2. "Play of the Week" from CNN's Schneider: Tax Raisers in Oregon
3. Couric & Koppel Treat Warren Buffett as Wise Anti-Tax Cut Sage
4. Scientology Drove Actress Kirstie Alley to Vote for Bush
ABC News reporter Michel Martin, part of the Nightline corps, delivered another sermon on Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopoulos against the tax cut. During the roundtable segment on the May 25 show, she denounced it as "a yuppie tax cut bill" because it reminded her of yuppies who "deny their children everything and themselves nothing."
As opposed to the moral high ground of selfish government spending addicts who want to take ever more money from those who earn it to redistribute it to others.
She charged that the tax cut "raises serious questions about social equity. I mean, who paves the streets that we drove here on? Who teaches the kids to read?" George Will answered: "The rich, who pay the taxes." (See the May 23 CyberAlert for a look at how the wealthy pay nearly all the income taxes: www.mediaresearch.org )
Though federal spending continues to grow and the tax cut, in static analysis, will reduce federal tax revenue by merely one percent, she preposterously claimed that tax cut supporters are "depriving the government of resources" and "starving the government of money." We wish.
Martin's remarks in full, along with retorts from Will and Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria:
The week before, on the May 18 This Week, Martin lamented: "It's not about class warfare, it's about values. What's the appropriate use of this very rich country's resources? And I think the argument comes down to tax cuts for a segment of the population versus other services." See: www.mediaresearch.org
A week after awarding the Texas Democrats who fled the state in order to shut down the legislature the "Political Play of the Week," as he marveled at how the "renegade representatives ended up looking like heroes," CNN's Bill Schneider on Friday turned his attention to a tax policy victory. But instead of awarding any one or all of the players in the Friday House-Senate agreement on a tax cut, such as President Bush, Vice President Cheney, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, Speaker Denny Hastert of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Schneider trumpeted a tax raising decision in Oregon.
On Friday's Inside Politics Schneider championed how in the Western state "many voters are celebrating a tax hike" after the electorate of Multnomah County voted to impose a 1.25 percent income tax. Schneider noted that while "the federal government's cutting taxes," states, he asserted, "are having to raise taxes."
They have to?
Without bothering to point out how Oregon state spending has soared much faster than inflation and population growth, Schneider claimed that the decision of Oregon voters earlier this year to not raise the state income tax left the schools in "desperate shape."
Schneider's story even featured a man castigating opponents of the new tax as "un-American." The man charged: "'Everybody else's taxes are too low and mine is always too high. Everyone else makes too much money, except for me, and my wages are never high enough.' It's like, that kind of thinking, I find it un-American."
Throughout the May 23 Inside Politics story viewers saw this line on screen: "Tax Celebration."
Anchor Judy Woodruff set up Schneider's piece: "Bill Schneider is with me now for a look at a recent vote on the West Coast that flies in the face of conventional wisdom here in Washington."
Schneider began his celebration of a tax hike: "Judy, here in Washington, the White House is celebrating a tax cut. But at the other end of the country, many voters are celebrating a tax hike. A tax hike? Can that be true? Yes. And it can also be the 'Political Play of the Week.'
A report published by the Cascade Public Policy Institute in Portland noted that three-quarters of the new county income tax "will go into largely dysfunctional public school districts. Most will go to the Portland Public Schools where even though student enrollment is dropping, and the general inflation rate is just 2 percent, the superintendent believes he will need nearly 13 percent more general fund revenue to maintain current services next school year. Such runaway spending is not surprising within a bureaucracy whose anachronistic seniority and work rules put teacher welfare before that of the students."
A PDF of that report is online at: www.cascadepolicy.org
And in a report titled, "States Face Fiscal Crunch after 1990s Spending Surge," by Chris Edwards, Stephen Moore and Phil Kerpen of the Cato Institute, the authors pointed out that between 1990 and 2001 the Oregon government benefitted from a 112 percent increase in tax revenues when population plus inflation growth over that time period equaled only 66 percent.
For a summary of that report on all the states: www.cato.org
For a PDF of the full report with the table containing the aforementioned numbers: www.cato.org
For more about Schneider's May 16 "Play of the Week" admiring the obfuscating Democrats: www.mediaresearch.org
A billionaire the media like -- because he's against the tax cut. Friday morning on Today NBC's Katie Couric quoted favorably from Warren Buffett, identifying him as a non-partisan critic, and two nights before that ABC's Ted Koppel turned over the entire Nightline to a conversation with Buffet which Koppel set up by noting that it wasn't too late to stop it since, though the House and Senate wished to pass the tax cut before the Memorial Day holiday, "they haven't passed it yet. And before they do, we thought you might like to hear from the man they call the 'sage of Omaha.'"
