If there has been one constant in George Stephanopoulos' journalistic career, it's repeatedly calling for higher taxes. So, it's not surprising that while talking to Paul Ryan on Wednesday about the debt, he lobbied the Republican Congressman, "And if you're not willing to at least discuss new revenues, aren't these negotiations dead before they're even born?"
Not getting the answer he was looking for, the former Democratic operative turned journalist chided, "I understand you're not a fan of new taxes. But, as a matter of negotiations and a matter of discussion, don't they need to be on the table in order to get the negotiations started?"
In a previous segment, previewing President Obama's speech on ways to cut the deficit, reporter Jake Tapper simply repeated White House talking points: "But [Obama will] say, you can try [cutting taxes]. But you do that on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society because you can only do that, he'll say, by eliminating health care for seniors and the poor."
“Critics say it’s about time” for President Barack Obama to offer his plan to reduce the deficit, CBS’s Chip Reid acknowledged Tuesday night before he proceeded to rationalize Obama’s disengagement, validated by CBS’s in-house political analyst. Reid asserted: “Political analysts say the President had good reason to wait. He wanted the Republicans to go first and they did last week when influential Congressman Paul Ryan released his controversial plan.” CBS News political analyst John Dickerson proposed:
The President needed Paul Ryan's House budget plan to use as a foil for his own argument about what government should do, what government priorities are. He will say that the Ryan plan does not match up with American values.
Indeed, Reid contended the White House saw “an irresistible opportunity to portray Republicans as callous and extreme.”
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday spent much of show scaring viewers about Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) recently released budget proposal.
So apoplectic was the "Hardball" host that he told liberal guests Howard Fineman and Richard Wolffe that Ryan's Medicare reform plan "is going to kill half the people who watch this show" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On the same day a new poll found only 37 percent of liberals strongly approve of Barack Obama's performance as president, the New York Times's Paul Krugman bashed America's chief executive for being missing in action.
"What have they done with President Obama?" asked the Nobel Laureate. "Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular":
There was a moment on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" that is guaranteed to make conservatives all around the country smile from ear to ear.
After Newsweek's Eleanor Clift predictably attacked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and his just-released budget proposal, National Review's Rich Lowry caught her in a serious contradiction and said, "With all due respect, Eleanor, you're talking out of both sides of your mouth" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Now that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has submitted a budget that actually produces over $6 trillion less debt in the next ten years than what the President has proposed, the job of the Obama-loving media is to discredit him whenever possible.
NBC's David Gregory, ever the dutiful left-wing soldier, tried doing just that during his "Meet the Press" interview with Ryan Sunday even saying to his guest, "The problem that you've always had is that Republicans love to talk about you as a smart guy with really good ideas, but they don't actually support you" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews has clearly forgotten all the concern over violent rhetoric he and his colleagues expressed in January after the tragic shootings in Tucson.
On this week's syndicated program bearing his name, Matthews began the show saying, "Going for the kill! This week's shutdown fight is just the beginning. The young Republican turks want to fight to the death!" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC's Jonathan Karl last week asked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) if his 2012 budget proposal is a "political kamikaze mission" that will "ultimately cost Republicans" their majority in the House.
After Christiane Amanpour played this clip and asked if Ryan is a "visionary or a villain" on Sunday's "This Week," George Will marvelously responded - likely to the dismay of all present! - "Paul Ryan is eight years younger than the President but vastly more experienced and conversant with these issues" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Bill Maher and Eliot Spitzer on Friday's "Real Time" not surprisingly attacked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) for his 2012 budget proposal.
Showing glimpses of the conservative that used to occupy his body many years ago, the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan not only defended the Republican as deserving a lot of credit for his bold plan, but also exposed Maher and Spitzer as ignorant hypocrites when it comes to the nation's fiscal policy (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) predicted last Sunday on Fox News that Democrats were going to demagogue him and his historic 2012 budget proposal in order to assist their reelection chances next year.
On Friday's "Inside Washington," Newsweek's Evan Thomas not only agreed with Ryan, but also said, "The Democrats will now accuse the Republicans – it’s an old page in their playbook – of throwing Granny in the snow" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
I see that President Barack Obama has filed as a candidate for re-election in 2012. I previously suggested that he get to work early on his presidential library and forgo the race, but he is insistent. Well, I tried.
Though some in the media are covering for him, his announcement is the earliest of any modern president's. It continues a trend that began in 1972. That was when then-Sen. George McGovern captured the Democratic presidential nomination, though he lost in the autumn of that year in a squeaker. Richard Nixon stole the election, 47,169,911 to 29,170,383. Tricky Dick got 60.7 percent of the vote, the largest in history except for Lyndon Johnson's 61.1 percent. Watergate changed history.
