Accuracy in Media

Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) has a tremendous reporter, Terry Jones, who has been doing a series of explosive articles under the title, “What Caused the Loan Crisis?” IBD may also have the
best conservative editorial page in the nation. It has not shied away
from covering the story of Frank Marshall Davis, Barack Obama’s
Communist mentor, and has been running a series called “The Audacity of
Socialism,” about Obama’s pro-Marxist views.

But
on September 24, it ran an embarrassing editorial, “It’s Time To Act,”
eagerly embracing Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s $700-billion
financial sector takeover plan, which was denounced by conservative
Senators Jim Bunning and Jim DeMint as socialism.

On the House side, the Republican Study Committee (RSC) led the opposition, with its chairman, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, saying that the Paulson plan would put the U.S. on “the slippery slope to socialism.”

“Everyone’s
chiming in on the financial mess, but we have yet to hear a better idea
than that set out by our Treasury secretary and Fed chief,” said IBD.
“Congress should act on it without further showboating or delay.” It
called Paulson and Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke
“competent and highly experienced officials.”

A
letter writer to the paper saw the irony, noting that the continuing
series of articles warning of Obama’s socialist proposals and
background “is getting to be absurd, particularly in light of the
current effort by a Republican administration to socialize more than a
trillion dollars of bad debt onto the American taxpayer.” The writer
was referring not only to the proposed “bailout” or “rescue” of Wall
Street but the $300 billion nationalization of mortgage companies
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

The Washington Post on Saturday used a new euphemism, calling it a plan “to stabilize the U.S. financial system.”

But a “better idea” did come forth―from the RSC. Its “Economic Rescue Principles” included tax cuts and a private insurance fund to turn the financial situation around.

Not only was the Paulson plan fatally flawed, in the view of House conservatives, it was later revealed by the Wall Street Journal that the Democratic version of the Paulson plan, which is now more than
100 pages long, included money for the Housing Trust Fund, which has
funded radical political groups like ACORN and the National Council of
La Raza.

In
a statement, Hensarling declared, “We must consider alternatives that
would suspend capital gains taxes immediately. We have a liquidity
crisis and suspending capital gains taxes would bring as much as a
trillion dollars of capital sitting on the sidelines back into the
market. Second, we need to suspend the mark to market accounting that
has created a credit crunch dust pile for so many businesses across America.”

Noting
that government-created entities were at the root of the crisis, he
added, “When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac crumpled―a problem that House
Conservatives warned about for years―the whole system started to
crumble with it. These troubled financial Frankensteins―created in a
government laboratory―are not creatures of the free enterprise system
and we must ultimately take their monopoly powers away and return them
to the marketplace. Finally, the Federal Reserve is being pulled in too
many directions and we should amend the Humphrey Hawkins Act which
currently diverts the Federal Reserve’s attention from long-term price
stability to short-term economic growth.”

Rep.
Ron Paul, Republican of Texas and former GOP presidential candidate,
who had warned about this crisis, called the Paulson plan “a slipshod
proposal, slapped together haphazardly and forced on an unwilling
Congress with the threat that not passing it will lead to the collapse
of the financial system.” On the contrary, he said, passage of the plan would “lead us down the road toward economic ruin.”

On the Senate side, DeMint outlined a plan to stimulate economic growth through lower taxes, reform of government
programs, and immediately expanding domestic energy production.

Meanwhile, USA Today has been caught blatantly misrepresenting the results of its own poll of the public about the crisis. “Nearly eight out of 10
Americans―78%―say Congress should approve a historic bailout of the
nation’s financial markets, but most want lawmakers to significantly
modify the Bush administration’s $700 billion plan…,” the USA Today
front-page story said.

But
the actual question was: “As you may know, the Bush administration has
proposed a plan that would allow the Treasury Department to buy and
re-sell up to $700 billion of distressed assets from financial
companies. What would you like to see Congress do…”

The
results were that only 22 percent wanted Congress to pass a plan
similar to Bush proposal. A total of 56 percent wanted Congress to pass
a plan different from the Bush proposal.

A Rasmussen poll found support for the plan had declined to 24 percent.

The
lack of public support is significant because of the misleading
coverage suggesting it is just a “rescue” or a “bailout,” rather than
socialism.

As AIM
has documented, even conservatives in the media such as Fred Barnes and
Charles Krauthammer of Fox News have endorsed the Paulson plan. And in
the conservative blogosphere, Hugh Hewitt has been a big cheerleader
for it. In a “Memo to House Republicans,” who are leading the opposition to the socialist scheme, Hewitt goes so far as to accuse conservatives of “intransigence” and “a suicidal indifference to both the economic emergency and the reality of the possibility of panic.”

But veteran conservative leader Richard Viguerie sees the Paulson plan as taking us “strongly toward a socialist America” and thanked the House Republicans and Senator John McCain for refusing under pressure to endorse it. In another statement, Viguerie demanded a special prosecutor or independent commission to
investigate the financial crisis and hold accountable those responsible
for it.

Time is running out, however. Some Democrats are saying that the plan could be law by Sunday.

– Members of Congress can be reached through the Capitol switchboard number of 202-224-3121.




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