Who's Dumb? Andrew Sullivan Says Tax ‘Revenues Currently Are At 50 Year Lows’

The more one listens to Newsweek’s Andrew Sullivan, the more one has to conclude that he either knows absolutely nothing about the economy or he’s lying through his teeth.

Appearing on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Wednesday evening, Sullivan actually said tax “revenues currently are at 50 year lows” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):


Cooper invited Sullivan and Bay Buchanan on to discuss the former's much-maligned Newsweek cover story ironically titled "Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?" Towards the end of the segment, Buchanan addressed the piles of debt created by the current administration.

“He only ran it up, Bay, because in a recession, your revenues collapse, and revenues currently are at 50 year lows,” Sullivan absurdly stated in defense of the president he adores.

“The hard thing is to run a deficit in boom times," he continued. "That’s what your party did adding $5 trillion to the debt under Bush. Five trillion. Even the most expansive understanding of what Obama will have brought bring it to something like one trillion extra debt. I think that’s too much, too, but compared to Bush, this guy is a fiscal conservative.”

Obama's "a fiscal conservative?"

Let's start with tax revenues. According to the Office of Management and Budget, they totaled $2.567 trillion in 2011. In 1961, they were $94.4 billion.

In what world is 2.567 trillion equal to 94.4 billion?

Assuming Sullivan was talking about inflation adjusted dollars, $94.4 billion in 1961 is equal to $714 billion in 2011. That means adjusted for inflation, tax revenues today are 3.5 times what they were 50 years ago.

3.5 times.

Just in case Sullivan was talking about on-budget revenues - meaning not including Social Security and Medicare - those were $1.9 trillion in 2011 or three times 1961's inflation adjusted receipts of $82.3 billion.

No matter how you slice it, this statement by Sullivan would garner more Pinocchios than Geppetto could make in several lifetimes.

As for Sullivan's claim, "Even the most expansive understanding of what Obama will have brought bring it to something like one trillion extra debt," this, too, is sheer stupidity.

According to TreasuryDirect.gov, our total federal debt has grown by $4.6 trillion since Inauguration Day 2009. OMB predicts deficits of $828 billion, $727 billion, $706 billion, and $752 billion the next four fiscal years.

As such, Sullivan's statement that Obama will only add "one trillion extra debt" is lunacy.

Once again, there are only two possible conclusions to draw from the nonsense Sullivan uttered on CNN Wednesday evening. Either he knows absolutely nothing about economic data, or he's lying through his teeth.

Whatever the case, it is quite clear Sullivan's opinions are totally skewed by his admitted support for this president, have absolutely no basis in fact, and should therefore be completely ignored.

Who's "dumb" now?

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Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.