Deficit deceit: Matthews falsely claimed “deficit is not being caused by tax cuts”

Responding to Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) July 29 acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, in which Kerry indicated his plan to “cut the deficit in half in four years by ending tax giveaways that are nothing more than corporate welfare,” MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews offered a false refutation.

From the July 29 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: The deficit is not being caused by tax cuts. It is being caused by the failure to cut spending on both sides [Democratic and Republican].

As Media Matters for America has previously noted, while increased government spending does play a role in expanding the deficit, tax cuts are a much greater factor. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities' (CBPP) January 2004 analysis of the shift from a $236.4 billion surplus in 2000 to a projected $477 billion deficit in 2004 directly contradicts Matthews's claim that tax cuts are not a source of the budget deficit. CBPP reported that “the drop-off in revenues [due to tax cuts] accounts for more than three times as much of this shift as the rise in expenditures [due largely to increased spending for homeland security and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq].”