National Public Radio (NPR) is apparently moving from news to full-time, taxpayer-funded Super PAC-style advertising for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. That is apparent from today’s report by Ari Shapiro on Obama’s campaign appearances in Ohio, where the president--who maintains that Republican rival Mitt Romney may be a “felon”--launched a series of new and false attacks on Romney’s proposed tax cuts.
Obama, who has raised taxes on the middle class and is proposing further tax hikes on small businesses and high earners, is now attempting to spin Romney’s tax reforms into tax hikes on the middle class. He is doing so using a study by the Tax Policy Center co-authored by a former Obama administration staffer. (Shapiro points out that another co-author is a former Bush staffer--though, to NPR’s dismay, Bush is not on the ballot.)
Shapiro focuses exclusively on the side issue of whether the study’s authorship shows partisan bias, and deliberately neglects the substance of the study, or even Romney’s tax policy itself. In particular, he leaves out any analysis as to whether lower tax rates would raise overall tax revenues by encouraging economic growth, and accepts the faulty assumption--and Obama’s false charge--that taxes are a static, zero-sum game.
That is only the first of three Obama lies Shapiro parrots in his report. The second is the claim by President Obama that he saved the U.S. auto industry, and General Motors in particular. Shapiro ignores the alarming news this week that GM profits have fallen by a whopping 41 percent; that the company is in turmoil, slashing jobs in a hurry; and that in the midst of this mess, the company has sunk $600 million into an English soccer team.
The third lie Shapiro relays to NPR’s highbrow listeners is that Obama saved GM from bankruptcy--as opposed to Romney, who suggested that troubled automakers should be allowed to go bankrupt without bailouts from the government. In fact, GM did enter bankruptcy, in 2009, shortly after Obama took office. But before it did, Obama gave away shares and benefits to his union cronies, shoving aside GM’s primary creditors.
Shapiro does mention that the Romney campaign is running a new ad highlighting the job losses at car dealerships that were shuttered after the government took over GM. He reports the Obama administration’s response--but never provides the truth to his listeners, which is that many of the closings affected profitable dealerships, and they appeared to target Republican dealers while protecting those in Democratic districts.
Both candidates are targeting the “middle class”--a category that is less descriptive of an actual group of people in our largely class-blind society than it is descriptive of a successful left-wing meme invented to fool the electorate about the Democratic Party’s redistributive ideology. Even by that arbitrary, divide-and-conquer standard, Barack Obama has been one of the worst presidents for the middle class in American history.
It is clear why NPR is making the switch to Super PAC. There is more to it than ordinary left-wing bias: NPR knows that Republicans have proposed defunding it in the past, and could do so again in the future. So it is making a case not just for Obama, but for its own continued federal subsidies. And unlike Super PACs incorporated as such, NPR is using taxpayer money, burdening the middle class to suit the interests of its rich supporters.