During a commentary aired on CBS Sunday Morning, supposedly right-leaning actor and economist Ben Stein blamed the "folly of supply side economics" - singling out President George W. Bush’s tax cuts in addition to President Obama’s spending - for the current federal budget deficit. The CBS contributor also complained that some Republicans have an "inflexible belief" that "low taxes were an American birthright."
He also complained that the Tea Partiers "insisted on the basically impossible, an immediate cut in federal spending, large enough to balance the budget without tax increases. In this age of Medicare and Medicaid, two wars, massive federal debt, interest payments, staggering Social Security obligations, that was simply impossible."
Saturday night in Cincinnati, Fox 19's Kimberly Holmes Wiggins interviewed Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown from Washington about the state of the debt-ceiling debate. A full transcript follows.
Contained therein readers will see the untruthful establishment press memes which have dominated their coverage, and all too typical disgraceful and predictable demagoguery by Brown. Similar reports involving other Democrats likely played on stations across the nation this past weekend.
Strap on the duct tape. Here goes (bolds and numbered tags are mine; link is to the station's video home page):
In his roughly 10 a.m. report this morning (HT to an NB emailer), the Associated Press's Steven R. Hurst opened by saying that "The top Republican in the Senate said Congress and the White House were very close to a deal on raising the limit on U.S. borrowing that would avert an unprecedented default on America's debt, ending one of the nastiest partisan fights in recent memory."
In his second sentence, he wrote, based on a statement from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that an agreement would "likely extend U.S. borrowing authority, which expires on Tuesday, beyond the 2012 presidential and congressional elections," giving casual readers the impression that default will occur if the borrowing authority ends.
That simply isn't so. Who says so? Moody's says so, as carried in a live blog item at the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday (HT Verum Serum):
Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson on Friday accused the Tea Party of wanting "to burn the place down" and having figuratively "strapped explosives to the Capitol" during debt ceiling negotiations.
Sitting beside her on PBS's "Inside Washington" was Charles Krauthammer who smartly replied, "I thought post-Tucson we weren’t supposed to accuse our political opponents of being terrorists" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a "Fareed Zakaria GPS" segment to be aired on CNN Sunday and posted at the network's website Thursday, the host flat out lies about the current debt ceiling debate as well as when and why credit rating agencies began expressing concern about our nation's finances.
"Please understand that none of these things are happening because the United States is running deficits," Zakaria falsely claims. "We face downgrades and investor panic not because of our deficits" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Friday took some well-deserved shots at New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
After "Morning Joe's" Mika Brzezinski read bits of Krugman's most recent rant against "Republican extremism," her co-host responded, "If you’re a blogger, and you’re still living in your mom’s basement, and you got Cheetos all over the keyboard, you type in your underwear...you look at Paul Krugman and you think, 'He is my hero'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On three occasions between July 22 and July 26, 2011, CBS's Bob Schieffer carried water for President Obama when he echoed the Democrat's inaccurate claim about Social Security: "Millions of Americans...may not get their next [Social Security] check if the debt ceiling crisis is not resolved." In reality, there is enough federal revenues and authorized expenditures to pay for the program [audio clips available here].
Schieffer gave a preview of the CBS Evening News nine minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of the July 22, 2011 Early Show with his dire warning about Social Security:
SCHIEFFER: Every month, millions of Americans depend on Social Security to support their families and make ends meet. But now, they may not get their next check, if the debt ceiling crisis is not resolved.
Even Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) believes the government can still pay out social security checks if the debt ceiling is not raised, but CNN highlighted disgruntled seniors Thursday who fear the opposite. CNN correspondent Sandra Endo reported live from a senior center and emphasized that the citizens were "scared," "worried," and "angry" about possibly not receiving their Social Security and Medicare payments.
"A lot of opinions, strong emotions, coming out of the seniors we've spoken to," Endo said. "There's certainly a buzz here at this senior center, and a lot of people are just frightened because they rely on their Social Security and also Medicare and Medicaid, of course, for their livelihood."
MSNBC's Martin Bashir not-so-subtly suggested Wednesday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is a "baby" who should "go the f*** to sleep" and let Democrats deal with the debt ceiling issue.
Anchoring the afternoon program that bears his name, Bashir excoriated Boehner's latest deficit-reduction proposal, which he dubbed a "ludicrous lullaby," blaming the Ohio Republican for "this ridiculously prolonged, tortuous, and confused attempt to raise the debt ceiling."
If there's a reason why Dayton Daily News staff writer Drew Simon wrote his Tuesday morning story ("Seniors fear losing Social Security checks") other than to scare the elderly, I don't know what it is.
Nowhere in his report did Simon say who was the first person to invalidly raise the specter of Social Security checks not going out on August 2 (it was President Barack Obama, in case you missed it). Nowhere did he mention that the likelihood is extremely remote, and that if it happens it would only be because the Obama Treasury Department decided to let it happen. Messy items like that distract from the main purpose. Oh, but Simon did get an apparatchik from AARP who also should and probably does know better to chime in on his behalf.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews Tuesday exposed his own debt ceiling hypocrisy without realizing it.
As he absurdly asked his "Hardball" guests why America isn't having a "big debate" about what the federal government should pay for - like that's not what's happening at the moment! - he relayed how his parents balanced their household budget, but never once said anything about raising revenues. It was all about what they could afford (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Tuesday that as a result of how the debt ceiling negotiations are going, the Tea Party freshmen in Congress "may just have proved to be the most cunning and rational of all players in Washington, D.C."
