Beware the CBPP

Robert Samuelson mounts a strong challenge to Charles Krauthammer in the “worst major newspaper columnist” sweepstakes:

A second myth is that lobbying favors the wealthy, including corporations, because only they can afford the cost. As a result, government favors the rich and ignores the poor and middle class. Actually, the facts contradict that. Sure, the wealthy extract privileges from government, but mainly they’re its servants. The richest 1 percent of Americans pay 28 percent of federal taxes, says the Congressional Budget Office. About 60 percent of the $3 trillion federal budget goes for payments to individuals — mostly the poor and middle class. You can argue that those burdens and benefits should be greater, but if the rich were all powerful, their taxes would be much lower. Similarly, the poor and middle class do have powerful advocates. To name three: AARP for retirees; the AFL-CIO for unionized workers; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for the poor.

Yes, that’s right — the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has as much or more power in DC as do the wealthy or large corporations.

People who read the Post’s op-ed pages and take what’s printed their seriously are going to be worse-informed than people who leave the paper alone. It’s a serious problem if you want people to read the paper.