A consistent media meme in the past few months has been that Republicans are asking for Draconian cuts to the federal budget.
On Friday's "Inside Washington," Charles Krauthammer didn't let the host get away with furthering this nonsense (video follows with transcript and commentary):
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MINNESOTA): They want to shut the government down and they want to turn you into their scapegoat and say it is the Tea Party's fault for shutting the government down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PETERSON: That’s Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann at a Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill Thursday. Tea Party folks want big, big cuts in the budget, right?
That's how Peterson began a segment on this subject. When Krauthammer got his chance to speak, he went right after him for it:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I do want to correct your intro where you said the Tea Party wanted to do big, big cuts. The big, big cuts are $30 billion in addition to what the Democrats want. The budget for this year is three hundred, seven hundred and fifty thousand billion dollars. So of that…
PETERSON: Bigger cuts I should have said.
NINA TOTENBERG: You should have said bigger.
KRAUTHAMMER: three thousand, seven hundred and fifty thousand.
KRAUTHAMMER: The point is it’s minuscule, everybody understands, and it’s insane that we’re going to shut down a government where we have a $1.6 trillion deficit over a trivial amount.
In reality, Krauthammer's math was a little off. $3.7 trillion is 3,750 billion. But we know what he meant.
The larger issue here is that the budget has grown by $1.1 trillion in the last four years or 41 percent. The Republicans aren't asking for "big, big cuts."
Big, big cuts would be going back to 2007's spending level with an inflation adjustment which would require reducing next year's budget by almost $900 billion.
As no one is proposing this, the concept that what the Republicans or the Tea Party are asking for is extreme, reckless, or recessionary is a lot of nonsense that the Democrats and their media minions what to advance scare citizens into opposing even the slightest fiscal restraint.
In reality, the Republicans should be asking for far larger cuts that resulted in a compromise budget far more responsible than what is going to come out of this silly dance.
If right out of the gate in January the new Congressional leadership had proposed a $3.2 trillion budget for example, the spending package Democrats would have agreed to would result in hundreds of billions less red ink rather than the paltry tens of billions we're going to get.
Sure, the media would have screamed bloody murder, but that's what they're doing now over these trivial reductions, so who cares?