The host of "Morning Joe" told former Democrat Congressman Harold Ford this comes despite media depicting them as radical, reckless extremists (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Has Barack Obama lost New York Times columnist David Brooks?
In his piece Tuesday, the so-called conservative said the President last Friday "lectured the leaders of the House and Senate in the sort of patronizing tone that a junior high principal might use with immature delinquents...personalizing the issue like a spurned prom date":
The New York Times on Tuesday told its readers, "House Republicans have lost sight of the country's welfare."
In an editorial entitled "The Republican Wreckage," the Gray Lady disgracefully claimed, "They have largely succeeded in their campaign to ransom America's economy for the biggest spending cuts in a generation" dimming "the futures of millions of jobless Americans":
"Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson on Friday accused Tea Party members of being out of touch with reality due to their support for the Republican "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill as well as a balanced budget amendment.
This lead Charles Krauthammer to respond, "I like the way you pose an objective question implying the insanity of a Republican proposal which passed the House...You manage to introduce a hell of a lot of bias" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored the existence of the Cut, Cap and Balance (CCB) bill until last week, a Nexis search revealed, despite multiple polls demonstrating overwhelming public support.
In addition to the blackout, none of the broadcast networks ever mentioned the positive polls in their coverage of the bill, even though 65 percent of the public backed a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget in a Mason-Dixon poll from May and 72 percent approved of such a measure in a Fox News poll from June.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria Thursday called the debt ceiling battle a "sideshow" caused by the Tea Party.
Appearing on "In the Arena" as a supposed "astute observer of the economy," Zakaria proceeded to bungle economic and historic facts like a high school dropout (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, Chris Matthews on Wednesday lied about Ronald Reagan's position on taxes in a "Hardball" segment insinuating the late President would oppose the current Republican stance on the debt ceiling.
When Salon editor Joan Walsh said Obama "is actually the Reagan figure here," former RNC chairman Michael Steele bust out laughing (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, Chris Matthews had quite a heated debate with Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) on Tuesday's "Hardball."
Amidst a series of ridiculous questions asked of the Congressman, possibly the most absurd was, "If we have a crisis in August [as a result of not raising the debt ceiling], will you resign?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan got into quite a heated debate on Monday's "Hardball."
At issue was the battle of the debt ceiling with Matthews calling Tea Partiers opposed to raising it "crazy protesters" and telling his guest, "You want to join" them (video follows with transcript and commentary):
With trillion dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see, a balanced budget amendment is sounding pretty good to an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Apparently CBS's Bob Schieffer isn't amongst them, as he actually asked Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Sunday's "Face the Nation," "Why are you wasting time debating that?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl took a moment to go beyond the budget debate between House Republicans and President Obama with the GOP unwilling to support a tax increase, and noted that House Democrats have also been just as resistant to voting for cutting the growth of Medicare spending. But the same night's CBS Evening News focused on Republican reluctance to support some of the budget proposals and even gave the impression at one point that congressional Democrats were willing to curtail Medicare growth.
On ABC, after recounting some of the Republicans who have resisted voting for budget plans that have been brought up, Karl continued:
Charles Krauthammer on Friday marvelously demonstrated just how in the pockets of Barack Obama America's news media are.
After claiming on PBS's "Inside Washington" that we now have a "completely compliant, pliant, supine press accepting every leak out of the White House," he silenced the entire panel by asking them to name one specific cut to entitlements the President has proposed (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The 2010 elections, which changed the balance of power in the House, were driven by popular opposition to government spending, debt and the threat of tax increases. Yet even with the federal debt limit already breached and only days left to prevent a national default, the media continue to ignore the public's wishes.
The theme of network reports on the debt ceiling battle is that some agreement MUST be reached so that the limit can be increased, but many Americans disagree with raising the debt limit and are more concerned about government spending. But that has barely been mentioned in stories.
Polls taken by Gallup, CBS and AP have all registered significant worry about federal debt and opposition to an increase in the debt ceiling. But ABC, CBS and NBC coverage of the debt limit battle being waged on Capitol Hill has not reflected that fact.
Out of 45 reports on the broadcast network's evening news programs between June 16 and July 12, only one mentioned a poll that showed public opposition to raising the debt ceiling. That's a mere 2 percent of reports. An additional two stories had some reference to what the public might think, but without polling data.
It has been widely reported that President Barack Obama walked out of Wednesday night's debt limit meeting, but MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Thursday was in complete denial that the Democratic president, who's merely "exasperated by Republicans playing this dangerous game," would conduct himself in such a way.
During his daily "Clear the Air" segment, Bashir offered mounds of incredulity but not a shred of evidence to contradict numerous reports of Obama abruptly and prematurely terminating the meeting:
Hmm, I'm not so sure about that...The president losing his temper, abruptly, and rudely cutting short the conversation? Running from a room inside the White House? Does that sound the like president that we've gotten to know during the last two and a half years? Or is that the kind of behavior we've now come to expect from Eric Cantor over the last few weeks?
America's only admittedly socialist member of Congress said Wednesday that he disagreed with President Obama's comments concerning Social Security checks possibly not going out on August 3rd if the debt ceiling isn't raised.
When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he felt checks to seniors and disabled vets would be issued no matter what, the host of MSNBC's "The Ed Show" responded, "So you would take issue with the President on that statement, that he may have been fear-mongering in essence?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):