On the Sunday talk shows yesterday, members of Congress predictably began pointing fingers at who was to blame for the supercommittee’s inability to find $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade.
On Meet the Press, Arizona’s Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican member of the supercommittee remarked:
“When our democratic friends are unable to cut even $1 in spending without saying it has to be accompanied by tax increases, I think that tells you all you need to know about our runaway spending.”
Senator John Kerry, Kyl's Democratic counterpart on the supercommittee, tried to rebut that assertion from the senator from Arizona by claiming that Democrats cut $550 billion from Medicare in Obamacare without raising taxes.
Really, John Kerry? Obamacare is what you’re going to point to as your evidence that Democrats can cut spending without raising taxes? Wow, OK, where to start.
First of all, not only did the 2010 health care bill entail higher taxes, Obamacare included 21 different tax increases, totalling over $500 billion in higher taxes. This despite the fact that just last December President Obama remarked that the last thing lawmakers should want to do in this economy is raise taxes.
So no, Senator Kerry, Obamacare is not a good example to use if you’re trying to make the case that Democrats can cut spending without demanding higher taxes. It’s just too bad Meet the Press moderator David Gregory failed to point out that Kerry’s statement was grossly inaccurate, nor did anyone on Morning Joe feel the need to correct Kerry’s factually incorrect statement when re-airing the clip this morning.
If you really want to know why the supercommittee was unable to come to an agreement, American Enterprise Institute’s Jim Pethokoukis has a great post up this morning explaining how the Democrats' tax hike obsession killed the prospects for any deal:
"It’s like the 1990s never happened and the 1970s never stopped happening for the Washington Obamacrats. The U.S. economy faces two screamingly obvious problems: historically slow growth and historically high government spending leading to massive budget deficits. In this way, American is already frighteningly like Greece and Italy.
Yet Democrats used the SuperCommittee to push a trillion-dollar tax hike and block fundamental entitlement reform. As one GOP aide told Politico, “If they were willing to go a little further on entitlements, we’d see what we can do on revenues. That was the way it would have to work. What we found was, they needed a trillion-plus in revenues, and weren’t willing to do anywhere near that on entitlements.’”
To read Pethokoukis’s piece in its entirety, which I recommend, click here.
For another good read on what really happened with the supercommittee, check out this morning’s post from Cato’s Dan Mitchell, which explains how claims that Democrats were offering significant spending cuts in exchange for higher taxes is a complete lie and the sequester that everyone in the media is attributing “drastic cuts” to will actually yield at $2 trillion expansion of the federal government over the next decade.
Unfortunately for Americans searching for factual information, Sen. Kerry is not the only high ranking government official to lie about the tax hikes in Obamacare. Earlier this year, Austin Goolsbee, President Obama’s former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, in testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, also lied about the fact that Obamacare imposes more than $500 billion in higher taxes.
As John Adams famously said, “facts are stubborn things.” Apparently there are not too stubborn for the Sunday talk show circuit, or the White House for that matter.