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PORTSIDE  June 2011, Week 1

PORTSIDE June 2011, Week 1

Subject:

ALERT Open Up the Budget Debate to the People

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sat, 4 Jun 2011 15:22:41 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (94 lines)

ACTION ALERT

Open Up the Budget Debate to the People

    Media Boost Ryan plan, Ignore People's Budget

Fair & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
June 2, 2011

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/592/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6969

Thanks to the corporate media, you probably know all
about Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan. After he
unveiled his proposal to slash Medicare funding and cut
taxes for the wealthy--all in the name of fiscal
discipline--he was interviewed on all the network
Sunday morning shows: NBC's Meet the Press (4/10/11),
Face the Nation on CBS (4/17/11) and ABC's This Week
(5/1/11).

Ryan also was given one-on-one interviews on the PBS
NewsHour (4/5/11) and ABC's Good Morning America
(4/13/11), and was profiled by ABC World News (4/5/11).
Ryan's plan was discussed in a number of segments on
the nightly newscasts (NBC Nightly News, 4/9/11,
4/10/11, 4/13/11, 4/16/11, 4/26/11; CBS Evening News,
4/10/11, 4/12/11, 4/13/11, 4/15/11). When Republican
contender Newt Gingrich criticized the Ryan plan, that
produced another wave of coverage, highlighted by a
return visit to Meet the Press (5/22/11) for Ryan to
answer Gingrich's charges. And this is just a tiny
fraction of the media attention Ryan has received
across television, print, web and radio.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Progressive Caucus
released its own "People's Budget" plan on April 12.
This 10-year plan also looks to reduce the budget
deficit--but does so with tax increases on the wealthy,
a reduction in military spending, and a tax on Wall
Street financial speculation. While the Ryan plan is
founded on "dubious assertions, questionable
assumptions and fishy figures" and aims to balance the
budget in 2040 (Washington Post, 4/6/11), the People's
Budget is based on realistic economic assumptions and
actually projects a budget surplus within 10 years
(EPI, 4/28/11).

The People's Budget hasn't been mentioned on the
network newscasts. Members of the Progressive Caucus
haven't been invited to talk about their budget plan on
the Sunday shows, or even the PBS NewsHour. The budget
discussion on broadcast TV is often a debate between
two conservative figures (like Ryan and Gingrich), and
almost never veers left of whatever "bipartisan"
negotiations the White House is supporting.

Polls show large majorities favor taxing the wealthy to
reduce the debt while strongly opposing cuts to
Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security (ABC/Washington
Post, 4/14-17/11; Pew Research Center, 3/8-14/11), and
when asked to choose between cutting defense spending,
Medicare/Medicaid or Social Security, 51 percent choose
military spending while only 28 percent pick
Medicare/Medicaid and 18 percent Social Security
(Reuters/Ipsos, 3/3-6/11).

Why won't the media tell the public about a plan that
is more closely aligned with public opinion than the
alternatives? It's time to ask them. If the budget
deficit is really as important as the Beltway press
make it out to be, then it's time to broaden the
discussion.

Sign the petition today!
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/592/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6969

___________________________________________

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