Comedian Jon Stewart on Wednesday joined the growing liberal chorus attacking Republicans for their concerns about rising taxes and exploding budget deficits.
The only thing different about the "Daily Show" host's approach was that he needed vulgarity to make his point.
Potentially even worse, Stewart in his opening segment Wednesday actually used CNN's Fareed Zakaria to support his view that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be a good thing for the nation.
Ironically, that was the only thing remotely funny about this sketch (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, extreme vulgarity warning, see BMI's coverage as well):
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
"Let's begin tonight in D.C.," Stewart said. "It's our nation's capital. For the last 18 or so months Barack Obama's been the President and Democrats have controlled both houses of Congress. Purely by coincidence, that's the exact same amount of time that Republicans have expressed a newfound concern for our nation's financial stability."
To set-up this "Republicans are hypocrites skit," Stewart played clips of Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio and former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich warning against the budget deficit.
At that point, Stewart said, "The deficit wants to skullf--k your mother. It wants to eat your children after it shows your wife a level of physical passion you've never been able to provide."
But here was the real punchline: Stewart played a clip from the August 1 installment of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" when the host of that show told his viewers that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would instantly shrink our nation's deficit by 30 percent.
After the clip ended, Stewart said Zakaria was right.
That would have elicited uproarious laughter from a well-informed audience, for as NewsBusters reported shortly after Zakaria made this pathetic claim, nothing could be further from the truth.
Supporting our view, the Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl has research that indicates these tax cuts were just a drop in the bucket of the overall federal budget deficit, and the real culprit is the explosion in spending - not the trotted out liberal misnomer that these tax cuts are responsible.
Riedl explains the budget surplus forecasted at the end of the Clinton presidency was set to shift to a $6.1 trillion deficit and that the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts were responsible for a mere 14 percent of this shift. The true culprit: the liberal sacred cow of entitlement spending.
"Instead of closing the long-term deficit by splitting the difference between tax hikes and spending cuts, lawmakers should address the source-rising entitlement costs," Riedl wrote.
Indeed. In fact, even if the tax cuts were extended, revenues are projected to rise above the historical average by 2017. Contrary to Zakaria and Stewart's view, this leaves surging spending responsible for the entire increase in long-term deficits.
Business & Media Institute adviser and Cato Institute fellow Daniel Mitchell agrees, and refuted Zakaria's claim on his Aug. 4 podcast.
"Our real problem isn't that deficits are large," he said. "It is that the government is far, far too big. That's what we should focus on, so he's looking at a symptom rather than the underlying disease and then if we have to look at the issue of federal spending and federal revenue - even under the Obama budget projections - while low now because of the economic downturn - are going to climb to their historical post-World War average. We do not have, in other words, a shortage of revenue in the United States or in Washington, D.C. We have too much government spending."
On top of this, as NewsBusters reported a few hours before Stewart made his foolish comments, a new study published by the liberal Brookings Institution found the savings associated with just letting the Bush tax cuts expire on upper-income wage earners - what President Obama is advocating - to be minimal when compared to the current deficit totals.
But facts weren't getting in the way of Stewart's populist rant as he next asked a truly absurd question: "How exactly can you be for deficit reduction and extending tax cuts? How do those two diametrically opposed thoughts exist in the same Party platform?"
Well, Jon, here's how: the last time Republicans cut taxes while controlling spending in the mid-1990s, the nation produced budget surpluses for four straight years while adding 12 million jobs to non-farm payrolls.
Alas, this is an inconvenient truth Stewart and his ilk have chosen to ignore for over ten years, and Wednesday was no exception as the "Daily Show" host then played a clip of Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) saying the following on "Meet the Press" Sunday:
REP. MIKE PENCE (R-INDIANA): They talk about tax cuts the same way they talk about spending increases as though the government owned all of the money. They say, "Are they paid for?" Well, I think, I think deciding on a government spending increase is very different on whether or not we allow the American people to keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars.
Makes sense, right? After all, it is OUR money!
Obviously not according to Stewart, for he not only seemed totally perplexed by Pence's logic, he mocked it by asking, "So, you're saying money the government gets is different than money the government spends?"
Well YEAH, Jon! When the government is spending $1.5 trillion MORE than what it takes in, there is a difference! A HUGE difference!
Clearly missing this indisputable fact, Stewart said the deficit's opinion on this matter can be summed up with a clip from the movie "Goodfellas":
ACTOR RAY LIOTTA: Business is bad? F--k you, pay me! Oh, you had a fire? F--k you, pay me! Place got hit by lightning, huh? F--k you, pay me!"
In reality, although he clearly didn't know it, Stewart was making the conservative point about the current administration and Party in power: regardless of how the economy and the American citizens are doing financially, today's government acts like a Mafioso thug demanding to be paid.
Thank you, Jon - we couldn't have said it any better.