Friday, October 23, 2009

Mainstream Media Cheers Budget Cuts Sure to Delay Recovery

Japan's mainstream media is a national media. The broadcasts and reports emanating from Tokyo are practically unanimous in their point of view.

The Tokyo-based media fell in line to support and praise Prime Minister Hatoyama's decision to "cut the fat" from the budget. But the government has stalled the recovery in the name of cutting the fat. The minority view that the cuts are bad was not given air time. The media simply ignored that view.

Opinion polls showed strong public support for the Hatoyama Cabinet's budget cuts, or as the polls put it, "getting rid of the waste."

Supplementary budgets are meant to help the economy recover. Cut them, and their ability to pump up the economy is weakened. The government plans to cut the budgets it should be spending and wait till next year to spend that money. This will weaken our current attempts at economic recovery.

The problems the government should be setting policy for are the recession and unemployment. Cutting the supplementary budget is a measure that slows the economic recovery. This step should be rethought. The mass media's support for this measure casts a dark shadow over Japan.