Patterico's Pontifications

10/4/2007

A Quiz: Spot the Paper with the Liberal Bias

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:40 am



I am about to give you the easiest quiz you’ve ever taken.

Here are passages from two different stories about a telephone tax in Los Angeles. One is from the Los Angeles Times, and the other is from the L.A. Daily News. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is simply this: tell me which passage came from the L.A. Times.

This?

a) A proposal designed to maintain a telephone users tax on Los Angeles residents will get its first test today before the City Council.

or this?

b) Hoping to avoid huge budget cuts and the slashing of city services, the Los Angeles City Council today took the first step toward asking voters in February to continue paying a telephone utility users tax.

Which one was the L.A. Times?

If you said a, you get the dunce cap and a trip to the corner. With all due respect, you’re too stupid to read this blog. Go away and don’t come back.

But none of you made that silly mistake, did you? You’re savvy enough to realize that in any story about taxes or government budgets, the L.A. Times always, always emphasizes the awful things that might happen if taxes or spending are reduced.

The L.A. Times story is here. The Daily News story is here. If you read through both, you’ll find more examples of pro-tax spin by the L.A. Times — like when the article says: “The council is considering a plan to cut the tax from 10% to 9% on cellular and land-line calls — a savings they hope will make the tax measure more palatable to voters.”

What a deal! Instead of an illegal tax that the courts will almost certainly invalidate, how about a legal tax that is one percentage point lower than the illegal tax? Only trouble is, because the illegal tax is illegal, the legal tax would be nine percentage points higher than the illegal tax. Because, you see, the illegal tax is illegal, meaning we shouldn’t have to pay it at all. As Jon Coupal says: “The constitutional language mandating voter approval is so clear even dissembling elected officials should be able to figure it out.”

No matter: the strategem of calling it a tax reduction is working with the idiots in the focus groups.

[Mayor Villaraigosa’s pollster] Feldman Group also tried to determine whether voters would be more likely to support the telephone tax if it were lowered from 10% to 9%. That concept, pitched as a reduction in taxes, won support from 60% of respondents.

Great. With a little help from the L.A. Times screaming about all the awful things that might happen if we turned off the faucet, maybe we can get this turkey passed, and get back to the business of giving the likes of Tennie Pierce $1.5 million for a few mouthfuls of dog food.

(H/t to KFI loudmouths John and Ken, whom I am rapidly beginning to appreciate.)

25 Responses to “A Quiz: Spot the Paper with the Liberal Bias”

  1. Wow. Your city council are bastards. Right slimy thieves. Trying to steal from the public and and breaking your state’s constitution.

    I don’t know what to say, except I wish jail was a possibility. It isn’t, but the tax should be rescinded and the voters should tear these politicians new ones.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. Oh, off topic, Patterico, but I hope you post and cover the Danny Bonaduce video as a general interest story and give us your opinion on whether there is an assault, who committed that assault, and what if any charges are warranted. Or at least open up the discussion because there’s a lot of interest in this case, trivial though it may seem, in conservative circles.

    Plus, even if an assault did occur, would this be subject to trial by jury (I don’t know; I assume so if it’s a possible felony charge) and is there any likelihood of getting 12-people to agree that it wasn’t self-defense? Is it unprosecuteable?

    [I love new words.]

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. Another often used liberal tactic is to propose an unrealistically high increase in benefits. For discussion purposes, say a 10% increase. When the Republicans counter with a 5% increase in benefits, the liberals and MSM scream: “Republicans propose drastic cuts” even though total spending increases.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  4. About 1/3 of calls placed to 911 these days come from cell phones.

    L.A. could probably make up the lost tax revenue by simply not sending its cops and fire fighters to answer these calls.

    alphie (99bc18)

  5. Or, alphie, you troll, they could simply respect the law, follow your state’s constitution, and explain the financial situation to their voters and ask for funding. They should have done this from the get-go, obviously, and instead they snubbed their fingers at the California voters who passed The Right to Vote on Taxes act.

    They knowingly breached the the law, which makes them pinheads.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  6. Haha, Cristoph,

    I’d say the defining trait of neocons is how they view taxes and government services as completely separate things.

    They always call for the government to do more (wars, stop illegal immigrants, etc.) while at the same time demanding lower taxes.

    I think L.A. should just label the tax a “911 tax” and let cell phone users decide whether they want 911 service or not.

    alphie (99bc18)

  7. alphie, you troll, you haven’t addressed the central issue, you’ve just bloviated around it.

    California is a democracy. The voters passed Proposition 218 into law. The L.A. city council received legal advice its challenge to that law was without merit.

    Then, it broke the law.

    If you feel the tax is justified, fine. If you feel the services are necessary, fine. If you don’t think there’s any other programs that can be cut to pay for it, fine.

    The law is the law and the constitutional thing to do was for the city council to honestly make their cases to the voters. They failed to do that because they obviously don’t respect democracy and the rule of law.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  8. Looks like the voters are gonna get a chance to approve it, Christoph.

    The tax was fought by corporations, not by outraged citizens.

    But the corporations, once again, seem to have little trouble generating a little free faux public outrage to help themselves out.

