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The senior citizens she interviewed were unhappy with the idea of health savings accounts (HSAs), and Regan egged them on in their concerns instead of presenting the facts. Did he adequately address your concerns? Regan asked Carol Damis, who replied, Not at all. Bill Nickel, another senior citizen, said he was skeptical about health savings accounts because of the history. A year ago we were told that Social Security was in a crisis, Nickel said. A big part of it was the personal savings account. That went down the tubes and it took down the whole program with it because... continue reading
It turns out that media coverage of the nations economic growth can vary a lot depending on how strong or weak the economy is doing. Strong numbers are downplayed or undermined and weak numbers like the fourth-quarter results are highlighted in some of the major media. The Commerce Department released the fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) January 27, and the 1.1 percent growth was well below what the 2.8 percent analysts had predicted. Though the stock market rose by 98 points and the dollar rallied strongly against most other currencies, much of the news was strongly negative. Articles over the... continue reading
Americas largest oil company, Exxon-Mobil (NYSE: XOM) is reporting some jaw-dropping profits tonight, record profits in fact for any American company ever, gasped anchor Brian Williams in a brief news read on the January 30 NBC Nightly News. Williamss reporting was characteristic of the medias take on oil profits in this case, the $36.1 billion Exxon earned in 2005. But in 2004, Exxon reported lower profit margins than major companies in other industries, including companies which own and publish major newspapers. Additionally, a new Tax Foundation study found that the U.S. government is already cashing in from oil profits with... continue reading
After featuring a new poll showing Americans perception of the economy depends on ones political views, CNNs January 28 In the Money followed with liberal author and think tank analyst Tamara Draut criticizing the state of the economy with no attempt at identifying her left-wing bent. Draut was plugging her new book, Strapped, which blamed society for the phenomenon of debt-ridden 20- and 30-somethings living at home with parents. The book Web site pointed the finger at a generation of leaders more interested in serving wealthy interests than in investing in the nation's future. Certainly Draut didnt blame young people... continue reading
Left-wing groups love to wage the class war and now they are doing it quite literally with wages. Two liberal think tanks just released a study claiming the income gap between rich and poor is getting larger. Only about half of the media reports noted the political spin of the authors, and few even bothered to come up with any opposing view. The study, Pulling Apart, was the work of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and based on U.S. Census data. It claimed that the disparity in income between the top 20... continue reading
High gas prices have had the oil industry feeling the heat, said ABCs Elizabeth Vargas, adding, Today, it launched a counterattack, as she teased World News Tonight reporter Lisa Starks January 25 story on the 2005 profits for oil companies. Vargas announced that ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) reported $13.5 billion in earnings in 2005, giving Stark the opportunity to hint that Congress should consider a tax on oil profits. She opened her story featuring complaints about oil companies from frustrated motorists. It annoys the hell out of me but thats big business. Thats what they do, said one man. A woman... continue reading
Covering recently announced layoffs at Ford, the evening newscasts have ignored the role labor union costs have played in the number two automakers woes. The January 24 NBC Nightly News report filed in the In Depth segment on the auto industry came close, but still skipped over the issue. Reporter Anne Thompson left out the millions of dollars domestic auto companies lose annually paying laid-off workers. Patriotism has been replaced by pragmatism. Americans bought 6.8 million foreign vehicles last year, NBCs chief financial correspondent lamented before presenting Csaba Cbeba of Car and Driver magazine who argued that Ford (NYSE: F)... continue reading
The January 23 editions of the network newscasts led with layoffs at Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), detailing the number of jobs to be lost and the plants slated for closing, showcasing the reactions of Ford employees. Journalists blamed lagging sales and the prices of steel and oil for Fords troubles. Yet none of the networks balanced its reporting with a mention of Fords costly severance packages, including a 25-year-old jobs bank program and an alternative plan which pays out $15,000-per-year in tuition assistance. ABCs Dean Reynolds assessed the automakers financial woes on World News Tonight: Ford was whipsawed by... continue reading
CNNs Lou Dobbs outsourced his error-prone anti-free market services to a competing network with a January 23 guest appearance on ABCs Good Morning America to discuss Ford Motor Companys (NYSE: F) layoffs. The business anchor assigned some fault to the high cost of unionized labor and to poor management at the nations No. 2 automaker, but mostly laid the blame at the feet of free-trade policies which permitted foreign car makers to locate in right-to-work states where the atmosphere is anti-union. Dobbs should have done his homework the night before: Toyota (NYSE: TM) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) have extensive manufacturing... continue reading
Jobless claims hit a five-year low in mid-January according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on January 19. But while Bloomberg and Reuters reported the news in full articles, The New York Times buried the item at the bottom of a Business Day report on housing starts. The Washington Post relegated the news to one sentence in an Associated Press business brief, and USA Today ignored the story altogether although the day before, those same papers hyped a five-year high in the overall inflation rate. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 36,000, to 271,000,... continue reading