We knew it was coming. Every person concerned about the nation's impending fiscal collapse knew that any proposal to fix the problem - entitlement spending - would be met by shameless demagoguery and fear-mongering by leading liberals. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi and newly minted DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz did not disappoint. President Obama's own pleas to not play politics with such reform efforts apparently fell on deaf ears. Even Wasserman-Schultz's "civility cop" schtick post-Tucson (so three months ago) hasn't dissuaded her from characterizing Ryan's proposal as a "death trap" for America's seniors (note the media silence compared to Palin's "death panels").
Check out Laura Ingraham blasting their hypocrisy below the break (via Hot Air).
New York Times chief economics writer David Leonhardt argued against the deficit-reducing House Republican budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan in his Wednesday front-page Business Day column “A Lopsided Proposal for Medicare.” Instead, Leonhardt called for higher taxes on "affluent Americans"(his reasoning: All wealthy countries do it). It’s one of his favorite arguments for redistributing the wealth.
While admitting the Republican budget was “a daring one in many ways” he faulted it for not reforming Medicare, which he interestingly admits is a “welfare program,” since people generally get more out of it in care than what they paid into the program in taxes. Leonhardt again called for rationing health care in the name of cost control.
A fairer, more fiscally conservative plan would not postpone dealing with Medicare. It would leave in place the cost control measures in the health reform bill and go even further to reward the quality of care rather than the volume.Obviously, these steps would run some risk of restricting good treatments, too. But, remember, we’re facing “an existential threat.” We can’t limit ourselves to solutions without risks.
Respectable economist turned partisan New York Times columnist Paul Krugman weighed in at his nytimes.com blog Tuesday morning on the ambitious budget proposal for Fiscal Year '12, released by the chairman of the House Budget Committee, the formerly flim-flam-sauce-drenched Rep. Paul Ryan.
In his post, headlined “The Threat Within,” Krugman at least held off the childish insults this time, perhaps because it backfired in his face back in August 2010, when the source he used in his column to “prove” Ryan was a flim-flammer acting in bad faith actually wrote a defense of him in response.
Krugman feared Obama would not sufficiently demagogue the issue like brave Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi did when Bush tried to save Social Security through a partial privatization in 2005.
Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is slated to release the Republican budget for FY2012 today. He took to the Wall Street Journal to offer some details and tout the need for budget reform. Ryan also created the very slick video you'll see below the break to outline the nation's fiscal situation. Check it out and let us know what you think.
Do you believe Rep. Paul Ryan when he says we only have a few years left to get our fiscal house in order, or we're going to face European-type austerity? How about the co-chairmen of the bipartisan deficit commission, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who have essentially issued the same warning?
Have you taken a hard look at President Obama's 10-year budget with a view to whether it would marginally address the crisis? Are you aware of the gargantuan deficits it projects — averaging some $1 trillion per year — and that this is before considering the Congressional Budget Office's scoring that revealed that its projected cumulative deficits were understated by a staggering $2.3 trillion?
The 2012 presidential and congressional elections are shaping up to be a referendum on whether the American people have the wisdom, the discipline and the will to save this nation.
The nation is on an unsustainable path to fiscal bankruptcy, whose leading long-term drivers are Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Yet at every turn, Democrats have obstructed reform with vicious, demagogic attacks on those genuinely trying to reform them.
On CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, host Bob Schieffer interviewed Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and compared union protests in that state to the democracy movements spreading across the Middle East: "There are also reports that this could spread to at least nine other states....Is Madison, Wisconsin, Congressman, the Tunisia of American politics now?"
At the top of the broadcast, Schieffer declared "protests at home and abroad" and moments later, he touted the size and duration of the demonstrations in Wisconsin: "For the fourth day in a row and in the largest turnout yet, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets again in Madison, Wisconsin as they marched to protest major cuts in state spending. The question is, will the protests spread to other states where similar proposals to cut spending are also being contemplated?"
While The New York Times is gloating over "turmoil" in the GOP House "ranks," internal disagreements over spending and other issues are a healthy development and should lead to more disciplined and aggressive action.
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama presented himself as a remade fiscal hawk, promising to freeze discretionary spending for five years. Conservatives immediately called him out on his disingenuousness. After greatly escalating baseline spending the past two years, his freeze pledge, especially when coupled with his gross inattention to the looming entitlement crisis, would just lock us onto our inexorable path to national bankruptcy.
