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The Balance Sheet

The Media Research Center

Free Market Project - Auditing the media's coverage of the free enterprise system

Volume 1 Issue 10 October 19, 2005

In this issue: Bankruptcy Lobbying • Exercise in Futility • Union Health Care • Good, Bad & Ugly
Katrina • Taxes • Energy • Economics • Social Security • Tort Reform • Events

New from the Free Market Project

Lobbying for Extra Credit
Bankruptcy reform took effect this week, despite the media’s arguments against it. The Free Market Project took a look at network coverage of the bill, from proposal to law, and found the networks using victims of Hurricane Katrina to lobby for a delay. Calling bankruptcy a “fresh start” and a “safety net,” journalists failed to consider the new law as a curb on abuse of the legal system.

Flat-Out Un-Fair: Tax ‘Fix’ More than a Four-Letter Word 
The president’s panel on tax reform was supposed to simplify the tax code. Instead, it’s suggesting more of the same – having government pick the winners and losers in the economy. Its proposals won’t aid growth or create jobs, but they will disappoint taxpayers who thought the panel could make a difference.

Auto Workers’ Benefits: Catching Up with the Times
The United Auto Workers union and General Motors Corp. are embroiled in a legal battle over health benefits. The media have tried to suggest that the automaker’s attempt to have its workers pay a portion of their health coverage is something new and terrible that will bring trouble to other industries and the economy in general. The problem with that reasoning is that GM is only catching up with what other companies have been doing.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly tracks the best and worst media coverage of business and economics. Readers are invited to submit suggestions or news tips to Director Dan Gainor.
This week: A fair view of FairTax; the problem with calling for government aid; and why the Four Horsemen are over the top.

Also from FMP:

‘War, Famine, Pestilence and Death’

Katrina Brought Poverty in America to the Front Page

Federal Help?

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Research, News & Commentary

Hurricane Katrina

Commentary: Ole Miss’s William Shughart elaborates on why government failed in its response to Katrina.

Government Spending/Taxes:

Research: The Cato Institute compares spending between the current administration and Lyndon Johnson’s. Bush outspent Johnson on discretionary spending.

Research: 'Tis the season for tax reform, and the Institute for Policy Innovation has plenty of ideas in their “Road Map to Tax Reform.”


Research: Tom Lehman plays a game of “gasoline price fact and fiction” with his old friends, supply and demand.


Research: The Bush Administration’s decision to embrace diversity and rejoin UNESCO could engender trade protectionism and cultural prejudice.

Social Security Reform

Commentary: The Thrift Savings Plan is offering more lucrative investment opportunities for government employees.

Liability Reform

Commentary: AEI’s Kevin Hassett explores a tort reform that costs more money than saves lives.

Upcoming Events

Tell us about events coming up in your area!

Contemporary Issues in Public Health: Separating Fact from Fiction
with Free Market Project Adviser Dr. Elizabeth Whelan
Sponsored by The Heartland Institute
The Metropolitan Club, The Sears Tower, Chicago
Oct. 20, 11:45 a.m.

The Effects of Community College Training on Displaced Workers
Hudson Institute
Oct. 21, 9:00 a.m.

Can Lawmakers Rein in Runaway Federal Spending?
The Heritage Foundation

Oct. 26, 2:30 p.m.

Monetary Institutions and Economic Development
Sponsored by the Cato Institute and The Economist
Cato Institute
November 3, 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

“States of Fear: Science or Politics?” with Michael Crichton
Hotel Nikko, San Francisco
Nov. 15, 8:00 p.m.

Join Us in Telling 50 Million Americans Every Week About Liberal Media Bias!

Editorial Staff
Dan Gainor, Free Market Project Director
Amy Menefee, Balance Sheet Editor
Charles Simpson, Research Analyst

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