We’re just asking: On the front page of our hard-copy paper, the New York Times is reporting the news:
Yesterday, Rick Santorum didn’t wear a sweater vest. In San Juan!
On the rare occasion, columnists may discuss real news in the Times. Yesterday, Eduardo Porter discussed a very significant topic in his Economic Scene column.
We’ll discuss his column more next week. For today, consider these highlighted claims, which appear early on:
PORTER (3/14/12): At first glance the budget does seem heavily tilted to take from the rich and redistribute to the rest. Taxpayers in the top fifth of the population shoulder three-quarters of the federal tax burden and receive only about 10 percent of entitlement spending, according to calculations by the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.Take a look at those highlighted claims. Three questions:
Families in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution pay less than 1 percent of taxes and receive about 60 percent of entitlements.
Do those claims seem accurate to you? Do you know which “taxes” Porter includes?
Do know where to go to fact-check those claims?
Information is rarely allowed in the Times. When information does appear, we’ll admit it—we’re sometimes confused.