New York Times' chief economics writer David Leonhardt has won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize  for commentary.
The prize committee praised Leonhardt for "his graceful penetration of America's complicated economics questions." The White House and congressional Democrats are huge fans as well, emailing around his previous defenses  of programs like Obama's stimulus. However, the paper's Public Editor chided the Times in January for placing Leonhardt's neo-liberal commentaries  promoting Obama-care on the front page, which gives them the imprimatur of objective news.
documented by Times Watch, that "graceful penetration" generally
involves digging into citizen's wallets for more federal tax money.
In May 2010 Leonhardt called on Obama to break his promise not
to raise taxes on those making under $250,000 a year, since he
considers high taxes necessary in a modern society. As he wrote in October 2009 , "taxes are supposed to rise as a country grows richer." He followed up just last week : "In reality, finding a way to raise taxes may well be the central political problem facing the United States."
At the height of the presidential campaign in August 2008, Leonhardt provided Obama political cover  by writing a Sunday Magazine story calling Obama, who was pushing more government control over health care, a "fiscal conservative" compared to Republican John McCain.
- Clay Waters is director of Times Watch . You can follow him on Twitter .