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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Democrats keep misleading on claimed budget 'cuts'

By Glenn Kessler

By Glenn Kessler

"The fact is that Democrats stand ready to meet the Republicans halfway on this. That would be fair."

-- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), March 3, 2011

"We are also prepared to put out specifics that will move another over $6 billion closer -- so that we will have met them halfway -- essentially split the difference between the president's request and [the GOP cuts in] H.R. 1."

-- Gene B. Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council, March 3, 2011

"We have met them halfway, which in many ways is a perfect definition of an attempt to compromise."

-- White House press secretary Jay Carney, March 2, 2011

This has become a constant refrain by Democrats -- that they have already gone some distance to accommodate the Republicans' efforts to cut federal spending. We already awarded Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) two Pinocchios for this claim, but the talking point keeps popping up again and again.

We take no position on whether it makes sense to make these cuts at this time. But Democrats are being disingenuous by suggesting they have already worked hard to reduce spending or to reach out to Republicans.

The Facts

The 2011 fiscal year began Oct. 1, but Congress, then led by the Democrats, failed to pass any of the annual spending bills that would fund the government. Instead, lawmakers have passed a series of stopgap measures, known as continuing resolutions, based largely on 2010 spending. The most recent one was approved this week, though it also included $4 billion in cuts based on proposals in Obama's 2012 budget blueprint.

Yes, it's a bit confusing. Lawmakers mix and match the three budgets in their rhetoric faster than any three-card monte player.

The situation was different in 1995, the last time Republicans took control of the House. Then, the GOP pushed through $16 billion in cuts -- known as recissions -- from an existing budget that had been passed by the previous Democratic-led Congress. But since no spending bills were passed last year, politicians are able to pretend that budgets that exist only on paper are real.

When Democrats say they are meeting Republicans halfway, they are talking about "cuts" from Obama's never-enacted 2011 budget. By the White House's math, they have proposed $41 billion in cuts from the 2011 budget, plus $4 billion in the latest stopgap measure, plus $6.5 billion in unspecified cuts annnounced Thursday, for a total of $51 billion. But there was no heavy lifting involved, and certainly little discrete examination of which programs to preserve and which ones to cut. It's lot like saying you are running a 100-yard dash, but starting on the 50-yard line.

Democrats have justified this language by noting that Republicans claim they cut $100 billion from 2011 budget, when it is actually $61 billion from the 2010 budget. Republicans should not have tried to boast about such a nice, round number, but it is noteworthy that no major newspaper used that figure. Reporters did not fall for the GOP spin; it was always characterized as a $61 billion cut.

Similarly, the Democrats can not claim to have gone "halfway." It's not a difference between $51 billion and $100 billion, which makes the situation look benign.

Instead, the Democrats have offered just over $10 billion -- the $4 billion in the stop gap measure and the $6.5 billion announced late Thursday. Republicans have proposed $61 billion, so the gap between the two parties remains wide indeed.

The Pinocchio Test

"Halfway" is an appealing concept, but thus far Democrats have done little to match the cost-cutting drive launched by Republicans.

Repeating the same talking point over and over again does not make it correct. In fact, the rhetoric may come back to haunt Democrats, because in theory that would mean they eventually will have to come up with at least $30 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget.

We'll award two Pinocchios again, but if Democrats keep saying this -- or President Obama says it -- it will start to move into three Pinocchio territory.

Two Pinocchios

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By Glenn Kessler  | March 4, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  2 Pinocchios, Economy, Nancy Pelosi  
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Comments

Dems lie? Say it ain't so..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 4, 2011 7:05 AM | Report abuse

Dems lie? Say it ain't so..

Posted by: wewintheylose1

And Repubs don't lie? These cuts are stupid...they do nothing to address our Economic Situation. Every Major Non-Partisan Economist have stated that the Repubs Plan will cost us Thousands of Jobs. Who gives a flying F**** about the Repubs cuts. But dont worry, you Right Wingers are pushing Thinking People in to a corner again. I'll make this prediction....Repubs make serious gains in the Senate in 2012, Win the White House in 2016, but it will all start to Fall Apart in 2018. Your Ideas STINK like Sh*****!!!

Posted by: aunkmaa | March 4, 2011 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Does ANYONE still worry that the federal government will shut down???

That might be the only way to put a timely end to the intentional deceit that emanates from the phonies we have sent to Washington to represent us.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | March 4, 2011 7:22 AM | Report abuse

You would think with all the duplication, waste and fraud that everyone knows exists in the federal government, the dems would be eager to cut the abuse. If for no other reason than to give them the money to fund Obama's social programs such as Obamacare. We are wasting billions but our leaders want their cake and eat it too. Despicable!

