Washington Post, September 18: “The Democratic Congress is considering 2008 spending bills that increase funding for politically popular programs….”
Washington Post, September 19: “With a difficult war debate looming and presidential vetoes for a host of popular legislation….”
Washington Post, September 20: “Republicans and Democrats in the [Virginia] General Assembly proposed election-year spending increases for popular programs….”
Notice any pattern?
The Washington Post is a great paper, but like many papers it reveals a pro-spending bias when it reports on government budget issues. One aspect of this is the common portrayal of any increase or cut as affecting “popular programs.” Every type of program is portrayed as “popular,” whether it provides benefits to 50% of Americans or just 0.05% of Americans.
Presumably, Post reporters don’t do a public poll to find out which programs really are ”popular.” Instead, they just automatically stick the word in stories to perhaps suggest, “Ohhh, policymakers better not cut spending on that one or else there will be hell to pay.”