Ruth Marcus on the Upside of Obama’s Tax Cut Deal and Byline Survey Results Week 10

This week opinion commentary across the board abounded with criticism of Obama’s tax cut deal. In contrast to the sea of disapproval, Ruth Marcus wrote an op-ed in today’s edition of the Washington Post arguing Obama’s tax cut deal could present a blessing in disguise. Although she readily recognizes that the maintenance of Bush’s tax cuts throughout Obama’s term is in many ways “galling,” Marcus argues that in the short term, while the economy is still suffering, extending the tax cuts could actually make a great deal of sense.

Her optimism derives from a belief that the tax cut deal could serve to re-frame the debate over taxes and produce significant reform of the tax system. Marcus argues that “the White House could seize the moment to shift the argument away from the stale question of whether rates should rise, and toward the more attractive playing field of how they can be lowered – and more revenue raised in the bargain.”

Additionally, Marcus sees the deal as a relatively painless way for Obama “to wriggle out of his most irresponsible campaign promise: to permanently extend the so-called middle-class tax cuts, the middle in this case amounting to 98 percent of households.” As making those cuts permanent, as the president and congressional Democrats wanted, would cost more than $2 trillion over the next decade.

In other news, this weeks byline survey finds slightly higher than average percentages of female writers. Salon published the highest ratio of female authors at 36%, with the Daily Beast coming in second at 26%. We are just a few short weeks away from the completion of the three-month survey, so make sure to stay tuned for updates on the final report!


NYT         WSJ           WP           SA         HP         DB

%W           22           20             21            36           22         26

%M           78           80             81            64           78          74


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