Posted by: saelij | March 4, 2011 7:40 AM | Report abuse

With the Republicans of the last Congress actively opposing EVERYTHING the Democrats and Obama tried to pass - even bills the Republicans had previously supported or would have supported [examples: the health insurance individual mandate, the 2010 Defense budget and the nominations of dozens of Federal judges etc etc] why should we assume that the Republicans would not have also filibustered any budget for 2011 the Demcrats would have proposed?
The Republicans have lie continuously about how much participation they have been allowed in the legislative process, flasely claiming to have been "shut out" - I can not see them having allowed the Democrats to pass any budget for 2011 even if it had been proposed.
Now they feel free to engage in mischief for the next two years with one goal in mind, as McConnell and the talk-radio gang keep saying: "making Obama a one-term Presidemnt" - the American people be damned.

Posted by: jupiterian | March 4, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

With the Republicans of the last Congress actively opposing EVERYTHING the Democrats and Obama tried to pass - even bills the Republicans had previously supported or would have supported [examples: the health insurance individual mandate, the 2010 Defense budget and the nominations of dozens of Federal judges etc etc] why should we assume that the Republicans would not have also filibustered ANY budget for 2011 that the Demcrats would have proposed?
The Republicans have lied continuously about how much participation they have been allowed in the legislative process, falsely claiming to have been "shut out" - I can not see them having allowed the Democrats to pass any budget for 2011 even if it had been proposed and even if the GOP had agreed with most of it in principle.
Now they feel free to engage in mischief for the next two years with one goal in mind, as McConnell and the talk-radio gang keep saying: "making Obama a one-term President" - the American people's interests be damned.

Posted by: jupiterian | March 4, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

sorry about the double post

Posted by: jupiterian | March 4, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

"When Democrats say they are meeting Republicans halfway, they are talking about "cuts" from Obama's never-enacted 2011 budget. By the White House's math, they have proposed $41 billion in cuts from the 2011 budget, plus $4 billion in the latest stopgap measure, plus $6.5 billion in unspecified cuts annnounced Thursday, for a total of $51 billion. But there was no heavy lifting involved, and certainly little discrete examination of which programs to preserve and which ones to cut. "

This is where I get a little tripped up. The Democrats aren't claiming that they have already made the cuts; they're claiming that they're willing to meet the GOP halfway on their total cuts. Even if you take out the stopgap measure and the unspecified cuts, you're still left with $41 billion in specific proposed cuts.

That's obviously more than half of $61 billion dollars. If the Democrats have proposed $41 billion in specific cuts, how is it misleading for them to say they are willing to meet the GOP halfway? Unless more than $10 billion of their cuts are already duplicated in the House GOP budget, I don't see how this is a lie or even stretching the truth.

Posted by: dkp01 | March 4, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Retired Senator Alan Simpson responses regarding cutting military spending.

Steve asked the former senator if he thought the U.S. could maintain its military pre-eminence even with significant cuts in military spending. He had no doubts it could, Simpson said.

SIMPSON: Without any question. We have a defense budget now which is larger than all 14 other countries (with the largest economies.) That ought to get you somewhere.

SIMPSON: Yes, except China, of course, and now they're gearing up.

We found stuff in the Defense Department that you can't believe. Here's one for ya. There's a DOD health system, its separate for Veterans Administration, its separate from Obamacare. It affects 2.2 million military retirees.

Their premium is $460 a year and no co-pay and includes their dependents and the cost to the U.S. is $53 billion a year.

STEVE: So maybe people ought to pay in a little more that's what you're saying...

SIMPSON: And, I'll tell you what, you mention that, here come the reserve officers, here comes the VA, the veterans groups and they'll rain boulders on your head.

That's how you pass or kill something in this country, you use emotion, fear, guilt or racism, and I've been in them all – I did immigration, nuclear, Social Security, ageing – I learned where the long knives are.

And as long as people are buffaloed by that, and fogged by that on the basis of protecting their hide from any peril, as H.L. Mencken once said, we're in deep trouble.

Posted by: anne15 | March 4, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Why is the Military a sacred cow to tea-partiers and other Republicans. Here's Alan Simpson comments regarding cuts to social safety net programs vs. military spending:

STEVE: Do you think that it is possible, however you figure out the numbers, to balance the budget or move it close to balance while preserving what we call the social safety net that has grown up in this country across many decades?

SIMPSON: Heating. That Leap group.

STEVE: LIHEAP.

SIMPSON: Yup, that's a critically important thing. That shouldn't even be touched.

You don't need to touch that, you need to go get rid of 250,000 contractors in the Defense Department where you can really pick up some small change.

STEVE: So you think the safety net can be preserved – that's not really where the big money is anyway.

SIMPSON: No! Child nutrition. WIC. Those things don't need to be chopped up.

Go for the chunk. Go in there to the Medicare and start hammering and that's what we tried to do with a $400 billion cut.

