Misreporting State Budget Crises (Extra!)

The June issue of Extra! is out, and with it my article on how coverage of state budget battles back in the spring swept under the rug the question of how much of the budget crises were caused by past tax cuts for the rich:

When protests against attempts to roll back state workers’ benefits swept across the nation in February and March, local and national media coverage largely portrayed it as the inevitable collision of generous worker benefits and tight economic times.

The Columbus Dispatch (2/20/11), for example, reported that “the protests at the Ohio and Wisconsin capitols portend what lies ahead as governors in both parties move to cut worker benefits or jobs to balance their books.” The Dispatch called employee pension and healthcare benefits “a long-term threat to state budgets,” citing economists with both the right-wing Heritage Foundation and the right-wing American Enterprise Institute as saying that worker pensions are “squeezing” state budgets…

This story is subscribers-only for now, so you’ll need to sign up (only $15 for a year’s digital subscription!) if you want to read it. Or wait a couple of months until it shows up for free on FAIR’s website, but where’s the fun in that?