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Letter to the editor

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 12:01 am

Fact-checking vs. political tussles

The editorial “Forget ‘fiscal cliff,’ an avalanche is coming our way” fact-checked, generally speaking.

Two points are in order. First, this debt was approved by Congress, yet the Republican-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate, via the filibuster, are planning to hold government hostage once again in an attempt to get their way, if they do what they have already said they are going to do.

Second, the statement that “100 percent of money from payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security is spent the same year it comes in” implies that the millions of dollars that come in daily and are spent daily by the government are spent on Medicare and Social Security.

Not so! These funds were spent (and are currently spent) on Bush’s two wars and his nonfunded Medicare prescription plan. Social Security is not covering the deficit, and neither is the Medicare, but Bush’s unfunded tax cut did.

Finally, the uncomfortable question for The News-Sentinel: With the news cycle overwhelmed by the headlines of the nanosecond, and with the Speaker of the House ignoring or openly challenging the truth cops, how much does the much-heralded political fact-checking industry really matter? The Speaker even claims the Congressional Budget Office is partisan! The Speaker treats the truth cops and the CBO not as arbiters who must be heeded, but as participants in the political tussle.

B.J. Paschal