Air America President Dismisses Deficit Spending as 'Rhetoric'; Says Balanced Budgets Only 'Politically Real'

Now that the government has assumed the role of economic planner with various bailout packages and stimulus plans, experts are predicting a federal budget deficit of $1 trillion.

That much money may be difficult to comprehend, but former President Ronald Reagan put it in perspective with a 1981 analogy describing the federal debt: "And the best I could come up with is that if you had a stack of thousand-dollar bills in your hand only 4 inches high, you'd be a millionaire. A trillion dollars would be a stack of thousand-dollar bills 67 miles high."

But the huge number doesn't worry Mark Green, the president of the liberal talk radio network Air America. Green dismissed concerns about deficit spending in an interview on MSNBC's "Hardball" Nov. 25.

"Let's get where we at least agree," Green said. "One last thing, the conservative rhetoric about, ‘We don't want to spend too much and the deficit' is real, it's politically real. And Sen. and President-elect Obama responded today when he said we have to eventually balance the budget."

Green referred to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Oct. 1, 1936 speech in Pittsburgh, where he promised to balance the budget, but later recanted on that promise in a serious way. 

 "And, Franklin Roosevelt as a candidate said in Pittsburgh, ‘We're going to cut spending by 25 percent," Green said. "When he got into office, he realized it was the exact wrong solution. So, the rhetoric of balanced budgeting is part of America. And, when Roosevelt said to an aide, ‘Oh my God, I said I would balance the budget. How can I spend more to get out of the Depression?' The aide famously said, ‘Deny you were in Pittsburgh.'"