    I say let the cell phone companies set up their own police and fire departments and 911 call centers to service their “outraged” customers.

    alphie (99bc18)

  9. Looks like the voters are gonna get a chance to approve it, Christoph.

    After they violated the constitution and thumbed their nose at California voters.

    Funny how your leftist democracy works… ignore the law, then, when caught, belatedly follow it.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  10. Alphie and I have something in common – we both hate cell phones.

    Unfortunately, he still does not know what a “neocon” is, even after typing the word 250 times a day. In fact, he gets farther all the time from knowing what a neocon is. Like Britney Spears trying to follow the advice of her child custody lawyer, the learning curve is negative.

    Somebody is pulling the circuit boards out of his Hal 9000.

    Glen Wishard (b1987d)

  11. Somebody is pulling the last circuit boards out of his Hal 9000.

    There. Fixed it for you.

    Slartibartfast (dce15e)

  12. Couldn’t this budget “shortfall” be fixed with the simple, easy tax on the L. A. Times, or any other large newspaper?

    Say, $5 each? Wouldn’t that cover all the needed services and governmental spending?

    Unix-Jedi (651a1b)

  13. At a time when Schwarzenegger authorized huge increases in education spending, LA Times ran stories nearly every day calling these huge increases “cuts in education”.

    Because, you see, some people in the politics/education business were not granted as much money they wanted. So that’s an LA Times “cut” too.

    Wesson (fd354d)

  14. Couldn’t this budget “shortfall” be fixed with the simple, easy tax on the L. A. Times, or any other large newspaper?

    Say, $5 each? Wouldn’t that cover all the needed services and governmental spending?

    GREAT IDEA JEDI! Five may be a bit overboard, but could you imagine the screams of 1st amendment infringement with even a .02 tax on newpapers to pay for an government service?

    L.A. could probably make up the lost tax revenue by simply not sending its cops and fire fighters to answer these calls.

    Alphie, did you know there’s a new shuttle service to guantanamo for folks that make statements like this? The sign at the gate reads: “Shuttle service to new asylum wing—no child left behind”.

    Rovin (7f64b8)

  15. Patterico,

    Instead of a hat tip, how about just sending John a cheese pirogi?

    PCD (b47ba5)

  16. Has alphie ever agreed with anyone?

    PatAZ (56a0a8)

  17. I got the correct answer. Mission Accomplished.

    DRJ (d48e2d)

  18. I’d say the defining trait of neocons is how they view taxes and government services as completely separate things.

    They always call for the government to do more (wars, stop illegal immigrants, etc.) while at the same time demanding lower taxes.

    when did wars and stopping illegal immigration become “more”?? thats 2 of the basic duties of gov’t.

    chas (ac0ce9)

  19. Well put, chas.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  20. Be fair: Hoping to avoid huge budget cuts and the slashing of city services, the Los Angeles City Council today took the first step toward asking voters in February to continue paying a telephone utility users tax.
    would be very appropriate language from a conserative newspaper hoping to encourage opposition to the tax among conservatives.

    Re Rovin in 14: Here in Florida, if you buy a newspaper inside a store, you pay the normal sales tax rate. If you buy it from one of those people who sell it at big intersections, you don’t pay sales tax. No one has ever talked about the First Amendment, to my knowledge. And since many people (myself included) prefer not to buy papers from scruffy street vendors who look like they’re one step up from the homeless shelter, the tax difference isn’t even a competitive disadvantage to in-store sales.

    kishnevi (a43262)

  21. And since many people (myself included) prefer not to buy papers from scruffy street vendors who look like they’re one step up from the homeless shelter, the tax difference isn’t even a competitive disadvantage to in-store sales.

    Ding ding ding ding ding. Congratulations!

    You’ve made the stupidest comment on the internet since it’s inception by Algore.

    God forbid someone who would otherwise be homeless should make a living by selling a legitimate product to a market of people who wish to purchase it. And yes, your paying an extra dime or so proves people really like taxes… no disincentive at all. The empirical economic data showing otherwise is just bunk.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  22. Patrick–

    I’ll help you write the ballot argument against. Seems that the last time they pulled this stuff (the “3 term term limits” *) no one submitted a counter argument. Happens a lot in LA for some reason.

    * Ballot issue where a 3-term limit was sold as “term limits!!!” when a 2-term limit was already in place.

    Or, “choco rations going up!”

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  23. Meanwhile, while they dangle this tidbit in front of us, the LA City Council is also planning to ignore the Ellis Act, and require landlords to stay in business at rents set by the city council. And/or waive all their Ellis Act rights next time they want a building permit. PDF gloat by Comrade Rosendahl

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  24. I’d say the defining trait of neocons is how they view taxes and government services as completely separate things.

    Really? That’s the defining trait that sets “neocons” apart from, say, other conservatives?

    Alphie, you obviously really love the word “neocon,” but you have no idea what it means. Go away.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  25. The Mayor is even sneakier than your readers may realize.

    Prop S would not “maintain” a telephone tax. Rather, it would reinstate a cell phone tax that the Superior Court invalidated two-and-a-half years ago — a tax that Villaraigosa has continued to tax and spend despite the ruling!

    For all the details on this sneaky proposition, visit my website, WalterMooreForMayor.com. I’m running for mayor against Villaraigosa, and I wrote the official ballot argument against Prop S.

    Walter Moore

    Walter Moore (d26476)


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