President Obama told House Democrats on Thursday to avoid reading The Huffington Post, ironically just before his own blog went up on the site. While Obama has mentioned his misgivings with HuffPost in the past, this time his criticism came in response to a question about his trade deals.
“The fact that president Obama’s got so worked up over analysis of the HuffPost criticizing his trade agenda, I think that it says something,” Global Trade Watch research director Ben Beachy told HuffPost Live on Friday. “I think what it says is Obama is having to reckon with the difficult reality that his trade agenda directly conflicts with and undermines his stated middle class economics agenda.”
HuffPost Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim told HuffPost Live that the site's concurrence with Obama's overarching goals are the very reason for its criticism of his trade policy, which some say would actually increase income inequality.
“When The Huffington Post, for instance, is so critical of Wall Street policy or somebody like Larry Summers or somebody like Antonio Weiss … [Obama] knows that we’re coming from a place of sympathy with the goals of expanding opportunity, of trying to reduce poverty,” Grim told host Marc Lamont Hill. “You’re generally finding agreements about the ends [but not the means].”
Beachy debunked the theory that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would create jobs and explained how it would likely result in a pay decrease for workers who make less than $80,000.
“[The plan would add] more offshoring incentives, which means a loss of manufacturing jobs. Since NAFTA, nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost,” he said. "Workers that are displaced have had to take pay cuts working retail, in restaurants, and that is increasing inequality. ... The increasing inequality would outweigh any tiny economic gains for the median worker, and nine out of 10 of us … would actually get a pay cut from the TPP.”
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about Obama’s criticism of The Huffington Post here.