BEWARE OF GEEKS BEARING GIFTS
Yahoo, this morning, was hawking The New York Times article about the Tax Policy Center’s report. The report “proves” the current President’s accusation that the would-be President’s Tax Plan is impossible to balance. And it is nothing more than the Rich White Man’s scheme to protect his billionaire pals from the righteous indignation of the people.
What really got my blood boiling was the innocuous description of the source of this study. “A small nonpartisan research center operated by professed “geeks” has found itself at the center of a rancorous $5 trillion debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.”
“No white paper or policy manifesto put out during the presidential campaign has proved more controversial than an August study by the Washington-based Tax Policy Center, a respected nonprofit that issues studiously detailed tax analyses.” This is in New York Times NewSpeak and requires parsing.
The first “error” is in the first phrase “Oh, Gee~eeks” said in the Michael Savage tone of mockery “Gee~eeks have no personality, so they must be autistically fixated only on the math.” “Geek” used here is an attempt at hiding the attack inside the Trojan horse of feigned impartiality.
The second paragraph continues. . “No white paper … has proved more controversial” leads one to stroke one’s chin and think “Oh a White Paper; Hmmm that sounds all officially! It sounds so Think Tanky, and all, and it is written by “geeks”. Gee willikers, Wally, this must be the skinny! But hold on Beave. I have never heard of either the report or the Tax Policy Center before. So, how can the news reporter man say that there is a controversy? Gee, Wally you sure are smart! Maybe he is trying to start a controversy. Yeah, maybe so Beave lets ask Dad, he will know.
In the same vein, the “Washington-based Tax Policy Center, a respected non-profit, that issues studiously detailed tax analysis” is fodder for an entire essay on the rhetorical skills of the intellectuals’ craft of bullshit. Since the President used the word, it has now passed into the respectable category of word-smithing. So allow me the opportunity to revel; the New York Times is so full of bullshit, that if bullshit were worth a good God damn the dinosaur media would not be hinting about needing bailouts, or layoffs. Golly Wally that kind of language would get us in hot water with Dad! And how, Beave!
“That study found, in short, that Mr. Romney could not keep all of the promises he had made on individual tax reform: including cutting marginal tax rates by 20 percent, keeping protections for investment income, not widening the deficit and not increasing the tax burden on the poor or middle class. It concluded that Mr. Romney’s plan, on its face, would cut taxes for rich families and raise them for everyone else.
The detailed paper proved kindling for a political firestorm. Mr. Romney criticized the center as performing a “garbage-in, garbage-out” analysis and his campaign accused it of partisan bias. The Obama campaign used the center’s numbers to argue that Mr. Romney had proposed a $5 trillion tax cut. Economists jumped on the bandwagon too, flinging analyses back and forth and picking apart the projections and assumptions in the report.”
How convenient for the President, the august Tax Policy Center, of which no heard of until this morning has verified the fact that Mitt Romney is in the president’s words a “Bullshitter”. And worse for the “struggling” Governor, it has unleashed a political firestorm; again that no one has been aware of until this morning! And, can you believe it, an actual Bandwagon has been rolling down the highways and hedges of America and I did not know of it until this morning? I must be a Geek, sitting in my Geek Land, making all my Geek plans for nobody.
“At the Tax Policy Center itself, responses ranged from irritation at the partisan nature of some attacks to incredulity over the political hysteria. “There was this résumé-hunting, White-House-visitor-log” searching feel to the response, said the center’s director, Donald Marron, a former Bush administration economist. “That was unanticipated,” he added dryly.
In many ways the report did just what the center was created to do: inject some solid numbers into a shifty, accusatory, raucous political debate. The decade-old center a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, two nonpartisan grandes dames of the Washington world — was founded precisely to “fill that niche,” Mr. Marron said.”
Is this a remake of “Revenge of the Nerds”? These are some muscular athletic nerds! And they are irate! They are affronted by the political hysteria! And worse: “there was this résumé-hunting, White-House-visitor-log” searching feel to the response”. I have to admit, I have no idea what that feels like! Unlike Donald Marron, I have never been out résumé-hunting nor White House Log rolling. They do not sound like much fun! But Donald Marron must know of what he speaks.
“Marron”, the article felt it important to add is a “former Bush administration economist”. I suspect this was added to provide bona fides to the description of “non-partisan.
The non-profit, non-partisan Center For Tax Policy is said to be a joint project of the Brookings Institute and The Urban Institute. Brookings is obviously a well-known and liberal think tank. But what is this Urban Institute?
To check out the non-partisan and non-profit Institute: http://www.urban.org/index.cfm
And there it is. At the very top right the banner reads “non-partisan economic and social policy research”. I don’t know about you, but when I read “economic and social policy research” I think politically correct, wealth redistributing, social justice self-righteous power grabbing; and I suspect the interests of the Middle Class are not of much concern. And voila I am not disappointed. Here is the list of exciting topics! Notice there is no link to the Ludwig Von Mises Institute! I am incredulous. Children and Youth Cities and Neighborhoods Crime and Justice Economy and Taxes Education Employment Families and Parenting Governing Health and Healthcare Housing Immigrants Infrastructure International Development Nonprofits Performance Measurement / Mgmt Poverty, Assets and Safety Net Race, Ethnicity, Gender Retirement and Older Americans
Beware of Geeks bearing “facts”!