Fox News's Greta Van Susteren on Saturday took issue with New York Times columnist Charles Blow's recent piece "False Choice."
In it, the perilously liberal commentator criticized Republicans for wanting to solve the nation's economic woes with a mixture of tax and spending cuts:
The U.S. added 54,000 jobs in May, far fewer than expected, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent.
This is the latest in a cavalcade of worrisome economic indicators — from double-dipping home prices to flagging consumer confidence — that illustrate just how fragile the recovery has been, just how inadequate and anemic the stimulus was and just how tenuous the government’s grip is on the reins.
It is against this backdrop that Republicans have decided to play chicken with the nation’s credit — insisting on spending cuts while steadfastly resisting tax increases.
This is part of the modern doctrine of a compassion-free conservatism that’s using the fog of the fiscal crisis to push a program of perverse wealth inequality as sound economic policy: The only way to jump-start the economy is to slash taxes on the wealthy and on companies; the only way to compensate for the deficits that those tax cuts exacerbate is to slash benefits to the poor and vulnerable. It would be comical if it weren’t so callous.
Van Susteren was having none of this:
I think Mr. Blow is missing something. We all agree that we have a serious problem (our economy and our long term national debt and its impact on our economy.) Here is something that stands out: current policies, in effect since at least February 09 are simply not working to jazz up the economy and/or reduce the national debt. The opposite has happened. Our debt is much worse, and without more people at work (unemployment is rising), the government has reduced revenue to fund it and to pay the debt. That’s bad.
In looking at various options from the two political parties, Mr. Blow calls the Republican economic ideas “faulty logic.” I don’t know if the Republican’s economic ideas in our current situation is “faulty logic” or not — but I do know that President Obama’s February 09 stimulus bill is “faulty logic” or we would be doing better. The current indicators are just plain bad. People are hurting. [...]
Mr. Blow thinks we need “sensible tax increases” on the wealthy and “sensible spending cuts.” Is he right? If in the last 2 1/2 years there was real improvement, I would take a chance on his ideas (all economic policies s are a chance in my mind since no one can be certain when it comes to such a fluid topic with so many variables as the economy.) I have a hard time trusting the economic judgment of anyone who pushed a policy that has not worked to rev up the economy.
Obama has had approaching 2 1/2 years to right this ship and it in some ways appears in greater danger than it did when he took the helm.
Unemployment is up. Gas prices are up. Food prices are up. Home prices are down. And debt is exploding.
Exactly how is that a record that anyone on either side of the aisle can feel good about?
As Van Susteren noted:
I think the economic track record of the last 2 1/2 years is dismal. I travel and see what is happening across the country. The current economic scene does not build confidence in the economic policies of this administration. Isn’t 2 1/2 years enough time to try something? How long should we wait before we admit something is not working, change strategy and stop listening to those who have not gotten us out of this mess?
If this president was a Republican, the press would have been deriding his economic results for months forcing his favorability ratings into the thirties and making any chance of reelection slim.
Is there an economic tipping point where liberal media members like Blow would agree that Obama's policies aren't working and the nation needs a new leader?
Or is Party far more important than a strong economy to America's so-called journalists?