Flashback: Schieffer Chided Paul Ryan; To Interview Him on Tonight’s 60 Minutes

Tonight’s (Sunday) 60 Minutes will feature an interview with the new Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan conducted by CBS’s Bob Schieffer. Last year, when Schieffer interviewed Ryan on Face the Nation, he chided Ryan over his budget plan and refusal to raise taxes.

“Why do these rich people need another tax cut?” Schieffer demanded of Ryan on the April 17, 2011 program. Conveying his no-so-profound economic reasoning, Schieffer saw a pot of money to be absconded: “I mean, they’re already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?” After Ryan explained his proposal would maintain current tax revenue levels while eliminating deductions and loopholes used by the wealthy, a baffled Schiefier ruminated:

I guess the part that I don’t quite understand – and I take your proposal to be a serious one – but the part I don’t understand is if the country is going bankrupt, if the country needs to borrow 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, how do you help that by reducing the amount of taxes that the richest people in the country pay? It would seem to me that's where you get revenue. How do you justify that?

Audio: MP3 clip

In the next segment, with Senator Mark Warner, Schieffer also hit the Democrat from the left on hiking taxes, after describing him as a “conservative” from “a very conservative state,” even though Virginia voted for Obama: “Senator, you are a Democrat, you are a conservative Democrat from a very conservative state, Virginia. Do you think that we can solve the deficit problem without raising taxes in some way?”

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