Our dumbest, most ludicrous newspaper: Donald J. Trump released his formal tax proposal in September 2015.
It's the craziest such proposal in modern campaign history. Five months later, the New York Times has finally reported some basic facts about this crazy proposal.
The report is written by Jackie Calmes, who's kept on staff at the New York Times as the newspaper's "smart" reporter. In hard copy, Calmes' report appears on page A12.
In her report, Calmes also discusses the tax proposals of Candidates Rubio and Cruz. This is the way she begins her report on a topic which was once believed to be extremely basic:
CALMES (2/23/16): The tax plans of the Republican presidential candidates would cut federal revenues as much as $12 trillion over a decade, a post-World War II record eclipsing the deep tax cuts of George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy. And they would come just as America faces the costs of its aging baby-boom generation.Five months later, the Times has finally noted two facts. Trump has proposed the largest tax cuts in modern history. Also, his crazy proposal flies in the face of his constant complaints about the size of federal deficits and debt.
The combination of the tax cuts’ size and timing has many tax and budget policy analysts questioning their viability. The Republican rivals routinely denounce the current $14 trillion debt, but none has said how he would offset the revenues lost to his tax cuts, beyond unspecified cuts to domestic programs and repeals of some existing tax breaks.
A bit later in her report, Calmes discusses the effect of these GOP proposals on income distribution. She also discusses the crazy effects of these crazy proposals on federal deficit spending.
By that measure, the craziest of these crazy proposals belongs to Candidate Trump:
CALMES: [A]t a time when many Americans lament the growing gap between rich and poor—and the shrinking middle class in between—the Republicans’ plans would mostly benefit the richest individuals and corporations, according to analyses by research groups that lean left, right and center.Month after month, we've noted the failure of this famous but clownish newspaper to report these remarkable facts about Trump's crazy proposal.
What is indisputable is the sheer size of the proposed tax cuts. The four most detailed proposals would easily eclipse the reductions under Presidents Bush, Reagan and Kennedy, compared with the size of the economy.
By most estimates of the outside groups, the costliest plan is Mr. Trump’s. His proposed cuts could mean about $12 trillion less in federal revenue in the first 10 years after they took effect—a figure on which both a liberal tax policy group, Citizens for Tax Justice, and a conservative-leaning one, the Tax Foundation, agree. That would be more than a quarter of the $46.5 trillion in total revenues that the new Obama budget projects over 10 years.
Five months later, this Times has bestirred itself to publish a basic report on this topic—on a topic which was considered very basic before our whole culture collapsed.
That said, please note what else the New York Times published today.
As noted, Calmes' report appears on page A12. It runs 1229 words.
Calmes' report concerns a profoundly basic topic. That said, it is eclipsed, in size and placement, by the Times' 1447-word, front-page report about the latest inane distraction which has been churned within the Republican White House campaign.
In this morning's hard-copy Times, yesterday's firing of a Ted Cruz staffer is covered on page one. The report about this pointless event is longer than the Calmes report, which appears on page A12.
The report about the staffer's firing is accompanied by two photographs, one of which is quite large. Calmes' report is accompanied by one small photograph.
In every way, the Times treats the firing of the Cruz staffer as a more important topic than the obvious craziness of the GOP tax proposals. Then too, we must mention today's ludicrous "Reporter's Notebook" piece, a Valentine to former Candidate Bush by the ludicrous Ashley Parker.
The Parker piece appears of page A18, accompanied by a huge photo. It appears beneath this embarrassing headline:
"Voters Might Not Miss Bush, But Campaign Reporters Will"
A boxed sub-headline extends the theme: "Running a wildly imperfect campaign, but remaining deeply human."
Like a spawn of Campaign 2000-era Frank Bruni, this silly newspaper's silliest scribe takes some time to tell the world why she, and other reporters like her, are going to miss Candidate Bush.
For more than a year, Bruni fawned to a previous Candidate Bush. Plucking petals from a flower, Parker tells us this about the more recent version:
PARKER (2/23/16): He was your goofy dad, your awkward uncle. He bungled a policy rollout in Nevada when he called ''Supergirl'' ''hot'' (c'mon, Dad!), he was delightfully befuddled when his Apple Watch began ringing during a meeting with an Iowa newspaper, and he wiggled into a hoodie in a shaky YouTube video.Where on earth does the New York Times go to find life forms like Parker? Wherever it is, the Times has been hiring from that planet for a very long time.
He talked with deep passion about space travel, and spoke to kids as if they were grown-ups, offering 8- and 9-year-olds treatises on the nation's debt.
He fumbled for basic expressions, and some of his references and jokes made no sense—and yet we loved them anyway. There was the time Jeb put a crab in a frog metaphor. And the one about being ''the bacon in the breakfast experience, not the egg,'' whatever that meant. (We assumed it was something Paleo.) By the end of his campaign, I had a whole mental subcategory of Bush stories that I had nicknamed Zany Jeb.
But, at the core, what made Jeb compelling to cover was that he was deeply, impossibly human.
As we noted, Calmes is the Times' "smart" political reporter. She's kept around to produce the occasional report about topics once believed to be serious.
Parker is more the norm at the Times. She started as Maureen Dowd's "research assistant," whatever that could possible mean. Her work has spiraled downward from there.
Reviewing the work of people like Parker, one gets an awkward impression: the Times is the place where our least competent upper-class children are sent by their connected parents to obtain mercy employment.
Their smarter siblings go to Wall Street, where they proceed to loot everyone else. The Parkers are sent to the Times, with instructions not to notice.
In fairness to Parker, what kind of editor assigns and/or publishes such work? The answer to that question is obvious:
An editor at the New York Times, our silliest, most ludicrous "newspaper!"
Five months later, the New York Times has gotten around to reporting a small minor fact. Candidate Trump has offered the craziest budget proposal in world history.
At the Times, this rates a five-month-old yawn. Dearest darlings, a staffer was fired! Also, we journos [HEART] Bush!