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Another Ryan Donmoyer Special
futureofcapitalism.com

Bloomberg's Ryan Donmoyer, a participant in the hard-left Journo-List, has an article about a Treasury Department look at the question of whether White House aide Austan Goolsbee did anything wrong in naming Koch Industries in a conversation with reporters about corporate tax structures. The final paragraphs of the article dismiss the concerns:

Christopher Bergin, chief executive of Tax Analysts, a Falls Church, Virginia, publisher of tax information, said it's "incredibly unlikely" that top White House officials would violate confidentiality laws. Even if they tried, IRS procedures put in place after President Richard Nixon tried to use the agency for political purposes would stop them, Bergin said.

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Another Ryan Donmoyer Cheap Shot
futureofcapitalism.com

Biased articles by Bloomberg News's in-house ideologue, Journo-lister Ryan Donmoyer, are becoming so frequent (see here, here, and here) that I hesitate to point them out, but every once in a while one comes along that is so egregious that it demands notice. Today's example is an article under the headline "Return of Estate Tax Looms as Final Impediment to Extending Bush Tax Cuts."

Here is Mr. Donmoyer attempting to summarize the argument: "Opponents criticize the estate tax as an unfair levy that destroys family businesses while proponents of the tax, who include billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, view it as essential to preserving meritocracy in U.S. society." The opponents get no names, while the proponents are associated with two rich and generally popular famous people.

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Tax Terminology
futureofcapitalism.com

It's interesting to see how the terminology used for tax laws is different depending on which taxpayers are at issue. The left manages to criticizes President Obama for approving "tax cuts for the rich" while at the same time insisting that the middle class not be socked with a "tax increase." If it's a "tax cut" for the "rich," isn't it also a tax cut for the middle class? And if it's a tax increase on the middle class, wouldn't it also be a tax increase on the "rich"?

There was something of a similar debate back in the mid-1990s over a reduction in the planned growth rate of Medicare spending. Democrats called it a "cut," while Republicans insisted that it was an increase, because spending was still going up.

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Bloomberg News on Egypt
futureofcapitalism.com

Commentary magazine's group blog, Contentions, has published an item I wrote about Bloomberg News's coverage of the turmoil in the Middle East.

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Google Antitrust Probe
futureofcapitalism.com

"Google Said to Be Possible Target of U.S. FTC Antitrust Probe" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article that begins, "Google Inc.'s dominance of the Internet-search industry is being considered for a broad antitrust investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, two people familiar with the matter said."

The people "spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is still confidential."

This is really something. It'd be one thing if a court found Google guilty of an antitrust violation. It's a second thing if the government files formal antitrust charges against Google in court. It's a third thing if the government is investigating Google. But Bloomberg hangs an entire news article on a fourth thing: the government is considering investigating Google.

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The Google Shakedown
futureofcapitalism.com

"Google and Cisco to Join White House Effort to Promote Entrepreneurship" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article about Google's announcement that it is "committing up to $100 million to Startup America Partnership member companies to enable entrepreneurs to promote their companies with Google advertising over the next year."

The Google blog post says what the White House announcement doesn't: participants will "receive a $1,000 Google match for $1,000 spent between June 1, 2011 and June 1, 2012." So it's not really free advertising, it's 50% off advertising, on a product for which Google's marginal costs are low and its operating margins are high. I wouldn't be surprised, in fact, if Google actually on a net basis increased its profits on the basis of this "commitment."

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Bloomberg Spins Its Own Poll
futureofcapitalism.com

"Global Investors Rebuff Republicans in Poll Showing 2-to-1 Say Raise Taxes" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article about a Bloomberg poll of a sample of its own worldwide customers.

Here's what the poll actually asked: "Do you think it is or is not possible to bring down the U.S. deficit substantially without raising taxes?" Thirty-three percent answered "is possible," and 64% answered "is not possible."

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Google Antitrust Probe
futureofcapitalism.com

"Google Antitrust Probe by U.S. Could Take Years" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article that begins, "Google Inc. (GOOG) may be forced to spend years defending itself in a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation that could be the government's biggest antitrust probe since the Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) case. Even if Google ultimately prevails, the probe might create uncertainty around the company's business, slowing its momentum, lawyers and analysts said." [Emphasis ours.]

Note all the wiggle words: "could...may...could...might." This investigation could be the biggest since Microsoft and create business uncertainty for Google for years. Or it could not. The article focuses on the possibility that it could.

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CEO Pay and Taxes
futureofcapitalism.com

A report by the hard-left Institute for Policy Studies that 25 corporate CEOs earned more than their companies paid in taxes has attracted a surprising amount of press coverage. The Washington Post has an article by Peter Whoriskey, Politico has a dispatch by Mackenzie Weinger, the New York Times has a story by David Kocieniewski, public radio's "Marketplace" program has a piece by Eve Troeh, and Bloomberg has an article by Andrew Zajac.

Of these five articles, four — all but Bloomberg News — described the IPS's political leanings. Marketplace called it "liberal-leaning," Politico called it "left-leaning," the Washington Post called it "liberal," and the New York Times called it "liberal-leaning." (None asked what's "liberal" about an organization that's partnered with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which would replace Israel with a Hamas-run state that jails homosexuals and bans women from driving, but that's a separate issue.) Two — the New York Times and the Washington Post — included some reaction from the corporations being criticized. And exactly zero of the articles pointed out the hypocrisy of the Institute for Policy Studies, which as a non-profit not only pays no taxes itself at the corporate level but funds itself by offering tax deductions to donors, complaining about corporate taxes and compensation.

Read More...


