Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) had quite an illuminating discussion with Christiane Amanpour Sunday.
As the host of ABC's "This Week" pushed for higher taxes, Walsh correctly pointed out that Barack Obama's first 2012 budget proposed earlier in the year didn't address entitlement programs saying, "The President of the United States ought to be ashamed of himself, and I don't know why your profession hasn't gotten on him more" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Alight, well you raised revenue problem. Let me ask you too, Congressman Walsh and Southerland. The Ryan budget does not talk about raising revenues. President Obama’s proposal does. Eliminating tax cuts on the wealthy. Can you really sustain what everybody is calling for just by cuts in public services? Doesn't there need to be revenue raising mechanism?
CONGRESSMAN STEVE SOUTHERLAND (R-FLORIDA): Go ahead, Joe.
CONGRESSMAN JOE WALSH (R-ILLINOIS): Christiane, you raise revenue by growing the economy, and everything this president has done the last two years has gone against that. You get taxes and regulations off the backs of businesses so that revenues can increase.
AMANPOUR: I know, I know that that is your position, but there's so much evidence, even going back to Ronald Reagan, where he did tax cuts and in fact the debt increase then he had to make tax increases. I mean, can you really cut public spending by that amount and just expect to balance the budget?
WALSH: But, and Steve will say this, in the '80s government revenues went up. We didn't cut spending. Revenues went up in the ’80s. Every time we’ve cut taxes revenues have gone up, the economy has grown. Look, Christiane, I've said this before. The President of the United States ought to be ashamed of himself, and I don't know why your profession hasn't gotten on him more. Two months ago he presents a budget and doesn't even talk about entitlement reform. And then all of a sudden last week he gets a redo? The Republicans are leading on this, perfectly prepared to take whatever political hits we have to take, because the crisis is so severe. I wish he’d be a part of this.
AMANPOUR: That is an interesting point you made, about taking the hits that you have to take, because, for instance, there are all sorts of ads now, going out, about Medicare, and being careful about it. You know, the Republicans actually tried to put those ads out in 2010 and did get seniors on their side. So are you not concerned that these cuts and this restructuring of Medicare is actually not going to be good for you at the voting?
SOUTHERLAND: Well, listen, great leadership understands that sometimes you’re going to take hits and you don't make this decision, you don't make decisions in the best interests of the American people and expect to be applauded for everything you do. Look, we have dug ourselves a hole, and the only way that we can dig ourselves out or climb out of this hole is to make some very difficult decisions. I've said numerous times here on the Hill, I may lose 2012, but I'm not going to lose me in this process. And so we've got to, if we care about these programs, we have to make decisions now in order to save them.
AMANPOUR: Alright, well, thank you very much indeed, all of you for joining us.
First, notice how emphatically Amanpour was pushing for tax hikes. Since Obama called for them in his new plan this week, media member after media member has been strongly advocating this. Such was quite evident on all of the political talk shows Sunday.
That said, Walsh made a fabulous point about how the press gave Obama a pass this week with his budget redo as they were mercilessly attacking Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).
What has been totally forgotten by his devoted press is how back in February when the President offered his first 2012 budget proposal, there were many in the media that recognized how it largely ignored the recommendations of his debt commission as well as any cuts to entitlement programs.
This led Ryan to offer a proposal which did address Medicare and Medicaid, and he got lambasted by the same press that complained in February that Obama ignored such issues.
Last week, the President in his budget redo vaguely talked about Medicare fixes without naming any specifics whatsoever, and the media not only forgot about their concerns about this two months ago, but they're also now actually praising him as being bold despite his obvious cowardice.
The conclusion to be drawn is that these folks were never actually serious about wanting cuts in entitlement programs. What they desire is tax hikes on the so-called rich which they always view as the panacea for all that ails us.
Now that Obama has proposed this, their previous concerns have been withdrawn, and he's once again their hero.