Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum has a habit of defending GOP talking points. During a conversation with Sen. Tom Coburn today, she continued the practice, scoffing at Democratic suggestions on how to help reduce the deficit and increase revenue:
MacCALLUM: I think everybody in this country, Democrats and Republicans across the board, know that there need to be some spending cuts in order to move -- in order to protect the country, basically, from complete default. But Democrats will tell you, as you hear all the time, that if you just, you know, tax wealthy people more, and you take, you know, raise taxes on oil companies, that you're going to go a long way to solving the problem. That's what they believe.
SENATOR COBURN: Well, they know that's not true.
Coburn went on to say that those Democratic proposals wouldn't make a dent in the deficit, adding that "this is all about politics, this is all about November, this is silly time in Washington -- unfortunately, it's silly time all the time in Washington 'cause there's no grownups up here." MacCallum replied: "I was just gonna say, I think a lot of folks feel like it extends throughout the year."
In fact, the Democrats' budget proposals amount to more than just "tax wealthy people more" and "raise taxes on oil companies" -- measures Fox News has stridently defended against in its rush to protect the rich and tax breaks for oil and gas companies.
Indeed, President Obama's proposed 2013 budget includes a mixture of revenue increases and spending cuts, as well as tax reforms, to achieve more than $4 trillion in deficit reduction over a 10-year span.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obama's plan would slash the deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2022.
Not only would the plan extend the Bush tax cuts permanently and maintain the $4 billion annual subsidies to oil companies, the plan is "surely the most fraudulent budget in American history," as the New York Times' Paul Krugman described it. He continued:
The trouble with the budget devised by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn't just its almost inconceivably cruel priorities, the way it slashes taxes for corporations and the rich while drastically cutting food and medical aid to the needy. Even aside from all that, the Ryan budget purports to reduce the deficit -- but the alleged deficit reduction depends on the completely unsupported assertion that trillions of dollars in revenue can be found by closing tax loopholes.
CBPP president Robert Greenstein added:
In essence, this budget is Robin Hood in reverse -- on steroids. It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times (and possibly in the nation's history). It also would stand a core principle of the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission's report on its head -- that policymakers should reduce the deficit in a way that does not increase poverty or widen inequality.
Greenstein also stated that under the GOP plan, the country would see the "dismantling of key parts of the safety net" on top of "stunning new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans."