The US “Fiscal cliff” stand-off is now firmly embedded as part of the Panto season. BBC has been covering  it but only from the usual pro-Obama sycophantic mode. Were one to take what the BBC reports one would assume that Obama has not played any role in creating the circumstances leading to the fiscal crisis that now confronts the United States.  Instead he is portrayed as “deus ex machina”, bravely abandoning the lure of  Hawaiian golf courses to save the Nation in time for 2013. I also LOVED the way the BBC portrayed Harry Reid as IF he were also a neutral!!!

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19 Responses to ON THE FISCAL CLIFF…

  1. Alex says:

    If Obama were white he’d be hated at the BBC.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      They’d still love and support a Democrat, even a white one. See the Clintons.


      • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

        Yes, even after that famous line:
        “Read my lips, I did not have sex with…….yada yada yada “


        • Guest Who says:

          ‘Yes, even after that famous line’
          Line? Yes, let’s call it that.
          Truthiness is so in now.


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Beeboid Ben Thompson on the NYSE trading floor in New York nearly made a good report on the fiscal cliff talks on the News Channel just now. It was fine – just the basics about the deadline and how both sides are playing the blame game – until he said that all signs are pointing to the US economy doing well unless this ruins everything.

    Thompson offered that housing prices are on the rise is a sign that the economy is recovering, which is only half the story. They are on the rise, but it’s a fake bubble, propped up by – surprise! – government intervention (keeping rates artificially low), plus the exact same kind of buy-to-let acquisitions which were part of the last housing bubble both in the US and in the UK.

    The echo housing bubble across the United States

    Instead of rising household incomes allowing people to get back into the homeowner market, it’s investors and speculators, many of them from outside the country. This isn’t the same thing as a sign that the economy is improving: it’s another bubble of overpriced empty homes.

    In August, the Washington Post – not Fox News or Breitbart, so it must be true, even though the WaPo admitted to a reporting bias in favor of The Obamessiah in 2008 – reported that household income was down over the last three years to below recession levels. Things haven’t changed much since then. The number of people on food stamps is at an all-time high, although that’s as of last quarter, and nobody seriously believes this quarter’s numbers will be much different. As of September, more people were applying for disability benefits or food stamps than in the first nine months of His rule, when the economy really was collapsing. It can’t be much of a recovery if things are getting worse. Again, I’m going on last quarter’s figures because new numbers aren’t out yet. Sure, the corporations which supported the President – GE, Goldman Sachs – are doing well, but the average person is not.

    Back to the housing bubble and falling incomes.

    That does not look like rising household incomes. Yet a good number of buyers are foreign buyers; in some markets like in California many are from China. So these figures do not hamper their buying ability. Wall Street money is still chasing yield and we have our hipster flippers back at it once again. Yet these rapid gains in price are unsustainable without real household income gains. Even the 4.3 percent gain across the US is merely a reflection of the tight inventory and Fed pressure on the 30 year fixed rate mortgage. But the Fed is now pushing at a $3 trillion balance sheet and we are already seeing leakage into other financed markets like higher education where easy access to debt is making costs soar. So what about the future home buyers that are now saddled with massive college debt?

    Sound familiar? Yet, Peston and Flanders and their kind are still calling for banks to lend even more easily. In other words, anyone who says that housing prices on the rise is a good sign of economic recovery is dead wrong. But the BBC reported it as fact anyway.

    This is a White House talking point: everything is on the right track, and the Republicans are going to destroy it because (insert charge of racism/extremism/ideological purity/protecting the rich here). And the BBC plays right along. At least Thompson had the integrity to say that both sides are playing the blame game, but his closing line made it clear who was actually at fault.


    • Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

      Every ‘news’ bulletin on the bBBC yesterday reported that house prices had risen by 15% this year in one English town (Southend). Even though one local estate agent said they were wrong – he might accept that it was 1.5%, not 15% – the bBBC kept running their ‘story’ that prices were rocketing. Pure hype.


