Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer and NPR's Nina Totenberg had a humorous exchange on PBS's Inside Washington Friday.
After mocking Totenberg for the "surprise" of her giving Democrats on the Super Committee credit, Krauthammer scolded her for constantly interrupting him saying, "I'm in the middle of a sentence, and I am going to get to the end, and I will let you know with punctuation, alright?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GORDON PETERSON, HOST: Well, were there any white hats anywhere in this adventure?
NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: Well, I actually give the Democrats some credit for moving off the dime a bit, but the lack of trust and the lack of ability to have a corresponding move. The tragedy here is that this was a system that may have been doomed to failure, but it also could have been doomed to success because it guaranteed a vote on the floor. It circumvented the need to get 3/5 vote to kill a filibuster. And it would have, if they could have come to an agreement, it would have gotten an up or down vote.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: What a surprise that Nina should have found that the Democrats deserve some credit on this committee. I'm really shocked to hear that. The fact is that despite all the protestations of the Democrats, the Republicans, starting with the very conservative Senator Coburn, who was on Simpson-Bowles, and who approved and supported an increase in net tax rates…
TOTENBERG: That was the Gang of Six, though.
KRAUTHAMMER: No, this was in, he voted in Simpson-Bowles to increase by $1 trillion…
TOTENBERG: Yeah, that’s not the Super Committee.
PETERSON: Let him finish.
KRAUTHAMMER: I'm in the middle of a sentence…
TOTENBERG: Yes you are.
KRAUTHAMMER: …and I am going to get to the end, and I will let you know with punctuation, alright?
KRAUTHAMMER: …he supported a $1 trillion increase in net tax revenues in the same way that on the Super Committee Senator Toomey of the Club for Growth supported an increase in tax revenues. It seems to me that the myth that Republicans oppose higher taxes is simply not recognizing there is a difference between lowering rates and increasing revenues. That’s been the problem.
Despite the humor, Krauthammer was quite right. The issue is revenues not tax rates, something that folks like Totenberg can't get their hands around because of their ignorance of budgets.
Sadly, that's an intellectual handicap suffered by most liberal media members who don't understand that you can raise revenues without raising marginal tax rates.
Maybe if they'd grasp this, Democrats on these committees would be forced to as well.
Or is that asking too much of so-called journalists?