"The Fix Is In" On Unicameral's Tax Cut Planby Kyle Michaelis
The Omaha World-Herald read:
Tax Cut Plan Called Good BalanceThe Lincoln Journal-Star read:
A proposal advances that would set aside $100 million in 2007-08 to pay property taxes.
Tax Cuts: Everyone BenefitsI can't compete with that. It's not journalism - it's advocacy. And, it's not a damn bit objective by any stretch of the imagination.
Governor offers support to proposal that provides more than $200 million in tax relief.
Right then and there, the state's two largest newspapers decided for the people of Nebraska that the Revenue Committee's plan was going to go through. For almost three weeks now, I've been meaning to dissect the Revenue Committee's proposal - acknowledging that it's nowhere near as hideous and appalling as Gov. Dave Heineman's original tax cut plan but that it's also nowhere near as beneficial or equitable as the headlines would let on.
Now that the debate has actually begun on the floor of the legislature, it's probably too late to really make any attempt to beat back all the hype and the one-sided coverage likely to carry the Revenue Committee's plan through the legislature.
Only yesterday did the Lincoln Journal-Star finally carry an article admitting "there are winners and losers with the plan." But, guess what - that admission came in an article entitled:
Tax Cut Package: A Bit For EverybodyMaybe it's not the journalists - just the copy editors - who are using the full force of the press to curry favor with Gov. Heineman and to prevent an honest assessment of the weaknesses of the current proposal.
And, what of "the losers" under this tax cut plan? Who will speak for them? Who has even acknowledged that they exist in the Nebraska media but as a throwaway line in a heap of spin? They are the unmarried. They are the working poor. They are anyone in the middle-class who owns their own home because they would see so much more benefit under alternative proposals (that, polling shows, people actually prefer).
I haven't spoken up for them these last three weeks. No one else has either. And, in the rush to go along and get along with a plan specifically crafted to please everyone....so long as there is no critical analysis and no questions are asked, I doubt that anyone will be able to truly make a stand for the quiet majority of Nebraska voters who have been deliberately silenced and manipulated by the media and by the politicians in whom they place their trust.