After a week's vacation during which every day was spent waking at the crack of noon to ensure the TV was in good operating condition, I returned to work this morning only to discover that the elated celebratory mood the mainstream media entered into after Obama's reelection victory had increased ten-fold. Today, headlines and discussions throughout MediaWorld are all centered on Obama's "victory" in the exhausting and ultimately contrived Fiscal Cliff drama that finally played itself out after 85 Republican members of congress agreed to raise taxes on those making more than $400,000.
Whew, it's over. We've avoided the crisis! The GOP caved! Obama won! America's saved!
But the only victory here is a major political one for Obama. Thanks to these negotiations, the GOP has entered into a disarray of infighting and burnt its base by violating a long-held, time-honored pledge not to raise taxes ... ever. Absolutely nothing else of consequence happened this morning. Nothing. The deficit's still exploding by the second, entitlements are still headed towards a cliff of their own, and an economy weighed down in large part by the uncertainty of all this debt continues to sputter.
Currently, the federal government runs annual trillion dollar deficits. All this new tax increase is projected to raise is $620 billion over the next ten years. That's $62 billion a year, or what I call Not Deficit Reduction. Also, if history is any guide, the damage these tax increases cause to economic growth could actually cost the government a lot more than $62 billion a year.
Like Obama, though, the media simply doesn’t care about the deficit. If it did, The Narrative today wouldn’t center on portraying Obama's political victory as something that's good for America and our economy. Instead, a responsible media would be talking about how projected revenues from this new tax increase will do less than nothing to reduce the deficit and how irresponsible it was for Obama and Democrats to push something through that did next to nothing to reduce spending.
It's just a fact, though, that the media's role in all of this was crucial in ensuring absolutely nothing was done to reduce spending; for it was the media that framed the Fiscal Cliff debate in a way that defined success as a fiscally meaningless tax increase on the wealthy. And it's no coincidence that this is exactly how Obama and the Left wanted the debate framed.
Obama's never made any secret of his long-term goals. Unlike past presidents, including Democrat presidents, Obama doesn’t define success as other presidents have. Obama's not at all interested in economic prosperity. Instead, out of some twisted sense of social justice, Obama's true goal is to explode the size, scale, and scope of the federal government. The more the people are ensnared in some form of government dependency, the better.
Because this is Obama's goal, the media sees its job as much more than just helping him to achieve it. The media must also spin this goal into something Bigger, into something it most certainly isn't: good economic policy.
Time and again, straight through to just a few hours ago, history has shown us that political leaders can get away with absolutely everything with a well-oiled propaganda machine on their side. Knowing this, our media's not only aiding and abetting Obama's push to explode our nation's debt in ways unimagined the day before he took office; the media's also redefining this reckless behavior as "responsible," "reasoned," and good for the economy.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC