Mar 042010

The next time anyone suggests that we take seriously something that President Obama said, we should point to the media attack on Jim Bunning. The next time anyone suggests that we need higher taxes to pay for important social programs, or to bring down the deficit, or anything else, we should point to the media attack on Jim Bunning. The scandalous behavior of the media and everyone else who participated in the orchestrated smear campaign on the Senator from Kentucky shows the pointlessness of any of this.

I say orchestrated, because there is no way that anyone who pays any attention to the news or did his own thinking would have repeated the attacks on Bunning without referring to the Pay-Go legislation that President Obama and Congress had enacted just a few weeks ago. Only mindless functionaries could have failed to bring that into the discussion.

Or, maybe it’s the case that Pay-Go did come to mind, but nobody took Congress or the President seriously when that legislation was enacted. If that’s the case, there is no reason to take them seriously whey they say or do anything else.

If the news media had done its job of reporting instead of smearing, we could have had a valuable discussion. Instead of repeating the claim that one person was holding up the legislation, we could have come to grips with the points that Bunning raised in an opinion piece that came out in USA Today after the smear had done its work. Here is a quote:

Many people asked me, “Why now?” My answer is, “Why not now?” Why can’t a non-controversial measure in the Senate that would help those in need be paid for? If the Senate cannot find $10 billion to pay for a measure we all support, we will never pay for anything.

Exactly. We will never pay for anything. If the Senate couldn’t find $10 billion anywhere else in the budget to pay for this, there is no need to ever raise taxes again. It would be pointless. The government is just going to print whatever extra money it wants to spend, no matter whether we’re taxed at 10 percent or 90 percent. People may claim that we need to bring down the deficit, but if they took part in the attack on Bunning, we will know their words are worthless. If they didn’t care about the deficit when trying to find money to for a modest extension to unemployment benefits, they will never really care about the deficit, no matter what they claim. It will be a waste of time to believe them.