  3. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    As well as being forced to pay for the bBBC I also subscribe to Time – yes, I know, I am a glutton for punishment but it helps me keep in touch with American stuff when I’m not in the USA – and Time has again chosen Barack Obama as their Person of the Year 2012.
    I have read the magazine from cover to cover to try to discern the reasons and, as far as I can tell, it is because he still has a brown skin.


    • Guest Who says:

      These ‘people’ who are ‘selected’ by ‘people’ to be the year’s ‘people’ used to be OK for a bit of harmless year-end space-filling, but they are rather showing up the sycophant classes as being pretty much in charge of the edit suites whilst having access to the creme de menthe cabinet.
      As far as I can gather from the BBC ‘faces’ choices, you either need an eye patch or a throwback barnet to get a look in, so if PresO suddenly ends up like a Mr. T/Largo combo, I think he’s good for the hat-trick.


  4. johnnythefish says:

    Just been listening to ‘More or Less’, a quirky maths/stats type programme which is reasonably entertaining apart from the inevitable left-wing bias.

    So today they had as guest none other than Jack Straw. Normally, we were informed, they wouldn’t entertain having a politician on the programme – they’d say get back to the Today programme, ha, ha – except Straw is a bit of a stats freak. We then had a couple of minutes on why Straw found the subject so fascinating (he is a trained statistician), but then followed by explanations as to why certain of the Labour Government’s cock-ups (a.k.a. deceits) were nothing of the sort but the fault of their statistical researchers, including the forecasts for the number of Eastern European immigrants likely to come to Britain after EU expansion in 2004. In fact on the latter example Straw reckoned that how they i.e. the researchers, not Labour, could get it so wrong could be the subject of a PhD thesis in its own right. Ha ha. How he laughed (at us, you got the feeling).

    So here was a politician, ostensibly invited on to a non-political show to talk about his favourite subject, then given a platform to blame others for his government’s failures.

    Pure, unadulterated political collusion by the BBC, the broadcasting arm of the Labour Party YOU have to pay for.


    • johnnythefish says:

      Sorry, this should have gone on the Open Thread – will copy it across.


    • fitzfitz says:

      … and the little tyke was not pursued when he brazenly failed to comment on the Labour lies over immigration volumes … how is your son, Jack ? …


  5. fitzfitz says:

    It was delightful to be greeted very early today by the fem President of Liberia !! on Radio 4’s Today … she bleated on about the rise of women in that accursed land and jibbered about the great year ahead for Liberian fems !! … the recent beach massacres and all the rest went unremarked …


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Stop the presses! Scott M is correct and I made an error! His one correction out of three points is superior to my two correct statements and one error.

    It turns out the President’s offer to raise the tax threshold to $400K was real after all, and the Republicans admitted it to Bloomberg at the time. When I heard this initially, I had dismissed it as a rumor, since it was not what the President had been saying for a year or more, nor was it what the Democrats had been saying since He left for vacation.

    I was wrong, and stand corrected. Unlike Scott and the BBC, I admit mistakes. I fully accept being held to a higher standard than a multi-billion pound media organization staffed with trained, experienced professional journalists.

    Oh, wait, hang on……..

    Bloomberg – not Fox News, not Breitbart – is now reporting the following:

    The offer Obama plans to make to congressional leaders includes renewing George W. Bush-era tax cuts for household income up to $250,000 a year though Democrats may be willing to move that income level to $400,000 a year, according to a Senate aide close to the talks. Both aides spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The increase to $400K isn’t the actual offer? It’s only a possibility? It’s not His priority like the BBC said? Nooooooooooo!!!!!! How can this be? Everything I hold true in life has come crashing down around me.

    Okay, maybe He just withdrew the offer since Boehner didn’t take it seriously last week. Or maybe it was never a real offer. Either way, it’s curious that the President was working with the Democrat-led Senate (what was that about a Republican Congress blocking him, Daniel Nasaw?) on that $250K threshold. The Washington Post – not Fox News, not Breitbart – reports:

    The White House, meanwhile, was working with Reid on an alternative package that would keep Obama’s vow to let taxes rise on income over $250,000.

