The non-profit news organization ProPublica has an article under the headline "Economic Myths: We Separate Fact From Fiction" that could use a little help itself in the separation of fact from fiction department. From the article:
1. Taxes have been going up and are high compared to levels in other countries.
The first part is wrong; the second is also wrong but contains a grain of truth....The only tax increases passed during the Obama administration were part of the health-care reform bill, through which Congress, among other things, raised the Medicare payroll tax for high earners, said Curtis Dubay, a senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.
That's simply inaccurate. On February 4, 2009, Mr. Obama signed a law expanding children's health insurance funded largely by a $71 billion increase in the tobacco tax over 10 years. This wasn't "the health-care reform bill," it was a different tax increase, and if in fact the Heritage Foundation guy forgot about it, that doesn't excuse ProPublica forgetting about it in an article that boasts of separating "myths" from "facts."
More from the article:
5. The stimulus will have no lasting legacy.
False. It's been said that while the New Deal left behind a landscape of bridges and dams, the stimulus did little more than fill potholes and create a lot of temporary jobs. In truth, the Recovery Act provided critical funding for a number of projects that people will be able to point to generations from now.
Here are 10 significant projects, most under construction, funded by the Recovery Act:
The eighth item on ProPublica's list of these projects is Moynihan Station in Manhattan. The ProPublica article says the $83 million in Recovery Act funding is for "A new Amtrak train hall at the site of the Beaux Arts monument James A. Farley Post Office building. Under construction; targeted for completion 2016." This is a fantasy. For one thing, this is a project that will cost well more than $1 billion, which is not in place. Why should the $83 million in stimulus funding get credit for the "lasting legacy" rather than the private investment that is going to be necessary if the station ever happens. The Wall Street Journal, where several ProPublica executives previously worked, had a useful update on the project last month that explained, "This plan has proved elusive for more than two decades due to funding shortfalls, clashes between government agencies, and economic downturns. Overall it's slated to cost more than $1 billion and other sources of funding, besides Related and Vornado's piece, also have to be identified before the new station can be built." The $83 million is for some underground track work.