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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Premise is good but 80% of this is a highly biased rant - Frontline usually does better!!!!
on April 21, 2013
It starts off as a puff piece to Obama who is met with a virtually impossible task of correcting a bad economy. Of course this completely ignores the fact that the markets had bottomed out and credit had been stabilized before any plan of his could be implemented. Granted, credit was not flowing due to the apprehension of the banks but there was nothing that Obama, or any other president, could do to resolve that specific problem.
After the necessary media fawning over the new president we get to the crux of the issue - we cannot keep spending the way we are doing. Incredibly, the documentary (if it can be called that) claims that Obama knows this but never asks why he doesn't act that way, this seems to be a glaring omission.
After watching the film it becomes apparent that Forrest Sawyer comes off as a biased Keynesian, who accepts Keynesian economics as being sacrosanct and never once examines any other viewpoints. This becomes completely distributing when you realize that he only interviews people that agree with his point of view. This sort of biased journalism is replete throughout the so-called documentary and unfortunately puts this particular frontline episode much more into the realm of a Michael Moore Mockumentary.
OBVIOUS FALSEHOODS, GAFFES, AND PURE OVERSHIGHTS PROMOTED BY THE FILM.
Sawyer claims that Clinton left a budget surplus - FALSE - When Clinton left office the Debt was still INCREASING, in other words, NO budget surplus - see Wikipedia or the CBO for charts and graphs that PROVE this point. The worst part is they had a big-wig Democratic political figure lie bold-face to the audience and claim that Clinton gave us FOUR years of surpluses. Any nonbiased journalist would have challenged this false assumption and brought out the real FACTS that thoroughly dispute this but Forrest Sawyer simply agreed - pathetic.
The parsing together of comments by Forrest with clips from Bush, making it seem that Bush agreed with Forrest's claims. He then used Democratic operatives to agree with his premise, many times making false claims in the process. This was blatant propaganda, ala Michael Moore, cutting and splicing speeches to make claims that people never made.
The mockumentary (yes it seems to fall into that category) makes a great deal of hay about Bush's tax cut but never once mentions that the largest tax-cutter in History was none other than their President Obama. While Forrest likes to excoriate tax cuts you would think he would at least mention the largest one in history but nope, that seemed to have been forgotten - I wonder why????????
Sawyer claims Bill Clinton (or any president for that matter) was/is responsible for spending - FALSE - Congress is responsible for spending and is the only branch authorized by the constitution to spend money. It was the Republican congress under Clinton that forced Clinton to sign budgets he detested and fought against. The result was greatly reduced spending but Forrest claims this was Clinton's doing. It becomes apparent that Sawyer is so biased that if the parties were reversed he would have given credit to the Democratic congress, this is sad.
On the starve the beast propaganda, Forrest Sawyer let a far left pundit babble on and make numerous false claims without a challenge. One of the most egregiously false ones is that congress spends the same under democratic or republican control. This is FALSE, the real number from whitehouse.gov is that Democratically controlled congress's have increased the budget deficit by $ 10,917,243,000 VS Republican controlled congress's which have increased the budget deficit by $ 2,399,450,000.
"Bush disastrous tax cuts" vs " Obama's stimulus plan" aka Obama's tax cuts which were LARGER than Bush's . This use of negative terms when describing anything Republican and the use of positive terms when describing anything Democratic got nauseating after a while. Can one scream BIAS any louder????
The absolutely FALSE claim that war appropriations (which have been used for 150+ years as the normal procedure to pay for wars) were a dishonest way that Bush tried to keep the war off the books. This is such a BLATANTLY FALSE claim that any and all respect I had for Forrest Sawyer not challenging this, went out the window.
The FALSE idea that reconciliation was something new and underhanded done by President Bush to enact budget bills. The FACT is congress and President Clinton used reconciliation 4 times (he wanted a fifth but his party went against him and said no) while Bush used it twice. As of 2010 President Obama has used it once. Did the mockumentary mention Clintons or Obama's use of reconciliation - of course not, instead Sawyer described it as a "political maneuver" and a "end-run". I guess it's only bad when Republicans use it.
When negotiations started about a Obama's budget and stimulus plan, Sawyer fawned over Obama as wanting to stop partisanship when in fact he increased it by creating secret committees, excluding high ranking republicans from talks, and ignoring much of what his political advisors told him on negotiating. This was all known and any neutral documentary would have exposed Obama as a big part of the partisan problem. See http://www.amazon.com/The-Price-Politics-Bob-Woodward/dp/1451651104 for a non-biased viewpoint from a veteran reporter.
Only one person mentions the effect that 9/11 had on the economy, which for those of you who don't remember was the most devastating single economic event EVER. It ground an economy that was suffering from the Clinton recession even deeper into a mini-recession with broad-sweeping ripples. However the connection between this large slow-down and the resultant loss of tax revenue was NEVER linked to the increasing of the deficit, instead Sawyer claimed it was all tax cuts, ironically the large deficits now are not form increased spending or Obama's tax cuts (bigger than bushes) but from the economic slowdown - arghhhh this hypocrisy is all over this documentary..
In an attempt to attack Bush even more Sawyer complains that Medicare Part D costs us too much but doesn't ever say that Part D's costs is less than 13% of all Medicare Costs. Later on he exposes the unsustainable total cost of Medicare, none of which was paid for when enacted, but he only singles out Bush for Part D. He also never mentions that Part D was a Democratic plan originally under Clinton (just like personalized social security accounts) but when Bush enacts it - it's the devils incarnates plan.
Sawyer made the claim that Obama only added 787 Billion to the debt in his first budget, this number was FALSE then, FALSE when the program was edited and FALSE when it aired. The real number was 1,294 Billion. An error in FAVOR of Obama by 507 Billion. Such careless and sloppy reporting cannot just be ignored since he makes so many mistakes in FAVOR of Democrats and AGAINST Republicans one must conclude that this is done purposefully.
It was silly to think we could wage war without paying for it.
Highlights pay-as-you-go rule that should be implemented.
Highlights that JUST Medicare Part D costs more than the war in Iraq.
Shows that entitlement spending is going to destroy the country unless we do something.
Used accurate numbers on the projected debt segment.
Admits taxes have to rise "across the board".
A pro-Keynesian, pro-Democrat, Anti-Republican rant for 80% of the film. Only the last 10 minutes actually outline the real problem without extreme partisan bias. If you are a knowledgeable you will see through the blatant falsehoods however most Americans will be misinformed by the propaganda in this work. Stick to the last 10 minutes only.