That's what millions of listeners must be asking after hearing its reference to the budget deal in a top of the half hour news segment on Morning Edition (sorry, no link). The segment told listeners that the deal did little to reduce the deficit.

That is perhaps true, but how did NPR decide that this was the most important piece of information to give listeners in this short piece. It could have told listeners about its impact on much more important problems. For example, due to lack of demand we are losing $1 trillion a year in potential output according to the Congressional Budget Office. We are also down more than 8 million jobs from trend levels. It might have been appropriate to tell listeners that the budget does nothing to boost the economy and address the job shortfall.

NPR could have also told readers that the budget does little to address the problem of global warming which is likely to have devastating consequences for our children and grandchildren. However NPR instead chose to highlight the fact that the budget apparently did not meet its concerns for reducing the deficit even though by every objective measure the deficit is too small, not too large.