New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday made the idiotic claim that House Republicans are stealing food from babies and pregnant women.
Later that evening, appearing on PBS's "Inside Washington," syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer demonstrated just how foolish Krugman's assertion was (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GORDON PETERSON, HOST: New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: “House Republicans are literally stealing food from the mouths of babies — nutritional and pregnant women and very young children, one of the items on their cutting block — so they can pose, falsely, as deficit hawks.”
Peterson got that quote wrong. Here’s the correct one from Krugman’s column Friday:
House Republicans, in particular, are literally stealing food from the mouths of babes — nutritional aid to pregnant women and very young children is one of the items on their cutting block — so they can pose, falsely, as deficit hawks.
But I digress:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Let me explain to you what these cuts are, the so-called cuts. Obama increased the baseline budget of all of the departments by an average of 24 percent in two years. If you add in stimulus, it’s over 80 percent. The cuts are from this artificially inflated, hugely inflated, baseline he created it. If you compare, for example, the home heating oil subsidy, it is cut in half, that’s the worst. It’s a barbarian measure?
NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: It’s his cut, too.
KRAUTHAMMER: It’s because since 2009, it’s been doubled. So all that’s happening is with the cut you are going back to pre-recession levels. The norm. These are called Draconian cuts.
COLBY KING, WASHINTON POST: That is the difficulty in talking about this issue. Yes it’s right about that particular provision, but there also other provisions in the debate where it’s not, your scenario does not apply. For example, if you are going to zero out spending for the Presidio, a small item, the impact has nothing to do with the baseline budget. It is because somebody wants to do that. Or if you want to cut out money for enforcement of the SEC. These are legitimate issues to talk about.
TOTENBERG: Or you cut out enforcement of Medicare fraud.
KING: Don’t trivialize the debate over food for infant children. Those are important discussions, but that’s not the only discussion. The bigger ones will come later.
KRAUTHAMMER: I’m trying to say that with all of the cuts, we are higher than we were in 2008 and 2009, and I didn’t hear any of you complaining in those years about women and children going hungry.
One of the things that worried conservatives regarding the explosion in spending in the past two years was that the claim much of it was emergency oriented to end the recession was absolute nonsense, and instead the raised level of outlays would become the new baseline from which future budgets would start.
As we can now see from the squawking of people like Krugman, King, and Totenberg, that's exactly what's happened.
These folks totally ignore that the budget has grown by a staggering 41 percent in the past four years, and that much of the additional spending was sold as temporary.
Now that Republicans - and voters in the last elections! - want to cut this budget back down to something approaching pre-recession levels, the Left and their media minions are predictably accusing them of stealing food from babies and pregnant women.
It would be laughable if it is wasn't so serious.