For the second night in a row Tuesday, MSNBC's Ed Schultz called Republicans liars.
Also for the second night in a row, he did so moments before lying himself (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ED SCHULTZ: Republicans have been lying about tax cuts for years, but the new breed of conservatives, well, they have taken it to another level.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VIRGINIA): Congress doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WISCONSIN): We don't have a revenue or a tax problem in Washington. They're already high enough. We have a spending problem.
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER (R-OHIO): We don't have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Okay. You hear the Republican leadership there. Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan. You know what? They are completely wrong. Let's go to big Eddie’s chart. We have charts every night. You know, what I have to do is I got to get a Republican to come up here and tell me these charts are wrong.
Any time this buffoon wants someone on his program to prove him wrong, as Michael Jackson once sang, all he has to do is call and I’ll be there:
SCHULTZ: Bill Clinton’s first budget was the fiscal year '93-'94. Now pay attention here, folks. It's an easy one. Even I can follow it. The green line, well that's federal revenue and the red line of course is spending. So when Clinton got in office, holy smokes. Look at that. We were just spending way too much money. And so what did they do in '94? They raise taxes. Why? Because they didn't have enough revenue and they wanted to balance the budget. So they raised taxes right here and here comes the revenue. Here comes the revenue. There's the spending held in check by those tax-and-spend Democrats.
Not surprisingly, the guy that just seconds earlier said, “Republicans have been lying about tax cuts for years” claimed it was Democrats that held spending in check when Clinton was President.
I guess he forgot that Republicans took over Congress in 1995 and that they’re the ones that held Clinton's spending in check for six of his eight years.
But that was just the beginning of Schultz's falsehoods expressed in this opening segment:
SCHULTZ: So look what happened. We have a cross right here in about '97-'98. All of a sudden the revenue goes above the spending and the spending stays below. Well here comes President Bush. President Bush comes in here in the year 2000 and look at this. He says, “You know what? We got too much money going into the Treasury. It's your money.” Remember, they used to go on the campaign trail and say, “It's your money. We want to give it back to you.” So they get this right here. 2000. Here come the tax cuts.
Honestly, is this man such an idiot that he doesn’t know Clinton was still president in 2000 and Bush wasn’t inaugurated until the following year? Or that the first Bush tax cuts were also implemented in 2001?
Exactly what credibility does this guy have when he can’t remember who was president ten and eleven years ago?
But there’s still more…a lot more:
SCHULTZ: Here come the tax cuts right here, and what do we have right after 9/11 and right after the tax cuts? We have a dip in revenue but look at this. The spending keeps going up because you know we had to fight them over there instead fight them of over here and of course this stuff, the wars, that was off budget. In fact, we were told by the vice president, “The deficits don't matter.” Remember that? Deficits didn't matter. That's what we were told by the last guys in charge. While the revenue went down the spending continued to go up.
And then of course, here is the re-election, and of course we were told right here, “Well, if we don't re-elect this crowd we're going to get hit again.” Hmm. So then we keep on going through the Bush years and the revenue starts to come back a little bit but the spending just keeps going. Where was Cantor? Where was Boehner? Where was Ryan when this spending was going through the roof? Well, the guys that they were genuflecting to said the deficits didn't matter.
So here comes President Obama. President Obama comes in in 2008.
2008? No, actually, Obama was inaugurated in 2009.
Shouldn’t a political commentator on a major news network know that presidents are elected in even years and start their terms in odd years?
If this was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) or former Alaska governor Sarah Palin making these kinds of mistakes on national television, Schultz and all of his colleagues on this joke of a “news” network would be calling the guilty party an idiot that doesn’t understand the basics of our political system or recent American history.
But there’s still more…a lot more:
SCHULTZ: Here is the housing bubble. This is the housing bubble right here. Oh, man. We're selling homes like crazy. Aren't we? We're doing all these quick mortgages and what not and here comes the revenue and then boom. There is the housing bust.
Notice how Schultz talked about the housing boom and how it drove tax revenues up, but he neglected to address the stock bubble during the Clinton years and how that also caused tax receipts to dramatically increase.
In his mind - such as it is - the '90s expansion was exclusively caused by higher taxes. One of the biggest technological booms and stock market bubbles in American history had absolutely nothing to do with that recovery or the subsequent rise in tax receipts.
And this guy has his own show on national television wherein he gets to relay such nonsense to the public without any challenge.
