Bravo, Jake Tapper.
Finally from a member of the increasingly supine White House press corps came a question that demanded of the president specificity as to his alleged willingness to "upset his base."
Tapper asked the president on Friday to "tell us one structural reform that you are willing to make to one of these entitlement programs that would have a major impact on the deficit?"
The president spoke a long time in response but provided no such specificity about even one such reform, revealing again that the would-be Emperor of the Big Deal has no plan beyond a political operation to assign blame for any unpleasant consequences of a collision with the existing debt ceiling.
Tapper prefaced his excellent question with the not-so-excellent statement that "we have an idea of the taxes that you would like to see raised on corporations and on Americans in the top two tax brackets," and that really isn't true. We actually don't know the specifics of the president's tax hike list and we don't know what sort of "revenues" he thinks these tax hikes would bring.
Most suspect that all of the president's tax agenda wouldn't raise anything close to the amount of money he implies it would, and the impact on economic growth of another round of tax hikes is never discussed by the president or pushed by the overwhelmingly left-of-center, recovering JournoList fraternity covering the debt crisis in detail.
The few honest brokers like Tapper get a question a month, which is buried under an avalanche of asides and self-referential quips about AARP cards and the president's wealth.
The key questions are what federal expenditures does the president want to cut and by how much, and what taxes does he seek to raise, by how much, and what revenue would those hikes generate?
Search for any article that begins with those facts and you will have found the rarest of Manhattan-Beltway media elite products, an unspun account of the president's "plan."
There is no such plan, of course, any more than there is a budget from the Democrat-controlled Senate. This massive abdication of responsibility, of basic seriousness, goes unreported because it does not reflect well on President Obama and the White House press corps knows that access depends on not embarrassing the boss.
But there is no excuse for the leadership of the House GOP not to have hammered this message home on many occasions throughout every day.
"Send us your nondefense spending cuts, Mr. President," Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor ought to be saying, again and again and again on every cable and radio talk show that will have them.
"Come clean, Mr. President, with your list of tax hikes and the revenues you say they will raise."
The president avoids specifics because the numbers in his world don't add up in everyone else's universe. It is all a giant head fake, a show for the adoring scribblers and broadcasters, something to write about other than the awful reality of a hemorrhaging federal budget.
Rarely have so many reporters done so little to illumine so important an issue. Obama's devastation of the economy is rivaled only by his damage done to the Manhattan-Beltway media elite's credibility.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/07/presidential-flummery-and-questions-left-unasked#ixzz1SUlAv7LE
Tags: Jake Tapper, Media, ABC News, Obama Questioning, WH Press
Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States (load item map)
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