CEO Pay and Taxes
futureofcapitalism.com

A report by the hard-left Institute for Policy Studies that 25 corporate CEOs earned more than their companies paid in taxes has attracted a surprising amount of press coverage. The Washington Post has an article by Peter Whoriskey, Politico has a dispatch by Mackenzie Weinger, the New York Times has a story by David Kocieniewski, public radio's "Marketplace" program has a piece by Eve Troeh, and Bloomberg has an article by Andrew Zajac.

Of these five articles, four — all but Bloomberg News — described the IPS's political leanings. Marketplace called it "liberal-leaning," Politico called it "left-leaning," the Washington Post called it "liberal," and the New York Times called it "liberal-leaning." (None asked what's "liberal" about an organization that's partnered with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, which would replace Israel with a Hamas-run state that jails homosexuals and bans women from driving, but that's a separate issue.) Two — the New York Times and the Washington Post — included some reaction from the corporations being criticized. And exactly zero of the articles pointed out the hypocrisy of the Institute for Policy Studies, which as a non-profit not only pays no taxes itself at the corporate level but funds itself by offering tax deductions to donors, complaining about corporate taxes and compensation.

Read More...


Another Ryan Donmoyer Special
futureofcapitalism.com

Bloomberg's Ryan Donmoyer, a participant in the hard-left Journo-List, has an article about a Treasury Department look at the question of whether White House aide Austan Goolsbee did anything wrong in naming Koch Industries in a conversation with reporters about corporate tax structures. The final paragraphs of the article dismiss the concerns:

Christopher Bergin, chief executive of Tax Analysts, a Falls Church, Virginia, publisher of tax information, said it's "incredibly unlikely" that top White House officials would violate confidentiality laws. Even if they tried, IRS procedures put in place after President Richard Nixon tried to use the agency for political purposes would stop them, Bergin said.

Read More...


Another Ryan Donmoyer Cheap Shot
futureofcapitalism.com

Biased articles by Bloomberg News's in-house ideologue, Journo-lister Ryan Donmoyer, are becoming so frequent (see here, here, and here) that I hesitate to point them out, but every once in a while one comes along that is so egregious that it demands notice. Today's example is an article under the headline "Return of Estate Tax Looms as Final Impediment to Extending Bush Tax Cuts."

Here is Mr. Donmoyer attempting to summarize the argument: "Opponents criticize the estate tax as an unfair levy that destroys family businesses while proponents of the tax, who include billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, view it as essential to preserving meritocracy in U.S. society." The opponents get no names, while the proponents are associated with two rich and generally popular famous people.

Read More...


Tax Terminology
futureofcapitalism.com

It's interesting to see how the terminology used for tax laws is different depending on which taxpayers are at issue. The left manages to criticizes President Obama for approving "tax cuts for the rich" while at the same time insisting that the middle class not be socked with a "tax increase." If it's a "tax cut" for the "rich," isn't it also a tax cut for the middle class? And if it's a tax increase on the middle class, wouldn't it also be a tax increase on the "rich"?

There was something of a similar debate back in the mid-1990s over a reduction in the planned growth rate of Medicare spending. Democrats called it a "cut," while Republicans insisted that it was an increase, because spending was still going up.

Read More...


Bloomberg News on Egypt
futureofcapitalism.com

Commentary magazine's group blog, Contentions, has published an item I wrote about Bloomberg News's coverage of the turmoil in the Middle East.

Read More...


Google Antitrust Probe
futureofcapitalism.com

"Google Said to Be Possible Target of U.S. FTC Antitrust Probe" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article that begins, "Google Inc.'s dominance of the Internet-search industry is being considered for a broad antitrust investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, two people familiar with the matter said."

The people "spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is still confidential."

This is really something. It'd be one thing if a court found Google guilty of an antitrust violation. It's a second thing if the government files formal antitrust charges against Google in court. It's a third thing if the government is investigating Google. But Bloomberg hangs an entire news article on a fourth thing: the government is considering investigating Google.

Read More...


The Google Shakedown
futureofcapitalism.com

"Google and Cisco to Join White House Effort to Promote Entrepreneurship" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article about Google's announcement that it is "committing up to $100 million to Startup America Partnership member companies to enable entrepreneurs to promote their companies with Google advertising over the next year."

The Google blog post says what the White House announcement doesn't: participants will "receive a $1,000 Google match for $1,000 spent between June 1, 2011 and June 1, 2012." So it's not really free advertising, it's 50% off advertising, on a product for which Google's marginal costs are low and its operating margins are high. I wouldn't be surprised, in fact, if Google actually on a net basis increased its profits on the basis of this "commitment."

Read More...


Bloomberg Spins Its Own Poll
futureofcapitalism.com

"Global Investors Rebuff Republicans in Poll Showing 2-to-1 Say Raise Taxes" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article about a Bloomberg poll of a sample of its own worldwide customers.

Here's what the poll actually asked: "Do you think it is or is not possible to bring down the U.S. deficit substantially without raising taxes?" Thirty-three percent answered "is possible," and 64% answered "is not possible."

Read More...


Google Antitrust Probe
futureofcapitalism.com

"Google Antitrust Probe by U.S. Could Take Years" is the headline over a Bloomberg News article that begins, "Google Inc. (GOOG) may be forced to spend years defending itself in a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation that could be the government's biggest antitrust probe since the Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) case. Even if Google ultimately prevails, the probe might create uncertainty around the company's business, slowing its momentum, lawyers and analysts said." [Emphasis ours.]

Note all the wiggle words: "could...may...could...might." This investigation could be the biggest since Microsoft and create business uncertainty for Google for years. Or it could not. The article focuses on the possibility that it could.

Read More...


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Mark Silva

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