Tax Vote Shows GOP Well-Aware Of Media Impunity

Dave Johnson

Try this on for size: This week Republicans voted to cut them on the wealthy, while raising them on the poor and middle class. Repeat, this week Republicans voted to cut them on the wealthy, while raising them on the poor and middle class.

Once again, this week Republicans voted to cut them on the wealthy, while raising them on the poor and middle class.

But odds are you didn’t read that in your local newspaper, see it on your TV, and especially not hear it on your radio.

PS: Tell the House: Pass the Senate Middle Class Tax Cut Bill.

Finally! Senate Democrats pressured Republicans to drop their filibuster, allowing a simple majority to pass an end of the Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000, while extending the tax breaks for the middle class. But it won’t be law unless the House Republicans join the Senate and pass the bill. And that won’t happen without maximum grassroots pressure. Use the form below to tell your representative: End the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and extend tax benefits to the middle class.

The American voter’s information sources are compromised. Republicans voted to cut taxes for the wealthy and raise taxes for the rest of us because they understand that most of the pubic will not find out what they did. They understand they will not be held accountable. They understand they have media impunity. They understand that they have a disinformation machine at their disposal that very effectively disinforms the public. They understand that the 98% whose taxes would go up if their vote makes its way into law will not be informed by our “news media, while meanwhile they pocket plenty of, uh, “campaign” money from the wealthy few who want those tax cuts.

Public Badly Misinformed

There are so many ways the public is misinformed and disinformed. Here are just a few examples:

Much of the public thinks unemployment is worse now than when President Obama took office. They think the stimulus “didn’t work.” But in fact the economy lost 815,000 jobs in Bush’s last month. The stimulus turned that around, and now the economy is gaining jobs. Not enough jobs, but it is gaining jobs, not losing jobs. But the right’s disinformation machine blasts out the lie that unemployment is worse, and the country’s major media does almost nothing to correct the lie.

Much of the public thinks that President Obama raised taxes. In fact the stimulus was 1/3 tax cuts, and the Social Security “payroll tax” was cut by 1/3. But the right’s disinformation machine blasts out the lie that the President has raised taxes, and the country’s major media does almost nothing to correct the lie.

Much of the public thinks thinks President Obama increased the country’;s budget deficits. In fact the last Bush budget left us with a $1.4 trillion deficit. But the right’s disinformation machine blasts out the lie that the President caused the deficits, and the country’s major media does almost nothing to correct the lie.

Much of the public thinks that the health care bill “cut $500 billion from Medicare,” and increases the deficit. In fact it does neither, with a Congressional Budget Office analysis this week saying that the health care law reduces the deficit. But the right’s disinformation machine blasts out the lie that the health care bill increases the borrowing, and the country’s major media does nothing to correct the lie.

Here is another example. The public understands what a filibuster is, and hates them. Did you know that the Republicans have used the filibuster hundreds of times since President Obama took office? Neither does the public.

The fact that the public has all of these misunderstandings — is misinformed on basic facts — just a few months before a Presidential election demonstrates how our news media is failing to live up to its duty to democracy. The purpose of a news media is to inform the citizens so we can make informed decisions. But our corporatized news media believe their job is to make money, and our journalists believe their job is to advance their careers in the corporate system. So they fail us.

“That’s Not The Way The World Works Anymore”

Republicans are very conscious of this divide between reality and what the public “knows.” Some of us older folks remember the Bush administration, understanding that they can create their own reality through manipulation of what people understand. The phrase “reality-based community.” came out of that Republican administration’s consciousness of what the public will and won’t learn about:

The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Lies

The flat-out lies run thick. It is so bad that the Republicans are running ads that contain flat-out lies, to the point of using edited audio and video clips making it sound as if the President is saying things he did not say! And the major press is not calling them on it.

Another lie: Voter-ID laws protect against voter fraud. Here is the Heritage Foundation just this morning,

People seemingly voting after they’ve been dead for years. Drug kingpins buying votes from poor people to sway elections. Non-citizens being bussed to the polls and coached on how to vote. Stories of voting fraud are shocking, and states have been taking action to make sure that elections are secure. But the Justice Department, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, has blocked states at almost every turn.

Reality: Pennsylvania passed voter-ID laws that disenfranchise 43% of Philadelphia citizens, while admitting that there have been no cases of voter fraud, and that they didn’t even look for cases.

Another lLie: President Obama said business leaders didn’t build their own businesses. The President said business owners did not build their businesses alone, that we all pitched in, that the roads, bridges and other infrastructure that enable our businesses require a cooperative joint effort.

I’d welcome suggestions on what we can do about this.

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