Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wall Street Journal Editorial by Mama Grizzly

Ruppert Murdoch has provided a platform on Fox News for Sarah Palin to sell her base on political ideas that he supports. He has taken the next step by providing Palin with a platform on his Wall Street Journal's editorial page. While its not clear that her base reads the WSJ, her presence on the WSJ editorial page embellishes her image as a "serious person". In any case, her name and her picture is given to an op-ed in which she opposes the Obama Commission's plan for reducing our long-term debt and offers support for GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's approach to deficit reduction. There are a couple of Mama Grizzly phrases in the op-ed but the most important points are the signal that Murdoch will continue to push the Ryan plan and that he will continue to build up Palin as a spokesperson for his political positions.

The Mama Grizzly part of the op-ed is her reuse of the idea that the healthcare reform bill will ration services to Medicare recipients. She famously calls the entity that will review Medicare expenditures a "death panel". This led some of her base to put signs up at Tea Party events that curiously demand that the government should stay out of Medicare. Whoever wrote the op-ed for her also repeats GOP nonsense that we heard in the past about entitlements and their pending insolvency as well as the potential for the bankruptcy of the US government. The plan that she proposes contains an important sentence. The Obama Commission's plan, which has been strongly criticized by many democrats as too conservative, caps tax revenues as a percent of GDP at 21%. Ryan's plan caps tax revenues at 19% of GDP. In other words, the focus of the Ryan plan is on reduction of government spending on everything but defense and further cuts in taxes. This is the "starve the beast" idea that is favored by many in the GOP. The goal is to force spending cuts on social programs by reducing taxes and screaming about budget deficits. We should remember that under Reagan and the two Bush presidencies they contributed $9 trillion to our national debt by cutting taxes and increasing spending. That is because they funded the tax cuts with debt. The Ryan plan would fund tax cuts with spending cuts on social programs.

The main idea to take out this article is that it forecasts the approach that Murdoch, and therefore his communications empire, will push going forward. Palin is just another puppet whose strings he will pull.

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