Amanpour Frets: ‘Will the Deep Budget Cuts on the Table Stick a Fork in the Recovery?’

Picking up on an argument made by economist Mark Zandi -- whom the Washington Post described as “an architect of the 2009 stimulus package” and who last year pushed for a second stimulus bill -- ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on Sunday morning, presuming there is an ongoing “recovery,” plugged a This Week roundtable topic:

Up next, Washington's answer to the job crisis. Will the deep budget cuts on the table stick a fork in the recovery?

In the subsequent segment, Amanpour forwarded: “$61 billion in budget cuts. Mark Zandi says 700,000 jobs will be lost.” Panelist Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Thomson-Reuters, agreed: “I think he's right.”

Echoing Amanpour’s theme, over on Meet the Press NBC’s David Gregory cited a poll to show “people want that focus on immediate job creation,” not budget cuts, “and that gets the President's point, which is you've got to get the balance right. You can't grow if you keep cutting so much.”

“Cutting so much”? How about actually “cutting” anything. The current proposed $60 billion cut is less than ten percent of the additional “stimulus” spending.

Pseudo-conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks disjointedly agreed with Gregory and Obama: “Yeah, you've got to have some priorities. I'm not sure they've gotten there. For example, you can say we're going to cut, but we're not going to cut things that invest in our future. We're going to cut things that are consumption....”

From the Sunday, March 6 This Week on ABC, which only very briefly addressed the topic Amanpour plugged in the roundtable with ABC’s David Muir, Mort Zuckerman, Leo Gerard, President of U.S. Steelworkers, and Freeland:

AMANPOUR: $61 billion in budget cuts. Mark Zandi says 700,000 jobs will be lost.

CHRYSTIA FREELAND: I think he's right. I mean I think that the problem is the U.S. government, at both the federal and the state level, needs to figure out how to walk and chew gum at the same time. So what you need to is find way, in the medium term, to have a full, a solid promise to the markets we are going to deal with essentially the health care problem and in the short term stimulate jobs.  

From NBC’s Meet the Press:

DAVID GREGORY: I'm curious about whether Republicans realize that -- it doesn't seem to me that message is resonating. That is, if we don't deal with our fiscal problem, we have uncertainty, and therefore the economy can't grow. That's the line that they're drawing through it. And you see from our polling, people want that focus on immediate job creation, and that gets the President's point, which is you've got to get the balance right. You can't grow if you keep cutting so much.

DAVID BROOKS: Yeah, you've got to have some priorities. I'm not sure they've gotten there. For example, you can say we're going to cut, but we're not going to cut things that invest in our future. We're going to cut things that are consumption. Or we're going to cut -- and this is the politically hard part, but the unavoidable point. We're going to take money away from affluent seniors, and we're going to direct it to young people who are learning the most. We're going to transfer money to those who we can really invest in. And that's the politically difficult thing. The fact is, we have a redistribution machine sending money from the young to the old. We've got to reverse that.

— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

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