"Sentences that begin 'The president says' are not as impressive as they used to be."
So marvelously stated ABC's George Will on Sunday's installment of "This Week."
But Will wasn't the only "Roundtable" panelist to utter something clever and/or revealing.
Quite the contrary, host George Stephanopoulos, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, and the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne also made statements on Sunday guaranteed to raise some eyebrows.
First up was Stephanopoulos who made a rather startling admission concerning exactly why the White House decided to give every senior citizen $250 (video embedded below the fold with transcribed highlights, relevant section at 19:12):
GEORGE WILL, ABC: I am the only one of the six of us -- I'm about to get $250 from the government as part of this super entitlement. I'm entitled...
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: That's the -- the Social Security.
WILL: ... to a cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security. You're entitled to that when the cost of living goes up, and you're entitled to this entitlement when you're not entitled to it. It's the ultimate expression of our culture.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that -- and that, Paul, I think the president believed that there's no way he could get health care through if he didn't do that.
Wow. Did Stephanopoulos so cavalierly admit that the $250 payment to seniors was a bribe to get them behind healthcare reform?
Next up on the "Did He REALLY Just Say That?" hit parade was Paul Krugman who actually said the press blew their coverage of last week's announcement concerning the $1.4 trillion budget deficit. According to this Nobel Prize winner, media should have been cheering because it was -- wait for it!!! -- less than predicted (relevant section at 15:38):
PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: Let me say something. There's -- there's something that -- there was, I think, a little bit of bad reporting. When we got that $1.4 trillion deficit number, that was terrible, but it was actually $400 billion below what people were forecasting just a few months ago. The deficits are actually -- the surprises on the deficit are actually...
KRUGMAN: ... on the downside.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... world-record deficit.
KRUGMAN: I know. I know, but the fact of the matter is that...
PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Three times bigger than ever.
KRUGMAN: ... that -- that if we were sort of, you know, dealing with, relaxed with the prospect of a $1.8 trillion deficit a few months ago, we should not be panicking, pulling back on stimulus, pulling back on support for the economy, when the actual deficit comes in $400 billion less than you were thinking it was.
You thought I was kidding, didn't you? But wait -- it gets better, for when the conversation turned to how we were going to pay for healthcare reform if it passes, Dionne told the dirty little secret that if every media member did the same, this bill would have been DOA months ago (relevant section at 11:20):
E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Do you know what the problem is, is that it's perfectly -- just to go back to the economy -- it's extremely rational to run big deficits when we need the stimulus from the government. What they can't do is to say, look, we're going to do that now and then we're going to pay for it later, and here are some tax proposals that will kick in down the road. And politically right now, it's poisonous to say we're going to spend money now and have tax increases later, but that is how we're going to do it in the end, even though I don't think they're going to say so.
No, I don't think they're going to say so either, E.J. But you did, and we thank you.
Finally, though not in order, the Best Line of the Day award has to go to George Will. Once again, the discussion was about paying for healthcare reform (relevant section at 13:45):
WILL: I'm very puzzled by the argument about how we're going to pay for this, which seems to be the big problem right now. This is a government that right now is borrowing 43 cents of every dollar it spends. We're going to pay for this the way we pay for everything. We're going to borrow the money from the Chinese.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president says we're not. He says if it increases the deficit, he's not going to sign it.
WILL: I know...
WILL: ... sentences that begin "The president says" are not as impressive as they used to be.
Bravo! Encore! Author, author!
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...