In this week's "Is Bill Maher Really That Stupid" segment, the "Real Time" host on Friday actually said that ending the Bush tax cuts would solve 75 percent of the nation's budget deficit.
This deliciously came before Maher called Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) "an evil liar who insults the intelligence of all living things including mushrooms and mold" (video follows with commentary):
The panel discussion began with Maher asking if we went back to the Clinton era tax rates and defense spending, wouldn't that solve our current budget woes. He also claimed that such spending had risen by 81 percent since 2001.
Total defense outlays under Clinton's final budget were $304 billion. Today it's $750 billion, a 147 percent increase, significantly more than Maher claimed.
The "Real Time" host made a factual misstatement within moments of the panel discussion beginning. I wonder if that's a record for him.
As for the tax cuts, there's great debate concerning what kind of revenues would be generated by ending them.
The liberal Brookings Institution in 2004 estimated the annual loss of these cuts if extended would be $400 billion by 2014. The conservative Heritage Foundation estimates it to be more like $170 billion per year, while the Tax Foundation feels the real cost could be as low as $100 billion when the stimulative benefit is accounted for.
With this in mind, using Brookings' high estimate and adding it to defense savings of $446 billion still leaves you with an $800 billion deficit making Maher's question idiotic.
But his stupidity didn't end there, for moments later he said that 75 percent of the deficit would be wiped out if Congress and the President just allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire, an absurd conclusion also offered by David Leonhardt in Wednesday's New York Times.
Using Brookings' number, the deficit would only be reduced by 25 percent and far less if the Heritage or Tax Foundation estimates were applied thereby making Maher (and Leonhardt!) tremendously wrong no matter which figure was employed.
Maher's error was not only obvious to guest Michael Steele but also to ABC News political director Amy Walter who said, "I don't think that's true."
Even more comical, Maher later in the show said Sen. John Kyl's (R-Ariz.) much publicized faux pas concerning abortions by Planned Parenthood made him "an evil liar who insults the intelligence of all living things including mushrooms and mold...We could show a lot of politicians with a lot of lies - to me, this takes the cake."
Guest Ed Schultz of MSNBC chimed in, "What compares to that? The only thing I could think of would be Sarah Palin about Russia from her backyard, that kind of thing, seeing it."
Maher agreed saying, "That's in there."
Maybe, but Palin didn't say that. NBC's Tina Fey did on "Saturday Night Live," and Palin-hating dopes across the fruited plain have been getting this wrong for years.
Which means the moral of this story is that idiots in glass houses really shouldn't throw stones.