Savannah Guthrie's Soak-the-Rich Obsession: Higher Taxes Only Means of Lowering Deficits

Isn’t it odd after the passage of TARP, the stimulus and ObamaCare that left-wing politicians and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media are suddenly worried about budget deficits?

As opposed to reining in deficit spending, the new public policy stance for the Democratic Party going into the 2010 midterm election is to call for a tax hike on the top-income earners by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those folks. In an interview on MSNBC’s Sept. 17 “The Daily Rundown” with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, co-host Savannah Guthrie pressed the Texas senator on the need to raise taxes in order to lower budget deficits.

Guthrie asked: “Sir, as you know, a lot of the energy in the Republican Party, some of the animating issues have to do with deficit and spending, and I ask you given the concern among Republican voters about deficit spending, how is it that Republicans can get behind allowing the Bush tax cuts to go forward for the wealthiest Americans, something that will cost $700 billion borrowed money deficit spending. How do you square that up?

This is becoming a pattern for Guthrie. The previous week, Guthrie pressed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with the same line of questioning. But according to Cornyn, Guthrie was offering false choices, which was the exact same way McConnell responded when she pushed the same premise.

“Well Savannah, it doesn't make any sense to raise taxes in order to keep current tax policy in place,” Cornyn said. “I think frankly that's a false choice. My preference would have been to make these tax rates permanent, but we didn't have the votes to do it so they're temporary. They're going to expire.”

Cornyn’s response didn’t satisfy “The Daily Rundown” co-host. Apparently in Guthrie’s mind, if you earn money – what the government allows you to keep is a federal expenditure, suggesting all earned income is the government’s and they’re just allowing you to keep some of it.

“But, that will be deficit spending, right? I mean, it is deficit spending?” an unrelenting Guthrie interrupted and fired back at Cornyn.

Cornyn called Guthrie’s “deficit spending” description a false construction and said raising taxes on anyone would be an “anti-stimulus.”

“I think that's a false construct, with all due respect, because these are current tax rates,” Cornyn replied. “We're talking about the largest tax increase in American history. And particularly Democrats, I think, and Republicans are looking now to say, ‘You know what, even if we're for raising the marginal tax rates to what they were in the '90s, the worst time to be doing this is during a time of fragile, economic recovery so I hope we can come together and to stave that off, because I can't think of a worse anti-stimulus at this time than this huge tax increase.”

During the 2008 election, political opponents of the Republican Party and the party’s presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would often describe the GOP’s economic policies as “Hoover-esque.” Liberal economist Jared Bernstein was one of the people who used it to describe Republican policies in 2008.

Bernstein now holds a prominent position in the Obama White House as the chief economist for the vice president. But you don’t have to appear more “Hoover-esque” than raising taxes in the middle of an economic downturn – as former President Herbert Hoover did immediately following the stock market crash of 1929 with The Revenue Act of 1932.

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