How The Media Have Failed To Explain Negative Effects Of ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Spending Cuts

Photo from the Washington Post Express

A lot of ink and airtime have been spent on the ongoing negotiations over the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take place at the end of the year. However, according to a Media Matters report, media outlets have been much more focused on the potential economic damage of the former than the latter:

Of all segments, 130 discussed the negative effects of tax increases, compared to only 50 that mentioned effects of spending cuts. Forty-two total segments mentioned only the effects of increasing taxes on the wealthy, with the bulk of these segments — 23 segments — being on Fox News. The effect of taxes on the wealthy outperforms other issues when discussed in isolation — 24 segments discussed only the effects of general tax increases, while only 13 total segments mentioned the effects of spending cuts in isolation.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the spending cuts that would go into effect should the U.S. go over the fiscal cliff will actually be more detrimental to economic growth and job creation than the tax increases. In fact, spending cuts from that deal “threaten to shave 1.1 percentage points from GDP growth and reduce employment by more than 1.3 million jobs by the end of 2013, relative to prior law.”