Norah O'Donnell Challenges Paul Ryan on Tax Rate Extension: 'Afraid to Call Them Tax Cuts?'

Norah O'Donnell adopted the left's spin on extending the current tax rates on Friday's CBS This Morning, challenging Rep. Paul Ryan when he asserted that "they're really not tax cuts. We're just talking about keeping taxes where they are." She asked, "You're calling them tax policies and tax code. You're afraid to call them tax cuts now?" O'Donnell laughed when Ryan affirmed that "they're not tax cuts," and replied, "Oh, Congressman, come on!" [video below the jump; 02:16 into the segment]

Back on July 9, 2012, the White House correspondent bizarrely cited that there was a $150 billion "cost to taxpayers" if the existing tax rates were maintained for another year.

O'Donnell and anchor Charlie Rose devoted the entire segment to the tax debate in Washington. Rose asked Ryan, "What will Republicans do, if, in fact, the Democrats allow the Bush tax cuts to expire?" The Wisconsin congressman replied by with his assertion that they're not tax cuts, but actually tax increases:


RYAN: ...Remember, these tax policies have been in place for a decade, Charlie, so they're really not tax cuts. We're just talking about keeping taxes where they are. A year and a half ago, the President said, the last thing you want to do in a soft economy is raise taxes. We agree. The economy is worse now than it was then. So, we're going to, next week, pass an extension of the tax code for another year, and we've already passed two bills dealing with the sequester, all of which are sitting over in the Senate, which hasn't done anything for three years - no budget for three years; no sequester mitigation plan for three years.

The CBS correspondent then jumped in with her liberal spin:

Norah O'Donnell, CBS News Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgO'DONNELL: Congressman, you're calling them tax policies and tax code. You're afraid to call them tax cuts

RYAN: They're not tax cuts, Norah, because they've been the current tax policy for ten years-

O'DONNELL: (laughs) Oh, Congressman, come on! Come on, Congressman-

RYAN: No -- so here -- no, no. Honestly, Norah, keeping taxes where they are is not cutting taxes. Preventing a tax increase is preventing a tax increase. It's not actually cutting taxes. So, we're saying, don't raise taxes, especially in this soft economy. And, more importantly, Norah, eight out of ten businesses in America pay their taxes on the individual side of the code.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center