Beware when the liberal media starts a "fact check" story on political speeches. Their "facts" often come directly from liberal policy wonks. On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR ran through a series of Obama claims without really saying he mangled a fact. Reporter Elisabeth Shogren suggested he was too optimistic about getting electric cars on the road with "this Congress" (ahem, not progressive enough). But reporter John Ydstie suggested Paul Ryan was wrong to suggest the stimulus failed, citing that "economists of both persuasions" agree Ryan was incorrect:
RENEE MONTAGNE, anchor: And the president also spoke of infrastructure projects, such as high-speed rail and expanding to most of the population high-speed Internet. John Ydstie, let's bring you back in. Investment was a big theme of this State of the Union speech. In the official Republican rebuttal, Congressman Paul Ryan had this to say about that.
NewsBusters for years has chronicled the staggering idiocy of comedian Bill Maher.
On Tuesday's "Situation Room," we got a hand from Wolf Blitzer when he marvelously countered Maher's complaint that CNN's decision to air Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) Tea Party response to the President's State of the Union address was depriving Democrats of equal time (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"News is about stories," Rachel Maddow intones in this MSNBC "Lean Forward" promo. "It's about finding all the disparate facts and then finding their coherence. Doing this right takes rigor and a devotion to facts that borders on obsessive. ... At the end of the day, though, this is about what's true in the world."
Just as the purpose of this promo is to convince MSNBC viewers and advertisers that Maddow is so nobly inclined, despite a never-ending supply of inconvenient facts to the contrary.
On her show Monday night, for example, Maddow talked about Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin being selected to provide the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union speech and Ryan as author of "A Roadmap for America's Future," his detailed legislative proposal for reducing federal debt, when she said this: [Video and audio clips after page break]
What's with the New York Times and its inability to practice what it preaches when it comes to avoiding gun-filled images and rhetoric? A few days ago I noted how the Times had placed a bullet-riddled ad for a violent video game right on its online op-ed page.
Now comes this Times headline: "Republicans’ Budget Man Draws Fire". That is of course a metaphorical invocation of someone who by his actions invites an enemy to shoot at him. The article's subject was Republican congressman Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman and budget hawk who will be giving the GOP response to Pres. Obama's SOTU. To complete the martial metaphor, the article, by Jennifer Steinhauer and David Herszenhorn, also describes Ryan as "the Republican point man" on budget cuts. A point man is of course the soldier at the lead of a patrol, hence most likely to be shot.
NBC's Meredith Vieira wasted no time in jumping down Paul Ryan's throat, on Wednesday's Today show, as she said it appeared the Republican Party did not care as much about creating jobs, since they seemed to be more focused on repealing Obamacare, which the Today co-anchor characterized as "an act of revenge." For his part the Wisconsin Republican Congressman responded that repealing Obamacare law had everything to do with creating jobs since, as he educated Vieira, "The health care bill has massive tax increases on individuals and employers that will cost us jobs," as seen in the following exchange:
MEREDITH VIEIRA: As of today Republicans control the House, and as Matt just brought up, one of the key points on your agenda will be attempting to repeal the health care plan. But given the fact you do not have the votes in the Senate, as Senator McCain just pointed out, and the President has veto power. And also given the fact that the American voters, in the midterm elections, made it clear that what they care about most right now are jobs and the economy, why go down this path at all? It almost feels like an act of revenge on the part of the Republican Party?
REP. PAUL RYAN: Well, first of all, this is related to jobs and the economy. The health care bill has massive tax increases on individuals and employers that will cost us jobs. So this, don't think that this isn't related to jobs.
(video after the jump)
Vieira went on to belittle House Republicans' move to cut their own budgets but then cited the New York Times to claim they were "backtracking" on their promises to cut spending, which was yet another error Ryan was forced to correct as seen in this back and forth:
On Thursday's Today show, NBC's Matt Lauer pushed Mike Pence to compromise on the tax deal to get the measure passed before Christmas as he hectored the Indiana Republican Congressman that "there are things in this package that neither side likes, but that's the basis of compromise." Lauer even attempted to start an intramural fight between Republicans as he threw the words of Congressman Paul Ryan in Pence's face, as seen in this exchange:
MATT LAUER: You said this is a tough call. How do you think it's gonna go in the rest of the House? Do you think it'll pass?
MIKE PENCE: Yeah I think it is a tough call. Look no, no House Republican wants to see taxes go up on any American. And, and most of us have been fighting to make sure that no American sees a tax increase in, in January. But, for my part, I just believe that this tax cut deal will do little to create jobs. It adds to the national debt. I think we can do better. I think we can take time to do better and Congress should do just that.
LAUER: Even as you make this decision one of your fellow Republicans, Paul Ryan, is criticizing it, saying, "You know what this is a purely political decision." As a matter of fact I think he goes further to say, "It's a purely personal, political decision. That as someone who is being considered or perhaps considering running for president in 2012, you can't be seen as too cooperative with the Democrats or President Obama." How do you respond to that?