I have a serious question for MSNBC's Chris Matthews: How many lies are you willing to tell on national television to get Barack Obama reelected?
On Friday's Hardball, the host gave viewers a plethora of falsehoods and half-truths to giving us an idea of just how far he's prepared to go this election cycle to make sure the objection of his affection remains in the White House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Would someone tell me how Romney’s economic program differs from W’s? OK. Take a while, but tell me, Mr. Turnaround, how would you have avoided the catastrophe that Bush took us into, where have you have signaled a 180, a smart course correction from the cut taxes, reduce regulation, full speed ahead, that took us careening into the worst economic horror since Hoover?
George W. Bush reduced regulations? Which ones, Mr. Matthews?
Can you name the bills Bush signed in his two terms that reduced regulations on the financial services industry for example?
As NewsBusters has been reporting since the economic collapse in the fall of 2008, the two bills that deregulated the financial services industry as well as commodities were signed in 1999 and 2000 by Bill Clinton before Bush took office.
But dishonest shills like Matthews continue to hide this immutable fact from the public repeatedly opting instead to accuse Bush of reducing regulations in those industries leading to their eventual collapse.
Matthews also neglects to mention that it was pressure from Clinton that got Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce lending requirements adding to the pumping up of the housing bubble.
The New York Times predicted in September 1999 this could lead to a crisis "in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's."
Despite all this, Matthews has the gall to point his dishonest finger at Bush:
MATTHEWS: I know the answer. I know you’re a W. ditto head. I know that you believe what the last Republican skipper of this boat believed, that all a smart captain of industry has to do is what every dues-paying member of the U.S. Chamber of Congress wants him or her to do: cut taxes, give me more of my money, and stay out of my way. That’s it, isn’t it, Mr. Romney? You want to do for business what business wants any president to do, when it cheered when W. did it.
So, the question the voters have to ask is this: why do you expect a different result when you keep doing the same thing?
This is a really funny question coming from a man who advocates in any economy the raising of taxes and the increase of government spending. But I digress:
MATTHEWS: Why do you, Mr. Romney, expect to take us anywhere different than that downward whirlpool W. skippered us into in 2008, when we had the signal of distress, ship in trouble, and send for Hank Paulson and the salvage boats, when he and George W. Bush brought the phrase bailout into American political parlance.
Bush brought the phrase bailout into American political parlance? Really?
I guess Matthews forgot that the first U.S. bailout occurred in 1791 when debts associated with the Revolutionary War owed by a number of states were absorbed by the federal government to prevent a financial panic.
As the Wall Street Journal also observed, the federal government bailed out banks in 1907.
Of course, the largest bailout by far in American history was Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal during the Great Depression.
As Matthews is a huge fan of FDR and the New Deal, how could he possibly ignore this classic bailout?
Or what about the ones that occurred while Matthews was alive such as the bailout of the railroad industry in 1970?
The following year, defense contractor Lockheed received $1.4 billion in federal aid. Franklin National Bank got $1.75 billion in 1974.
Six years later, Chrysler got $1.5 billion in loan guarantees from the U.S. government. Another $4.5 billion was given to Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust in 1984.
Just five years later, $50 billion was initially allocated to bail out ailing savings and loans. The full cost to the federal government skyrocketed to almost $300 billion.
Yet with all this history of federal government bailouts, Matthews has the unmitigated audacity to claim Bush brought the phrase into American political parlance.
And he wasn't done:
MATTHEWS: My only question is this: if the Bushes were so great, if you’re squared and you’re rigging to that same sinking ship W. left as president to get back to port, why do you sing the praises of Bill Clinton so often these days? Can we safely predict that the person that you will hide between now and November is the guy whose policies you’re out there selling?
No wonder you don’t want to mention his name. You put us on that course, mister, and we’re going to the same collision.
And what about the collision course Clinton set the nation on by signing the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000? Combined with all the pressure his administration put on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make bad loans, Clinton was really the Edward John Smith of this generation.
But Matthews and his ilk never want to tell Americans the truth about who actually set the nation's course right into that iceberg in the previous decade.
That was all George W. Bush's fault despite him not creating one piece of legislation any media shills can name that tie his hands to the Titanic's steering wheel.
Imagine the lies ahead of us the next five months.
With Matthews, they appear to have no bounds.