Why do we not get cogent analysis of important issues from the press?

For example, table S-5 of the president’s budget for 2013 on page 210 shows the following (all amounts in billions of dollars):

Fiscal Year 2011 2012

Discretionary programs $1,300 $1,319

Mandatory programs $2,073 $2,252

Interest $230 $225

Total spending $3,603 $3,796

Revenues $2,303 $2,469

Deficit $1,300 $1,327

In both years, the deficit is equal to or greater than the budget for discretionary programs; the entire amount of revenues is consumed by mandatory programs (including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security) and interest, both of which must be paid.

Thus a balanced budget would leave no funds for the rest of government, including the military and all other offices of the federal government. This is a severe problem that will require some pain to solve.

Yet, if we do not bring spending more in line with revenues, we will go the way of Greece and Spain.

So, what do we eliminate in spending and what additional revenues are required?

Why is the press not presenting such items to the readers or listeners so we have a more complete understanding of the challenges we face as a nation.

It is clear that the problem is severe, yet our elected officials seem to pay lip service to the issue, but do not fully tackle it, either because it is too hard or because it would require such draconian measures that the electorate would vote them out of office.

That is true only if the problem is not understood.

The press is given much deference in our constitution and our society; it is obligated to keep us informed — not of what politicians claim in speeches, but of what is the truth.

Larry Mitchell


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