CNN Panelist Scolds: 'We Cannot Have a Grown-Up Conversation' on Spending

Following the White House’s release of a proposed federal budget on Thursday the liberal media went into a frenzy as they framed it as an assault against old people, the poor, and cancer research. But according to The Federalist’s Mary Catherine Ham on Sunday’s Inside Politics, that’s the childish behavior Washington had become known for. “No one wants to cut anything,” told the CNN panel, “And I think that was the most revealing thing, as it often is, that we cannot have a grown-up conversation about actually making priorities in government.”

“Meals on Wheels gets thrown out there and everybody goes: ‘Oh my gosh, why do you want to hurt old people,’” she chided. And her point is fair, since during the evening network news broadcasts Thursday night, they declared that: “There's a lot more money for the military but there are critics who say popular programs and the poor would pay the price.”

Ham walked the rest of the panel through some of the problems with the community block grant program. “Well actually, this community grant program is a hive of cronyism and corruption,” she explained, “Let’s actually look at what it’s doing. Most of the funding for Meals on Wheels comes from states and comes from another federal program.”

“Are we actually looking at cutting that? But we can’t have that conversation. We just have the first one,” she lamented. “I think the problem is not that the cuts are too big. The problem is that we're not dealing with the systemic problem,” she also noted, appearing to be talking about desperately needed entitlement reform. That’s a whole other issue where Washington elites can’t have a “grown-up conversation” without cries of “throwing grandma off a cliff.”

She also mocked those freaking out and acting like Trump’s budget was the be-all-end-all for the country’s spending:

I do think a lot of people also seem to need a civics lesson. The Trump budget is not the budget. Not the law that will go through. There’s a lot of panic out there about this Trump budget and it needs to go through Congress and it will look very different. Why? Because no one wants to cut anything.

Later on in the segment, moderator John King seemed to be amused by Republican Congressman Hal Rogers, who described Trump’s budget as “draconian, careless, [and] counterproductive.” Panelist Perry Bacon, of FiveThirtyEight responded to King with a quip that Trump’s budget was the “manly man budget,” because (get this) “veterans get more money, defense gets more money, Homeland Security does. So I think it actually fits with some of Trump's general ideas in terms of a message…”

That’s similar to ABC’s Mary Bruce, who whined on Thursday that “The big winners? Military spending a whopping $54 billion request. Veteran Affairs and Homeland Security,” and “The big losers in the President’s budget? The EPA, the State Department, and education.” Talk about not being able to have a “grown-up conversation.” 

Transcript below: 

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CNN
Inside Politics
March 19, 2017
8:18:26 AM Eastern

MARY KATHARINE HAM: Yeah, I think the problem is not that the cuts are too big. The problem is that we're not dealing with the systemic problem. I do think a lot of people also seem to need a civics lesson. The Trump budget is not the budget. Not the law that will go through. There’s a lot of panic out there about this Trump budget and it needs to go through Congress and it will look very different.

Why? Because no one wants to cut anything. And I think that was the most revealing thing, as it often is, that we cannot have a grown-up conversation about actually making priorities in government. Meals on Wheels gets thrown out there and everybody goes “Oh my gosh, why do you want to hurt old people?”

It’s like: Well actually, this community grant program is a hive of cronyism and corruption. Let’s actually look at what it’s doing. Most of the funding for Meals on Wheels comes from states and comes from another federal program. Are we actually looking at cutting that? But we can’t have that conversation. We just have the first one.

JOHN KING: But for a Republican [Rep. Hal Rogers] to say draconian, careless, counterproductive: Welcome to Washington, Mr. Trump.

PERRY BACON: I mean, there were a lot of serious attacks this week from a lot of Republicans. Linsey Graham on the State Department cuts. So-- On the other hand, the budget is always a symbolic document. I do think the budget communicates the idea Trump wants to blow up Washington. And this budget shows the EPA, DOJ. So I think that works. Trump wants to increase defense spending. This was sort of the “manly man budget,” veterans get more money, defense gets more money, Homeland Security does. So I think it actually fits with some of Trump's general ideas in terms of a message and then after that, the details of the budget will not be worked out by him anyway.

NBDaily Economy Budget Government Agencies Media Bias Debate Political Groups Liberals & Democrats CNN Inside Politics Video Perry Bacon Mary Katharine Ham John King Donald Trump Mick Mulvaney

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