Making matters worse, Schultz also didn’t mention how much the decline in revenues when Bush became President – in 2001 NOT 2000, by the way! – was impacted by the bursting of the tech stock bubble – a bubble that popped under Clinton.
The resulting recession and associated decline in tax receipts was not mentioned as leaving a mess for Bush to attend to, but of course, everything Obama faced despite him having been part of the majority in Congress for the previous four years was all his predecessor’s fault:
SCHULTZ: And of course here we sit, President Obama, he comes in and the revenue is dipping down because of what he inherited and what's he do? He spends money to get out of it because every economist on both sides of the aisle said you got to spend money to get out of this problem.
Every economist on both sides of the aisle said we have to spend money to get out of that problem? This might be Schultz's biggest lie of the night!
Conservative economists across the fruited plain were saying back then that Obama should cut taxes to solve the crisis not raise spending. In fact, when Obama first met with Republican leaders after he was inaugurated, they strongly suggested that tax cuts be the primary focus of any recovery plan he proposed.
His answer was, “I won.”
But there was still more:
SCHULTZ: So now if you look at this, we have the largest gap between money spent and revenue being brought into the Treasury. The largest gap we've had, well, actually my board's not big enough. Can you believe that? I actually could take you back another 20 years. This is the largest gap. But remember, the Republicans are telling us that we don't have a revenue problem. This is where the American people are way ahead of the Congress. The American people see this graph and they know exactly how to fix it, and that's raise taxes. President Obama’s right in line. He has a plan to solve our revenue problem. It's called taxing the wealthy.
The dishonesty on display here was disturbing to say the least.
Nowhere did Schultz inform his viewers that the main reason for this "largest gap" was a $1.1 trillion increase in spending after the Democrats - including Obama - took over Congress.
By the way, that would be 2007 and not 2006.
Although tax receipts did indeed plummet by $464 billion from 2007 to 2009, by far the bulk of our current deficit was cause by the $1.1 trillion increase in spending that began when Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took the legislative reins. Schultz not informing his viewers of this was media malpractice at its worst.
But potentially Schultz's largest transgression was telling his viewers that our whole budget problem can be solved by raising taxes on the so-called rich.
We currently have a $1.65 trillion deficit. The budget Obama proposed in February produces close to $1 trillion shortfalls every year for the next ten.
As NewsBusters reported last August, the liberal think tank the Brookings Institution claimed the annual cost of the Bush tax cuts on the so-called rich is $67.9 billion. If these cuts were eliminated as Obama and Schultz want, the reduction to our annual budget deficits would be negligible.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obama's February budget proposal will add $9.5 trillion to the federal debt. If the Bush tax cuts on the so-called rich were repealed, assuming no negative impact on the economy, we'd still run deficits totaling $8.8 trillion in the next ten years.
That anyone would see this as a solution to our budget problems - let alone go on national television and make such a claim - is deplorable.
Taking this a step further, the Internal Revenue Service recently released 2009 tax return figures that completely destroy the argument that our budget woes can be solved merely by raising taxes on the rich.
As NewsBusters affiliate CNS News reported Monday, you could take every penny of income from folks making $500,000 or more and we'd still have an $839 billion budget deficit.
The Wall Street Journal took its analysis of IRS data a step further Monday concluding that even confiscating all the income from folks making $114,000 or more wouldn't balance our budget.
What this means is the spending explosion we've seen in the past four years can't possibly be solved by tax hikes alone, and any suggestion of that is completely dishonest and irresponsible for a so-called journalist.
MSNBC at this point is owned by two very large American corporations - Comcast and General Electric. Certainly, the people atop these companies have to be aware of the dire straits facing our nation, and that tax increases by themselves will not come close to righting this ship.
At this point in time, it is a matter of national preservation that the citizenry be properly informed of what faces them. It is therefore incumbent upon Comcast and GE - leaders in the communications industry - to put pressure on their news divisions to assure that accurate information is being disseminated to the public.
Failing this, there is absolutely no way lawmakers will be able to address this crisis before it passes a dangerous tipping point.
The move by Standard & Poor's Monday to put our nation's credit rating on a negative outlook should make all of our corporate leaders recognize the urgency.
If officials at Comcast and GE don't share that concern, one has to seriously wonder what's going to have to happen for them to wake up and notice there's a tsunami heading our way and it's their duty to alert the citizens they serve before they're swept out to sea.