Barack Obama as Herbert Hoover
Okun's Law Fixes Itself...

Another Complete and Total Washington Post Fail...

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

Yes, it's Robert Samuelson. Jared Bernstein cleans up the mess:

Jared Bernstein: Robert Samuelson launches a serious attack on the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in this morning’s WaPo.... [W]hile everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they’re not entitled to their own facts.  Here are the facts that directly contradict the story Samuelson wants to tell.

  • CBPP does not consider Social Security and Medicare “too popular to assail.”  The Center has long said that while vulnerable beneficiaries need to be protected, this should not preclude changes to the programs’ benefit structures... supported the use of the chain-weighted CPI... if the move... is applied government-wide... and accompanied by a measure to moderate the effect on the oldest and most vulnerable beneficiaries.  The Center has consistently supported charging higher Medicare premiums to upper-income beneficiaries; it recommended the changes included in the Affordable Care Act in this area well before that law was enacted.  And it has emphasized that Medicare should lead the way in slowing the growth of health care costs.... CBPP has publically disagreed with those who say Social Security benefits can’t be touched at all and that all changes affecting Medicare benefits should be put off limits.

  • CBPP has sounded the alarm for many years about long-term deficits and has certainly not shied away from addressing the need to raise some taxes on people below $250,000, as well as those above it.... CBPP and Bob Greenstein have on numerous occasions advocated full expiration of the Bush tax cuts, not just the tax cuts for people above $250,000.  Yet Samuelson implies our lack of support for even the expiration of the high-end cuts.

  • In sharp contrast to Norquist, CBBP does not ask members of Congress to sign pledges and discourages them from doing so....

Samuelson may have a story to tell about intractable parties blocking progress in the current budget debate.  But in choosing to use Bob Greenstein and CBPP as one side of that story, he choose very poorly indeed.

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