Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?
In America today to actually know something about the world, public policy, or government disqualifies you from covering the White House for a major media organization. Thus what they produce is worse than uniformative: it is positively destructive.
Matthew Yglesias is on the beat:
Matthew Yglesias: Information Matters: Something worth mentioning about the White House pool... the conventional American media... to achieve its veneer of objectivity... [requires a] ridiculous level of policy ignorance. Which is how you get things like this embarrassing exchange between The Washington Post’s readers and [Frank Ahrens,] a badly overmatched Washington Post financial reporter, who doesn’t seem to know anything about tax policy, or how to admit you’re wrong, or how to just confess ignorance...
And here is the chat:
Balloon Juice: Taxes are killing us.:
The US at 26.1% pays less tax than any other industrialized country except Japan at 25.8%. Sweden is at 50.2%, the UK at 35.8%, and Spain at 35.5%, for example. BTW each of these three countries had higher growth (average per capita growth 1995 – 2005) than we did. 2.5%, 2.4% and 3.1% resp. compared to our 2.1%. Also Japan’s was 1% growth.
Frank Ahrens: But did you know our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world? That makes a real difference if you’re a business and you’re thinking about locating in the U.S. or, say, India.
""But did you know our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world?": Dead wrong. Our nominal tax rate of 35% is among the highest, but because of loopholes our real tax rate of 18% is among the lowest real corporate tax rates.
Frank Ahrens: Back atcha...