Run For Your Lives! Sequester Slashes Spending by Nearly a Third, Warns Panicky Ed Schultz

Ed Schultz's radio show is long overdue for a laugh track, seeing how the hilarity just keeps coming.

Fresh on the heels of his delusional claim that a tax hike isn't actually a tax hike, Schultz on his radio show yesterday insisted that sequestration due to start March 1 will gut federal spending by "damn near a third" when in fact the impact is around ... 2 percent. (audio clip after page break)

To say math isn't Schultz's strong suit understates the case by a factor of 10. Come to think of it, the man doesn't really have a strong suit, unless bellicose braying qualifies.

Listen for yourself while Schultz tries to set the record straight with a skeptical caller and fails miserably (audio) --

SCHULTZ: It's easy to say we gotta cut. We gotta cut! Let's just cut! Cut more! Hell, let's just cut everything! It's easy to do that. But when you start affecting jobs and you start affecting people's lives and you start affecting what people want, the people have to matter, OK? I mean, we have, we have to matter and the political element to all of this is, they want Obama to fail. Now you've got a budget of three and a half trillion dollars in this fiscal year. This will take $85 billion out of it. That's damn near a third.

CALLER: Drop in the bucket.

SCHULTZ (incredulous): Drop in the bucket? Really?

CALLER: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: OK, well, we can't have this conversation then, because you're not being honest to the facts. You can't take 30, you can't take 30 percent of operational money out and expect to have the same product. You can't do it! It's impossible!

Don't you love it? Schultz accuses the caller of "not being honest to the facts" while Schultz vandalizes numbers.

Even if the $85 billion figure cited by Schultz was correct, which it isn't, this isn't remotely close to "damn near a third" of $3.5 trillion.

Seeing how Schultz is a frequent NewsBusters reader and often mentions us on the air, I'll try to walk him through this. Just a thought, Ed, you may want to curl up for a long nap before reading any further, followed by several espressos.

You know how one million is equal to a thousand times a thousand? Go figure, much the same thing happens when it comes to a billion -- that's a thousand times one million. Even more amazing, a similar dynamic is involved in getting to a trillion. (Still with me? Try jumping jacks, just in case). To get to that much-ballyhooed figure of one trillion, you multiply one billion by a thousand. Yeah, I know, we're talking lots of zeroes, but you're used to that from working at MSNBC.

Think of it this way -- $3.5 trillion could just as easily be described as $100 billion times 35. You claim that $85 billion is "damn near a third" of $3.5 trillion. More accurately, $85 billion is just under a third of $260 billion -- $85 billion times three equals $255 billion. And $255 billion, even you'd be inclined to agree, is far, far smaller than $3.5 trillion. You do agree with that, right ...?

How about this to simplify matters -- isn't it safe to say that a third of $3.5 trillion is somewhere in the vicinity of ... one trillion?

For what it's worth, I don't think you were being dishonest when you make this claim -- just mistaken. And now that your error has been pointed out, that the tornado you predicted more closely resembles a hailstorm, I look forward to your correction.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts