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Thursday, December 08, 2011

There she goes again. This is my second post on an article by Rosalind S. Helderman on the payroll tax.

This time, she doesn't mention the totally false argument that the payroll tax holiday reduces the balance of the Social Security trust fund. I guess this is an improvement compared to mentioning it and failing to note that it is absolutely false, but I still think a correction of the false claim which she repeated (neither in her own name nor for attribution) without noting its falsehood is in order.

My complaint this time is with this paragraph

Democrats believe the tax cut could help stimulate the economy by giving consumers more of their paychecks to spend. But many Republicans believe it’s a short-term gimmick that will not spur economic development and would complicate efforts to do a total rewrite of the tax code that would result in lower rates.

She does not have ESP. She can't know what Democrats or many Republicans *believe* but only what they claim.

Personally, I suspect that some of those Republicans oppose the bill, because they think it could help stimulate the economy. The cited arguments (after the removal of the one which is based on a false claim of fact which she noted earlier) make no sense. To call something a gimmick is not to argue against it. To argue that short term policy must be bad is to assume that the current economic situation is normal. And there is no chance of said total rewrite and everyone knows it.

But, if I were a reporter, not a blogger, I would not feel free to speculate about what is in peoples' minds and, unlike Helderman stick to reporting what comes out of their mouths.

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