If you read this front-page story in the Washington Post today, “No-tax-hike pledge creates Republican rift, potential roadblock to deficit deal,” it looks like normal WashPost anti-Republican fare — exaggerating what seems more like a difference in emphasis and negotiating positions into an alleged intra-party civil war, accompanied by a photo of Boehner and Mitch McConnell portraying them as almost grotesquely stupid and perplexed.
But that’s only if you read the text version online. If you happened to read the paper copy as I did today, you see something else — instead of the typical, snide, but rather understated anti-Republican bias, a big, bold across the entire top of page 9 headline screams out a bias against Republicans that is so extreme my first thought was that a conservative had stuck it in as a parody: “To some in GOP, ending a tax break is the same as a tax hike”! Lest you think I’m making this up, here’ a link to a graphic of the page.
I could say a number of things about this hed and what it reveals, but I’ll limit myself to these two:
- The WaPo hed-writer obviously does not think that ending a tax break is the same as a tax hike. If, say, his mortgage deduction were taken away and his tax obligation thus increased, he would not believe that he had experienced a “tax hike.”
- The hed asserts that only “some” in the GOP believe that “ending a tax break is the same as a tax hike.” What would be real news, unlike this article, would be if the WaPo reporters (Peter Wallsten and Lori Montgomery) or their editors could produce a single Republican office holder or official who does not believe that ending tax breaks amounts to a tax hike (at least if unaccompanied by lowering tax rates).
Boy, those Republicans who believe that having to pay more tax is a tax hike must be really dumb!
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between anti-Republican bias and economic illiteracy.