    This isn’t my interpretation of anything. This is reality as reported by a national newspaper which openly supports the President. Basically, the $400K offer was not His priority.

    Here’s the AP – not Fox News, not Breitbart:

    Although there were no guarantees of a deal, Republicans and Democrats said privately that any agreement would likely include an extension of middle-class tax cuts with increased rates at upper incomes, an Obama priority that was central to his re-election campaign.

    A key question was whether Obama would agree to abandon his insistence during the campaign on raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year and instead accept a $400,000 threshold like the one he offered in negotiations with Boehner. Another was whether Republicans would seek a higher income threshold.

    So it’s not correct to say, as the BBC does, that His current priority is “to ensure” that those earning $400K are protected from tax increases.

    In any case, the BBC’s reporting is still biased in favor of the President, something which Scott cannot deny. The latest is the same spin as usual.

    The priority for Mr Obama is retaining tax cuts for households earning less than $400,000 (£250,000) – an increase from his initial threshold of $250,000 – while raising taxes for the richest 2% of Americans in order to rein in deficit spending.

    The truth about the 250 vs 400 aside, this is backwards. Not even CNN spins it that way. The President’s actual priority is to tax the wealthiest, while placing whatever threshold for retaining tax cuts. The BBC instead spins it as Him protecting the middle class against….um…somebody. Unless we’re supposed to believe that the Democrats want to raise taxes on everyone, and He’s standing in the breach?

    The problem is that this is all really a Kabuki dance to kick the can down the road yet again. This is all – as the President admits when He says that we can talk about spending cuts later – really just figuring out a way to postpone the spending cuts dictated by that ridiculous debt agreement that created the current situation, which would basically be a wash anyway and not really reduce the deficit one bit. The result will be raising the debt ceiling yet again (why would He want that if the goal was to reduce the deficit?), and another year – at least – of stagnation. And nobody is really accounting for the crushing blow of ObamaCare, which will start kicking in next year.

    Here’s a reminder of the President’s willingness to negotiate, to compromise, to work out an agreement to save the country:

    Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

    At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

    “You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”

    Why doesn’t the BBC ever report his kind of thing? We know they agree with Him, but it’s still worth mentioning.

    In the end, the most important thing to remember is that whatever happens, it’s not His fault. He wanted to save us all from ourselves, only we weren’t worthy, and spurned Him.


    • Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

      The latest is Fiscal cliff: Obama ‘makes no new offer’
      Yep, that’s the way that grown-ups negotiate.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        What the hell is this? A tax rise on everyone earning more than $250K? Where did that come from? What happened to the $400K threshold the BBC promised me was His priority? Why, one might be driven to suspect that it was never a real offer.

        Everything I believe in is crumbling around me……..


  7. Jeff Waters says:

    Fiscal cliff: Will Americans get hit in the pocket? – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20861809#TWEET482470

    This article presents the fiscal cliff in an entirely negative light. It doesn’t point out, for example, that decreased government spending might just help America get a grip on its sovereign debt while it still can.

    The article also fails to tell us that a new set of congresspeople (elected in November) start on 3rd January, and there’s every chance they will very quickly strike a deal with the White House if the fiscal cliff is hit.



    • Jeff Waters says:

      ‘A five-year farm bill is also set to expire at the end of the year and if lawmakers, distracted by fiscal cliff negotiations, fail to renew or replace the legislation, Americans could see the price of milk rise significantly.’

      Talk about grasping at straws! LOL!

      Does the BBC serously think that Congress will get so bogged down in fiscal cliff talks that it will forget to enact legislation to prevent the price of milk doubling???



    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The fiscal cliff is the least of our worries, really. The consequences of ObamaCare will be far more disastrous than cuts in defense spending and reduced payments to doctors. Even the WaPo article the BBC cites about the possible rise in dairy prices doesn’t portray it so frighteningly. The BBC sexed it up a bit to make a point.


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