Neither Couric, who painted Buffett as a non-partisan critic, nor Koppel, informed their viewers that Buffett has been a better friend to liberal Democrats than to any conservative Republican. While he has donated to liberal Republican House member Chris Shays of Connecticut, Center for Responsive Politics records show he is a regular contributor to the campaigns of prominent liberal Democrats, including Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and Tom Harkin.
Nonetheless, check out how Couric boosted his credibility on the May 23 Today during an interview with Commerce Secretary Don Evans, as taken down by MRC analyst Ken Shepherd:
Two nights before, Koppel opened the May 21 Nightline: "So you'd think the second richest man in the world would support ending tax on stock dividends. Think again."
Koppel introduced Buffett by stressing how there was still time to stop the tax cut from passing: "He has doubts about the President's tax cut plan. In particular, he considers the plan to eliminate taxes on dividends 'voodoo economics.' He said so only yesterday. Mister Buffett's criticism may be a case of 'too little, too late.' Only this afternoon, House and Senate tax writers struck an agreement on a $350 billion tax cut, which Republican leaders now reportedly believe they can pass in the House and Senate before the Memorial Day holiday. Still, they haven't passed it yet. And before they do, we thought you might like to hear from the man they call the 'sage of Omaha.' That's where Warren Buffett lives and works, although he joins us tonight from Redmond, Washington."
A check of the OpenSecrets.org Web site run by the Center for Responsive Politics, determined that FEC records show a "Buffett, Warren" of Omaha, Nebraska gave $1,000 donations since 1996 to the following campaigns: Senator Bob Kerrey, Senator Chris Dodd, Congressman Chris Shays (twice), Senator Russ Feingold, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Congressman John Dingell, Senate candidate Mel Carnahan, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Richard Durbin, presidential candidate Bill Bradley and two $1,000 donations in 2000 to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
All but Shays are Democrats and the Democratic total exceeds $11,000, which actually is pretty miserly considering Buffett's wealth.
For the Center for Responsive Politics' Web site: www.opensecrets.org
Belonging to the Church of Scientology, which opposes the use of pharmaceuticals for psychiatric problems, drove actress Kirstie Alley, "Rebecca" on Cheers, to vote for George W. Bush for President in 2000 even though she preferred Al Gore on most issues. In an interview with Washington Post "Reliable Source" gossip columnist Lloyd Grove, Alley revealed she voted for Bush because, "although I love Al Gore and I like many of his ideas, I just had a problem with his wife," Tipper, who supports using drugs to correct mental problems.
An excerpt from Grove's piece in the Sunday, May 25 Post:
Before we get to Kirstie Alley's issue -- enacting a federal law to prohibit schools from pushing parents to medicate "problem" children -- let's get to Kirstie Alley's love life.
"When I come to Washington in June" -- to lobby for Senate passage of the Child Medication Safety Act, which passed the House overwhelmingly last week -- "I might just look for a husband," the 52-year-old mother of two told us from Los Angeles. "I would like to be married again. I can't have a conservative, and he can't be on psychotropic drugs....He would be my third. I love marriage. I love monogamy."
"I want him to be from 40 to 50 years old," said Alley, who starred in the hit sitcom "Cheers" and now is seen everywhere umpteen times a day in a series of amusing Pier 1 Imports commercials....
Okay, let's get to Alley's issue. She's touting it under the auspices of the Scientology-supported Citizens Commission on Human Rights. A longtime member of the Church of Scientology, which is unalterably opposed to psychiatric medications of any kind, Alley has been speaking out against mental health professionals who think psychiatric drugs can sometimes help people.
"I'm an absolutist," Alley said. "I'm very adamant against drugs. When teachers and school administrators talk about problems with attention span and left brain, right brain, I say '[Bleep] the left brain, [bleep] the right brain!' We're talking about a whole human being, not one side of the brain or another side!"
Alley's convictions are so strong, she said, that in the last presidential election she voted for George W. Bush instead of her preferred candidate, Al Gore. "My personal reason was that, although I love Al Gore and I like many of his ideas, I just had a problem with his wife," Tipper, a mental health advocate who, during the campaign, candidly discussed her own bouts of depression and how she was aided by therapy and drugs. "I know I'm going to get myself in trouble," Alley confided. "Look, I have a loud mouth."
END of Excerpt
For the May 25 Post item in full: www.washingtonpost.com
You may not recognize her at first since the picture shows her as a blonde when in both TV shows, as well as in a Star Trek movie in which she starred, her hair was brunette.
Another constituency for Karl Rove to court, Scientologists.
-- Brent Baker