Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cong. Ryan and Senator Sessions blow an opportunity to blow the whistle on PBS’ liberal bias, Obamas' hypocrisy and to advance the Republican Agenda

The PBS left-wing bias is alive and well

PBS’ Kwame Holman, a correspondent for Jim Lehrer’s News Hour, told us last night during his report on both major party’s efforts to woo the middle class,“Republicans want to attract middle class support, too, even though their party’s free market principles traditionally have been perceived as being more favorable to wealthy Americans.”

But, who exactly has perceived the Republican Party’s free market principles as being more favorable to wealthy Americans? Kwame Holman doesn’t say, but this reporter would guess that Kwame might subscribe to that view, as would everybody working at PBS and its numerous local public TV cells, I mean television stations, around the country.

Minimum wages hurt those they are designed to help

Let’s try one such free market principle: “Minimum wages hurt the people they are designed to help the most.” Why? Because minimum wages raise the wage above the free market wage, causing employers to hire fewer employees than would otherwise be the case. The people most likely to lose their jobs would be those with the least skills and least education. Moreover, on average, minorities would fall disproportionately in that category. QED. Thus, opposition to an increase in the minimum wage would be a free market principle that would be most helpful to low and middle income people, contrary to Kwame Holman's generalized statement about free market principles of Republicans being perceived as helping the wealthy.

This is the theory that 98% of the economics professors would teach in Econ 101. Students in higher-level economics courses would come across the empirical evidence to back up the above analysis. It would be nice if PBS had someone on their staff who had mastered the basics in economics. Maybe Northwestern’s Medill School of journalism could hire an economist to teach their students some real journalism. But, who that person who knows television, politics, law, economics and public policy could be, I just don’t know.

Senator Sessions: wide of the mark

Of course, Senator Sessions [R-AL], interviewed on the segment, didn’t help his party much. Sessions argued that Republicans “need to quit worrying about big business on Wall St.” Instead, Sessions said he was “worried about the average American’s problems.” Holman reports that Sessions contends “Republicans have ignored the wishes of mainstream Americans on a number of issues, such as immigration reform, the 700 billion dollar financial bailout and congress’ attempted rescue of the U. S. auto industry.”

Unfortunately, for Sessions and the Republican Party, Holman never tells us what Sessions contends the Republican Party position should have been on those issues, other than Republicans should stand by their principles.

For example, would Sessions have said that the Republicans should stand not only for border control, but also for expanded slots for legal immigrants and respect, of course, for immigrants who are in this country legally? Would he have said that the 700 billion dollar bailout was a mistake by Bush that was supported more by Democrats than by Republicans in Congress. Senator Sessions could have argued that the economy has been made worse by the bailout, not better. Finally, Sessions could have argued that w/o requirements (not just goals) for the UAW contracts to be re-structured to be competitive with those negotiated with the foreign transplants, as they would be restructured in bankruptcy, the Bush auto bailout is a mistake.

But, Senator Sessions didn’t argue any of the above. Unless Sessions can demonstrate Holman edited his comments, Alabama Republicans should find themselves another senator.

U. S. Rep. Paul Ryan, also wide of the mark

Holman then introduced us to Republican U. S. Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), who emphasized he cared about ideas, asking “are we practicing the ideal policy for education, for the economy, for healthcare, for all of those things…” Holman reported further that Ryan believes “the GOP must hold true to its free market principles, even in the throes of a financial crisis…” Cong. Ryan also emphasized that he doesn’t like dividing people into classes [low, middle and high income] because he wants everybody moving up. Ryan said we should talk about “how to make America an opportunity society where every single person…can scale that ladder and can reach their potential and their destiny.”

It’s school vouchers-school choice, stupid.

All of those thoughts of Cong. Ryan are well and good, but he falls short of the mark. The problem with Cong, Ryan’s little discourse, unless Holman edited it out, is that he never gave one specific example of a key, Republican idea, other than scaling the ladder. Why didn’t Cong. Ryan argue for school choice-school vouchers. Put the money kids get “in kind,” now at their public school in a backpack, strap it on the kids and if the kids want to stay, it’s the status quo, but if they want to try a private school, out goes the kid, out goes the backpack, out goes the cash.

The Obamas: Free to Choose

Middle income/low income kids would have an opportunity to scale the ladder by improving their skills, their education. The kids benefit from competition and innovation, as a result of being, “Free to choose,” even as the Obamas were free to choose private schools over public schools for their kids: first, the University of Chicago Lab School on the south side of Chicago and more recently, Sidwell Friends in DC, for Malia and Sasha. [the Obamas, like most Democrats, now oppose school vouchers, school choice for low income/middle income kids, although Barack Obama said differently on June 27, 2002 on “Public Affairs.”]

Waters and McCaskill: Unchallenged by PBS

Cong. Maxine Waters (D-CA) was interviewed by correspondent Holman, as well. Cong. Ryan could have challenged Holman to ask Waters what she has done to improve the education level of the kids in her district for the 18 years she has represented her Congressional District, and why she opposes expanding students’ opportunities with school choice-school vouchers. Same question for Senator McCaskill (D-MO) who was also on the program babbling on about helping the middle class, without of course mentioning why she opposes expanding school choice for kids in the middle class, or even lower class, in her state of Missouri.

And, of course, Kwame Holman, couldn’t think to challenge Waters or McCaskill. Better to repeat the liberal verbiage that “Republican free market principles traditionally have been perceived as being more favorable to wealthy Americans.” Republican free market principles like School choice-School vouchers? They would certainly favor wealthy Americans like the Obamas, according to Holman. Really?

To the contrary, the Obamas are the last people to need vouchers. They are high income and they have therefore already escaped the low quality public schools in their neighborhoods. No, the people who need the vouchers are the low income/middle income people. That’s who Republicans most want to help. Oops. Kwame Holman had better re-write his script. Too bad Sessions and Ryan couldn’t tell him so.

Republicans: Wandering in the Wilderness

If PBS is going to keep up its leftwing bias, followed of course by most broadcast and cablecast networks, and Republicans like Sessions and Ryan are going to keep missing opportunities to argue specific ideas, Republicans are going to be wandering in the wilderness for a long, long time.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs;" Contributing correspondent, Illinois Channel and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at *************************************************************
"Public Affairs," is a weekly political interview show airing in Chicago on CANTV, in the Chicago metro area, Aurora and Rockford on Comcast and also often on the Illinois Channel. You can watch the shows, including archived shows going back to 2005, here.
Recently posted shows on the Public Affairs YouTube page include a recent Bill O'Reilly segment w/Berkowitz on Obama, shows with Chicago Alderman Manuel (Manny) Flores (D-1st Ward, Wicker Park) on impeachment of Rod, Chicago issues and a possible run to replace 5th CD Cong. Emanuel, Cook County Cmsr. Tony Peraica (R-Riverside) on the mess we call Illinois politics, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell, State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Westmont), Cook County Commissioner and possible 5th CD Dem. Primary candidate Mike Quigley (D-Lakeview), State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) and Cook County Cmsr. and Obama Media Team Member Forrest Claypool and much more.