Your Daily Mindjob
This is my personal blog where I'll offer up some political straight talk as well as thoughts on technology and pop culture. That should give me plenty to talk about. The world can give you one heck of a mindjob. Think like me and get your daily dose.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Poor Yahoo/AP News Journalism Stirs The Pot

With rising costs of running government programs, certain decisions will be necessary. Some programs will face cuts. Others will be deemed wasteful and cut altogether. The fact remains that in order for Americans to continue to enjoy services offered at the federal level and to remain a major military power in the world, we are going to have to find money somewhere. We also owe a few countries some money. No bones about it. We need to figure this out.

But what has Yahoo News thrown into the mix? Fear over a VAT, a value-added-tax. In simplest terms, that's a value based form of tax where an expense gets tacked on to a product which represents its journey from creation to market. Not many like the idea of a VAT, but that's not the point of my post, at least not directly.

What Yahoo News has done is write an article with a daunting headline striking fear into the minds of taxpayers, specifically wingnuts, and stirring the pot of anti-Obama sentiment a little more.

What the article mentions, yet fails to responsibly convey, is that President Obama is not actually considering, nor his he proposing, a VAT. As expressed by the Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, a VAT “is not something the President has proposed nor is it under consideration.”

Can't get much clearer than that. The only people who should predictably fall for such an article already feel Obama is a liar. The truth could hit them in the nose and Obama would still be a liar.

But wait, there's more.

Like another recent debacle over a fishing ban spawned from one editorial piece on ESPN which got the wingnuts all riled up, the dubious VAT proposal is only being purported by Yahoo News. Anyone linking to a story about a VAT coming from the Obama administration leads directly back to the same Yahoo News Article. Read the article for yourself and follow along carefully. The headline asserts that Obama is considering a VAT, yet at every turn in the article, the message being sent in response is that a VAT is not being considered. What Obama did say is that many options are on the table. Perhaps he misspoke slightly, making himself appear as though in fiscal matters, he is remaining open minded. Blame poor question/answer prep.

Take the research one step further. Michele Bachmann tried to spin this VAT notion the other day when she went up against Chris Wallace. He called her on it, plainly stating that a VAT is not being proposed. Paul Volcker might have suggested that we as a country might have to consider it to pay our way out of the hole we've been left in, but that's as far as the idea goes. We all know Bachmann is nuts anyway.

Come on now people, crack some heads over this. Call me when Congress has moved beyond committee proposing an all out VAT. Otherwise, spare me the tin foil hat diatribes. The Senate just went 85-13 against the idea of having a VAT.

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