Totenberg Blames Tax Cuts for Flood Disaster in New Orleans

<img vspace="0" hspace="0" border="0" align="right" src="http://newsbusters.org/media/2005-09-03-IWTotenberg.jpg" /> Sounding like a parody of a liberal, but in all seriousness, NPR and ABC reporter Nina Totenberg charged on <a href="http://www.insidewashington.tv/"><i>Inside Washington</i></a>, at the end of a discussion about how National Guard equipment deployed to Iraq is supposedly impairing rescue efforts, that “for years, we have cut our taxes, cut our taxes and let the infrastructure throughout the country go and this is just the first of a number of other crumbling things that are going to happen to us.” An astounded Charles Krauthammer pleaded: “You must be kidding here.” But Totenberg reaffirmed: “I’m not kidding.”<br /><br /><p>In fact, under the Bush administration domestic spending has soared much faster than inflation, a trend illustrated by the huge transportation bill this year packed with spending on infrastructure projects. And if infrastructure spending has suffered in some way, massive new spending on such things as a prescription entitlement program are just as responsible.</p><p><b>Video</b>: <a href="http://newsbusters.org/media/2005-09-03-IWTotenberg.rm">Real</a> or <a href="http://newsbusters.org/media/2005-09-03-IWTotenberg.wmv">Windows Media</a></p><br />Full transcript, and more about <i>Inside Washington</i>, follows.<br /><br />
<!--break--><i> Inside Washington</i>, a panel show taped on Fridays at the ABC affiliate in Washington, DC, WJLA-TV, airs every weekend on three Washington, DC TV stations: Friday night at 8:30pm on PBS affiliate WETA-TV, channel 26; Saturday at 7pm on NewsChannel 8, a Washington, DC area all-news cable channel owned by the ABC affiliate; and Sunday mornings at 10am, right after <i>This Week</i>, by that affiliate, WJLA-TV, channel 7. (I caught Totenberg’s reasoning during a showing on NewsChannel 8 delayed to 9:30pm because of coverage of the Navy-University of Maryland football game.) <br /><br />My transcript of the exchange: <br /><br /><blockquote>Nina Totenberg: “And let us say one other thing. For years, we have cut our taxes, cut our taxes and let the infrastructure throughout the country go and this is just the first of a number of other crumbling things that are going to happen to us.”<br /><br />Charles Krauthammer: “You must be kidding here.”<br /><br />Moderator Gordon Peterson: “She’s not kidding.”<br /><br />Totenberg: “I’m not kidding.”<br /><br />Peterson: “She’s not kidding.”</blockquote><br />And that ended the opening segment.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center