Notable Quotables - 02/14/1994


Fiction Roundup: The President's "Tight" Budget

"The budget President Clinton submits to Congress Monday will be one of the tightest in memory, while his initiatives will mean cuts for some popular programs." - Front-page "Inside" plug, February 6 Washington Post.

"The Clinton budget goes to Capitol Hill, and from the President on down, the administration goes all out to defend one of the tightest fiscal proposals in memory."
- CNN anchor Judy Woodruff beginning Inside Politics, February 7.

"Topic A this morning, the President's budget. Mr. Clinton is catching flak from the right and the left over the $1.5 trillion budget that gets its formal unveiling today. The new budget would eliminate some programs, cut spending for others, and lower the deficit."
- CBS This Morning co-host Paula Zahn, February 7.

"The President's claims to budget-cutting fervor has some plausibility. The deficit is down - perhaps 40 percent more than had been predicted, and Clinton vowed to submit a 'tough' budget next week. In many ways, it will be. He'll propose cutting hundreds of programs and eliminating dozens of others."
- Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, February 7 issue.

"Clinton had a role in keeping [interest rates] low by fighting and winning a battle for his budget bill last spring. That victory demonstrated to financial markets that Clinton was not going to be a big-spending Democrat."
- Los Angeles Times reporter James Flanigan, January 26.

Reality Check:
"Even by Mr. Clinton's own budget table, domestic spending will climb by $11 billion in fiscal 1995 to $227.2 billion, or a healthy 5 percent."
- Wall Street Journal editorial on discretionary domestic spending rising at twice the inflation rate, February 9.


Reagan's Whopping Deficit Conspiracy

"Call it Ronald Reagan's revenge. The whopping deficit he left behind, together with the Bush-era caps on federal spending, has forced Bill Clinton to adopt many of his predecessors' spending cuts to pay for watered-down Democratic spending increases."
- Wall Street Journal reporters David Wessel and David Rogers starting a front-page budget story, February 8.

"It was Ronald Reagan who left Clinton and his successors in this budget bind by letting the deficit run up so breathtakingly, an apt way for an opponent of big government to ensure it didn't explode again after his departure from office."
- Knight-Ridder reporter Gary Blonston, February 8 Philadelphia Inquirer.

Reality Check:
"The budget for the 1995 fiscal year...forecasts spending of $1.5 trillion and a deficit of $176 billion, the lowest since 1989."
- New York Times referring to Reagan's last budget, February 8.

That Deficit-Cutting Health Plan

"But these [spending hikes] were subordinate to the administration's overriding objective: lowering the government's chronic deficit. Even Clinton's health-care legislation, often portrayed in humanitarian terms as a way of providing coverage for the uninsured and security for everyone else, became simply another tool to hold down projected federal shortfalls in the 1990s."
- Chicago Tribune reporter Michael Arndt, February 8. (That day the Congressional Budget Office estimated Clinton's plan would increase the budget deficits by $74 billion over the next six years, instead of cutting them by $59 billion.)


Sounds Like He'll Fit Right In

"Mr. North is tough, smart, and extremely hard-working....He is also an accomplished liar and a shameless self-promoter."
- Ted Koppel on U.S. Senate candidate Oliver North, January 28 Nightline.

Clinton the Courageous

"Clinton is doing very much what he intended to do when he came into office, he's trying to rebuild the government to serve the people in a fashion that he feels that is has not served in the last 12 years. And he's being very courageous in putting forward programs to do that. Naturally, his programs are considered by some almost revolutionary because they are real change and in that he's doing his very best."
- Walter Cronkite on the Late Show with David Letterman, February 7.


No Elbows Ever Motivated a Post Story

"I thought that American Spectator piece was pretty much trash and I thought you could see the elbows in it all the way, he was determined to do something. But I don't know how to cure that except not read it."
- Former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee about David Brock's Arkansas state trooper expos on CNBC's Tim Russert, February 7.


Cheers for Socialized Medicine

"Yet lawmakers should preserve two of Clinton's key principles that are the best options among an array of unattractive choices. First is the so-called employer mandate....The second principle that should be preserved is universal coverage, or the guarantee that all Americans will have health insurance....With an aging population, rising health outlays will be with us forever. But universal coverage, delivered through managed health systems, is the best hope for spending those dollars more efficiently. Congress should swallow its aversion to confronting people with the upfront price - new taxes - and get moving toward this fundamental goal."
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Editor Susan Dentzer, February 14 issue.

"Everyone is applauding, I think, in the health care community, the emphasis on universal access, because they know that unless they're going to let some people just die in the streets, it makes sense to get medical care early, when it's going to be more effective and less costly....the insurance companies are the focal point for the dynamics of denial that are part of our present for-profit system."
- ABC medical editor Dr. Tim Johnson, January 26 World News Tonight.


Radical Right and Racist Rush

"So what should good Republicans do? First, they should try to practice some self-restraint in their childish instinct to offer one-upmanship on welfare reform and crime...Granted, some of the conservative ideas are too radical for mass consumption, even though Americans might embrace the values underpinning them. The Charles Murray notion to end welfare, for example, shouldn't fly - and won't."
- U.S. News & World Report Assistant Managing Editor Gloria Borger, February 7.

"Last month Senator Ernest Hollings joked about Africans being cannibals, but no other white Senators were pressured to condemn him. Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern make questionable racial remarks, and yet President Bush invited Limbaugh to the White House, and Senator Alfonse D'Amato attended Stern's book party."
- Time Christopher John Farley on controversy over anti-Semitic remarks made by Louis Farrakhan and Khalid Abdul Muhammad, February 7.


Not Enough Liberals on TV

"It is interesting that political conservatives seem to have so much greater representation on television than liberals do. And yet, what the conservatives are always saying is that TV is too liberal."
- Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales on CNN's Inside Politics, January 27.


Publisher: L. Brent Bozell III
Editors: Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts: Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig,
Kristin Johnson, Steve Kaminski, Mark Rogers
Circulation Manager: Kathleen Ruff
Interns: David Muska, Clay Waters