing that money into education?"A transcript of the November 15, 2010 segment, which aired at 7:09am EST, follows:
- Host George Stephanopoulos to former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan on ABC's This Week, December 16, 2007.
You also have said that we have to have bold ideas for energy independence, and your theme is 'courage to change.' Just about every expert on energy says the best way to become energy independent is to raise the price of oil and gas, to have a serious energy tax. Why not call for it?...Couldn't we become independent much more quickly if we had the kind of energy tax you see in Europe?"
- Stephanopoulos to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Vilsack on This Week, December 3, 2006.
"I mean, if the deficit continued to grow, it's not responsible to say you're never going to raise taxes....Ronald Reagan also increased taxes....So it's, 'Read my lips,' you're never going to vote to raise taxes?"
- Stephanopoulos to conservative Stephen Laffey, who was challenging liberal Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island's GOP Senate primary, ABC's This Week, September 3, 2006.
"So what would you do about those deficits if you were Treasury Secretary today? What taxes would you raise?"
- Stephanopoulos to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin on This Week, November 16, 2003.