Reuters Regurgitates Democrat Talking Points on Budget Plan

-By Warner Todd Huston

On March 12, Representative Paul Ryan (R, WI) released the GOP’s budget proposal sparking an afternoon of analysis and criticism. By Tuesday evening Reuters was contrasting Ryan’s budget with one sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D, WA). But there is one problem with Reuters’ analysis. The Democrats didn’t actually release any budget for Reuters to analyze at the time of publication. So, Reuters simply regurgitated Murray’s talking points.

In the Reuters report, the pair of budgets were deemed difficult to pass because they appear “crafted to appeal to their respective party bases.”

Reuters claimed that the problem with Ryan’s budget is that it is likely aimed at getting Rep. Ryan the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination as opposed to being a serious attempt to solve Washington’s budget problems.

As to the “Senate democratic budget proposal,” Reuters said that it will “shrink budget deficits by $1.85 trillion over 10 years but not balance the budget.” Reuters also notes that tax hikes are included in Murray’s proposal for “rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges, creating construction jobs.”

Reuters then quoted David Brown, a policy analyst for the Third Way, billed as a centrist Washington-based think tank. “These were two ideological documents. They are both bargaining positions,” Brown told Reuters.

Naturally, the fact that the Democrats haven’t passed a budget for four years wasn’t mentioned at all in the Reuters analysis.

All this analysis on Murray’s budget is, however, a bit problematic. After all, Murray had not actually released her budget to anyone before Reuters published its article Even Congressional Republicans were denied any look at Murray’s budget proposal. So, how could Reuters or David Brown, or anyone else craft any in depth analysis on a budget proposal no one had seen?

On the other hand, Ryan’s budget was out there for everyone to see.

It appears that Reuters took all of the Democrat’s claims about their budget at face value and simply regurgitated Patty Murray’s talking points uncritically reporting it as news.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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