Bozell Column: Cheering For a Massive Deficit?
A calm Sunday breakfast might have been ruined after a glance at The Washington Post’s front page on June 14. A chart below the fold explained that under Obama’s federal spending proposals, the United States would be required to borrow $9 trillion during the next decade. That’s $9,000,000,000,000. The Post compared that, in today’s dollars, to the financial burden of World War II: $3.6 trillion. That’s not all of Obama’s spending plan. That’s only the part that’s in the red.
Is it any wonder that a recent Gallup poll found more people disapprove rather than approve of Obama’s handling of the deficit? But we’ve only just begun. Now President Obama wants to add another enormous chunk of government health-care spending. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the latest Democratic bill in the Senate would add another one trillion dollars to the budget over the next decade, and they suggest that’s only a partial estimate.
Remember when the Democrats and their media allies wailed about how the Iraq war wastefully drove up the national debt? The Post’s chart estimated that the Iraq war costs from 2003-2008 totaled $551 billion, a pittance compared to the massive load of debt the Democrats want to pass right now. And they want to pass it at breakneck speed, so just like the "stimulus" bill, it will become law before the public learns its manifold outrages.
Sadly, this Washington Post article notwithstanding, the news media aren’t questioning the new health "reform" drive. They are enabling it.
ABC News has announced plans to put Barack Obama in prime time again from the White House to push his health-nationalizing agenda for an hour – and then another half-hour on "Nightline." ABC will broadcast live from the White House for "World News" and "Good Morning America," interviewing both Barack and Michelle Obama.
It’s bad enough that NBC News just gave Obama two hours of fluffy promotion in prime time (followed quickly by two hours of prime-time fluff reruns). Now, ABC isn’t going to promote how Obama buys hamburgers for the staff and has a cute puppy. They’re going to help him sell his hard-left "Prescription for America."
Forget participation. ABC isn’t allowing time even for any official Republican rebuttal. Republicans will have to hope they find a spot or two in the audience ABC News selects with the promise of "divergent opinions in this historic debate." ABC also promises the participation of their medical correspondent Dr. Tim Johnson, who’s been a blatant cheerleader for a European-style "right" to health care.
This isn’t unprecedented. ABC handed over two hours of morning air time after Columbine for Bill and Hillary Clinton to lament our country’s gun culture in 1999. In 1994, NBC News offered the Clintons a two-hour special to promote Hillary-care, paid for by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a major supporter of socialized medicine. The Democrats always seem "overprivileged" when they want to sell their programs on network news.
Skepticism is warranted when ABC promises "divergent opinions," which probably means a debate between leftists, that people who want a single-payer socialist system will be granted the floor. If the past is prologue, if Charlie Gibson has any tough questions for Obama, he’ll be asking him to explain why our ultraliberal president’s too much of a conservative on health care. Gibson angered President Clinton during the 1999 Columbine special by insisting he wasn’t enough of a gun-banner. He said a friend of Clinton’s complained the Colorado high school shooting "seared the national conscience," and yet "the President had a chance to roar on gun control and he meowed."
More conservative White Houses have not been awarded a supportive network platform. Does anyone remember that ABC prime-time special that allowed President Bush to sell Social Security privatization in 2005? Or the two-hour 2006 prime-time Bush White House special promoting the War on Terror? Try not to laugh too hard at the impossibility of such a concept.
You can just hear the protests, can’t you? "Why, we can’t do that! We’re journalists!"
In prime time, Barack Obama is overexposed and under-challenged. If ABC wants to add any sliver of credibility to all this freely offered air time, it will ask the president to defend adding ten trillion dollars to the national debt in the decade to come, and ask if the current government’s priorities should really require a deficit three times the "investment" of World War II.