Hayes and Krauthammer Scoff at Media Claim of ‘Austerity’ Under Obama: ‘An Assault on the Dictionary’

Steve Hayes and Charles Krauthammer, on Friday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, scoffed at the Washington Post’s front page characterization that President Barack Obama’s expected budget proposal “will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency.”

Hayes marveled: “This is one of the funny things about reading mainstream newspapers and watching mainstream media report on this President, is they somehow are operating under the illusion we’re living in this age of austerity.” Krauthammer proposed, “we have talked about Obama’s assaulting the Constitution. This is an assault on the dictionary. This is a guy who ran $4 trillion of deficit in three years...”

The top of the February 21 front page headline: “Obama budget to rebuff austerity.” Online, the headline over the story by business reporter Zachary Goldfarb: “With 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to era of austerity.”

FNC anchor Bret Bair read from the article to lead off the panel segment, “‘With the 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency and to his efforts to find common ground with Republicans,’” before cuing up Hayes of The Weekly Standard: “Steve, I think a lot of people might say, ‘really, age of austerity?’”

Audio: MP3 clip

Hayes confirmed:

“Yeah, this is one of the funny things about reading mainstream newspapers and watching mainstream media report on this President, is they somehow are operating under the illusion we’re living in this age of austerity. Yes, there have been some discretionary spending cuts or slows in the rate of growth...reductions in the rate of growth, right. But for the Washington Post, and apparently others, this counts as austerity.”

Columnist Charles Krauthammer soon pitched in:

“This idea of austerity, you know, we have talked about Obama’s assaulting the Constitution. This is an assault on the dictionary. This is a guy who ran $4 trillion of deficit in three years and the deficit that he now touts as the triumph of austerity is the highest, higher than any deficit in the history of the country preceding him. So this is a free spending administration, and the only reason it’s been reduced is because he went from three times the highest deficit in history. And when you start at that point, of course, everything is a reduction.”

> Friday post by Tim Graham: “Spit Take! WashPost Reports Obama to Call for ‘End to the Era of Austerity’ Known as His Presidency

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