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Wednesday, February 17, 2010  


Everyone is scratching their salt-and-peppery chins over teh deficit these days, so that NPR today gave us a story that, while it had a few actual facts in it, repeated two bizarre errors:

1) Democrats are unwilling to cut entitlement spending. It may have escaped the notice of Mara Liasson, but there was something called "health care reform" that was proposed and passed in both houses of Congress last year. It was authored primarily and supported almost exclusively by Democrats and it was funded, in both versions, by measures including reductions in the growth of Medicare. And back in 2005, before the dawn of recorded journalistic time, all kinds of Democrats were proposing reductions in Social Security benefits along with other measures to ensure the program's solvency.

2) Judd Gregg is a guy who cares about the deficit. According to this report, Judd Gregg is a gentleman who proposed a deficit commission. But he is more than that! Surprisingly, he is also a sitting member of the U.S. Senate, one of only 100 such people. They have considerable authority over how the federal government spends money. And in his capacity as one of these "Senators," Gregg voted for massive tax cuts, an unfunded expansion of Medicare, and a couple of unfunded wars. These things have largely created our current deficit and greatly exacerbated our projected deficits. So it may be that in his capacity as "a guy who proposes commissions" Judd Gregg is worried about the deficit. But in his role as "one of the most influential people setting fiscal policy for the nation" he doesn't care about deficits at all. Nothing could be more certain.

If I proposed to fix my grades by creating a "doing Ben's homework commission," you'd say I was being infantile. But this is exactly the sort of behavior that gets one quoted on NPR as an authority. Heckuva job.

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posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 4:15 PM
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