Fox's Cavuto Hides Democrats' Willingness To Compromise To Avoid Automatic Budget Cuts

Fox News' Neil Cavuto covered up Democrats' willingness to compromise to avoid a series of automatic tax increases and spending cuts in January 2013, claiming that only Republicans are willing to make concessions. But Democratic leaders have made clear that they are open to revising social insurance programs, and it was Republicans who obstructed compromise on previous budget deals.

Cavuto Claims Only Republicans Are Willing To Compromise To Avoid Automatic Cuts 

Cavuto Praises Boehner For Saying He's Open To New Revenues, Criticizes Democrats For Not Showing “The Same Willingness” To Compromise With Social Insurance Programs. During the November 8 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto brought on Austan Goolsbee, former chair of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, to discuss Democrats' supposed unwillingness to compromise to avoid the coming “fiscal cliff” if a deal is not reached to avoid automatic budget cuts:   

CAVUTO: Here's what worries me, what we do in the interim, because it's not as if we can just patch together something now. There isn't enough time to do all of this stuff, as you pointed out just now and in prior interviews, with a grand sort of a tax reform package and maybe a simple or streamlined budget process that avoids this constant, you know, chicanery. But how do they get to there? If John Boehner is saying, as he did yesterday, “All right, I am open to revenues” -- I'm just paraphrasing here -- I do not hear, and again, this is not taking sides, the same willingness or the same leap on the part of Democratic leaders to say, “All right, and we're open to reining in, let's say, entitlements,” for want of a better word.

GOOLSBEE: Well, I don't know -- I don't know if that's fair.

CAVUTO: How can they -- is that what they need to do to then say, “All right, we got the entitlement thing going, you got, Boehner, the tax thing going, we agree on that, let's get a six-month extension.” [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto11/8/12]

However, Democrats Have Expressed Openness To Concessions ...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Said Democrats Are “Happy To Deal With Entitlements, But We're Not Messing With Social Security.” A November 7 Bloomberg article reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats are “happy to deal with” certain social insurance programs:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada told reporters today that Democrats were “not going to mess with Social Security” as part of revisions to entitlement programs Republicans are seeking in exchange for revenue.

“We're happy to deal with entitlements, but we're not messing with Social Security,” Reid said, adding that he would oppose changes to the way benefit increases are calculated on an annual basis. [Bloomberg, 11/7/12

... And Republicans Have Previously Refused To Compromise On Budget Deals

House Republicans Rejected Bipartisan Bowles-Simpson Budget Proposal, Guaranteeing Its Failure. In a January 7, 2011, blog post, The Economist stated that “the opposition by Mr Ryan and his two fellow House Republicans more or less guaranteed the plan would die”:

Mr Ryan has been a leading intellectual on economic matters in the Republican House caucus for some time. His “Roadmap for America's Future”, was a serious proposal to balance the long-term budget by effective (though politically unpalatable) means, such as replacing traditional Medicare fee-for-service with vouchers.

It's a good thing for Mr Ryan the Fiscy relates only to the fiscal year that ended on September 30th, because ever since then he's been acting less like a deficit hawk. Like Mr Conrad, Mr Ryan was a member of the Bowles-Simpson commission. Unlike Mr Conrad, he voted against its plan to stabilise the debt despite calling it “serious and credible”. He opposed it because it left Mr Obama's health-care reform intact, and because it relied too much on tax increases, even though these were smaller than the plan's spending cuts. The opposition by Mr Ryan and his two fellow House Republicans more or less guaranteed the plan would die. [Free Exchange, The Economist1/7/11]

All Republican Presidential Candidates Opposed Any Debt-Reduction Measure That Increased Taxes. During the August 11, 2011, Republican presidential debate, all the participating candidates opposed any measure that would raise taxes as a way to close the deficit, even if for every one dollar in new revenue collected ten dollars was cut from the federal budget. [Washington Monthly, 8/12/11

Republicans Rejected Democrats' $3 Trillion Deficit Reduction Proposal Because Of Tax Increases. In 2011, Democrats offered to cut $3 trillion from future debts, but were rejected by Republicans because of tax increases. The Washington Post reported:

Amid a flurry of counter-proposals from the deficit-reduction committee, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday rejected a Democratic offer to slash $3 trillion from future debts because it contained significant tax increases.

While GOP negotiators offered a slimmer package of savings with virtually no tax hikes, Boehner said the Democratic request for $1.3 trillion in new tax revenue was a non-starter and gave his most pessimistic outlook to date that the so-called “supercommittee” would achieve its deficit target by its Thanksgiving deadline. [The Washington Post, 10/27/11]