Today came news that the federal budget deficit is on the decline. Why’s that? Increased tax revenue.

And suddenly, everyone’s raking in the dough as an economic analyst.

Alexander K. McClure thinks that the news ought to get Democrats “worried about oil prices. If they really start to fall and this economy really takes off, Democrats will have to deal with the tragedy of a Republican president running a surplus.”

Not so fast, McClure. Mumonno says that oil prices will go up. And, he points out, it’s best to read past the first few paragraphs of the New York Times article, which states that the increased revenue was due to corporate tax payments that had been deferred earlier in the Bush administration.

It’s this type of negativism that doesn’t make Dinocrat happy. He has more on the Times piece: “The NYT headline is a good one — Sharp Increase in Tax Revenue Will Pare U.S. Deficit — but that’s the only good news to be found in the doom and gloom NYT, when it’s discussing the Bush administration and the economy. The overall, and oft-repeated, theme of the piece is that any gains made today are ‘ephemeral.’ The Times goes out if its way to make its point in several ways, all of them misleading. Is this negativism in the style book?” He’s got a paragraph-by-paragraph critique, plus a chart.

Moose Tracks, writing from Minnesota, is convinced that the good economic news will be lost in the shuffle. His take: “There has been a lot of media and Democrat hand wringing about how unrealistic the Bush campaign promise to cut the deficit in half was without the all-purpose media solution on massive tax increases. Expect the story of a lower deficit to see minimal coverage with many caveats about ‘the numbers being bad.’”

Moose Tracks’ enlightening commentary doesn’t end there. He shares with us a journey from yesterday evening: “I got a chance to listen to a little of ‘Fresh Air’ with Terry Gross on MPR this evening as I journeyed home from a Church board meeting, and was rewarded with some great humor for my efforts. She was interviewing a Marine reserve Doctor that is head of some university medical school as well as having served in Iraq. She did her best to try to get him to say something bad about the politics, the efforts, ANYTHING to do with the war, but he remained dedicated to the service, dedicated to the soldiers, and not willing to take any political bait … [At] the end of the interview, her disappointment was palpable.”

It only gets better as Moose Tracks picks up steam: “It is a great country, he goes to war to fight for the freedom of a tax subsidized woman whose high moments are if someone with turrette’s comes on and says something inappropriate or she can giggle about gay sex with a guest. If the Muslims that she respects and loves to talk positively about (as opposed to disgusting closed-minded Christians) ever were in charge, they would take her out and shoot her, with some unfriendly treatment on the way to having her brains blown out. How out of touch with reality can a reporter be to think she will get the better of a 30+ year military veteran, Medical Doctor, and head of a university medical center? She was completely out of her league, but apparently her obliviousness knows no bounds as seems to be the case for most of the mass media.”

But, we, like the Mooster, digress. Back to the numbers, and another rip on the Times. The Anchoress isn’t surprised that the “NY Times could only find critics to quote on this story.” Plus, the treatment of the recent unemployment statistics — down to 5 percent — call to her mind a time “when the press crowed that 5.6 percent unemployment was ‘full employment,’ but of course, that was in the 1990’s when good news was allowed to be good news.”

We could go on, but by now you get the point.

Thomas Lang

Thomas Lang was a writer at CJR Daily.