Posted by: anne15 | March 4, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Somewhere between what Republicans Claim and Democrats Claim is the Truth! They both Exaggerate their positions.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | March 4, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Can you find another picture of Pelosi? I'm tired of looking up her nose.

Posted by: richard36 | March 4, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Eh. I don't even like the 2008 Budget, much less the currently referenced 2010 or proposed 2011.

Things were going fine in 2006.
Let's pull up the 2006 Budget and start cutting from there.

Posted by: TominColorado | March 4, 2011 8:28 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats are proven liars through and through. They are now and have always been telling half truths, no truths with the actual intent to deceive. I have been watching them do it my entire life. I am 67 years old. They have gotten worse with each decade that goes by. Enough is enough. They think this is some kind of game. It is not. It is our money they are playing with and our way of life. It is aweful what they are doing.

Posted by: nychap44 | March 4, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Since the Democrats failed to pass a budget and failed to pass any appropriations, it IS confusing what baseline is used.

Using 2010 spending levels seems reasonable and is the basis for the CRs used for the first six months. Republicans want to cut $61b from that number and Democrats (begrudingly) are offering $10b. When they offer another $20b, then they are halfway.

BTW, we're taling about $60b out of roughly $3,700b, or less than 2%.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | March 4, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Is this the Washington Post??? Could you please send a few reporters willing to report like this over to the NYTimes and MSNBC, CNN,ABC, NBC, Rueters and AP?

Posted by: rcb21 | March 4, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

They all lie, it’s just who lies more on any given day. The media is part to blame because they call lying, “spinning.”

What makes me mad about Dems is there’s no reason to lie, you’re negotiating with a bunch of buffoons. The truth is what it is, just be honest otherwise you’re no different from them.

Posted by: doesntmatter | March 4, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

When the fact checker points out a lie for the Democrats, you KNOW they're in the wrong.

The Democrats continue to pay lip service to the deficit, but little else.

Posted by: postfan1 | March 4, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Obama says we should "live within our means". That means we should spend $1.4 trillion less than last year.

That kind of spin will snap your neck.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | March 4, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

It's all BS from both sides.

If we have learned anything from this bickering over nickles and dimes, it's that getting to a balanced budget and cutting back the national debt will NEVER, EVER be accomplished by spending cuts alone.

Most of the blame goes to the GOP for inventing the structural deficit and poisoning the well on tax increases (read "increases" as eliminating ALL of the Bush tax cuts). Any tax cut that isn't matched by spending cuts isn't really a tax cut - it's taking out a loan. The GOP has gotten to a place where it's more "American" to borrow money than to increase taxes.

The political impossibility of making significant reductions to Medicare and SSI means that (1) entitlements must be subject to means testing and (2) the income cap on SSI/Medicare taxes must be raised. The wealthy will either have to pay more, get less, or both. You can't get that kind of money any other way without crushing the demand for goods and services by the lower and middles classes and tanking the economy in the process.

Posted by: st50taw | March 4, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

It's a given that, with politicians, you're dealing with a group of pathological liars. That's especially true of Republicans, who are categorically aligned with business—and therefore salesmanship, belief in the power of words (as opposed to "talk is cheap"), and the philosophy of "perception is reality."

So how can you justify picking nits and "sweating the small stuff" over items like this, especially when you've stopped carping over $700 billion shortfall that was created when the decision was made to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? The $50 billion gap you're whining about is 1/14th the size of that!

Posted by: CuckooRaja | March 4, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

we're all shaking in our boots, fact checker!

Posted by: gonzosnose | March 4, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The references to fiscal years is muddled. We are currently in FY 2011 which ends on Sept 30, 2011. The House repubs passed the $61 million in cuts for FY 2011, the current fiscal year. This was not taken up by the Senate. The 2-week continuing resolution just passed both both House and Senate with $4 billion in cuts, as well as talks over more cuts in another continuing resolution (to get get the gov't all or part of the way till Sept 30) are for current fiscal year, 2011.
The recently released proposed budget from the Obama administration is for FY 2012 which begins Oct 1, 2011.

Posted by: webfreddes | March 4, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Attention: THE DAY OF RECKONING HAS COME - we can't borrow our way out of this mess. We've been putting off getting our financial house in order for years. DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, TAXPAYERS - WE ARE ALL TO BLAME FOR PROCRASTINATING.
WE MUST MAKE SIGNIFICANT CUTS, FAR GREATER THAN WHAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE OFFERED - IT WILL BE PAINFUL, BUT IF WE DON’T DO SOMETHING WE ARE GOING TO END UP LIKE GREECE, SPAIN, AND IRELAND.
Also – regardless of what anyone says, in order to get back on track SEVERAL THINGS WILL NEED TO HAPPEN, we are not going to make progress by focusing on just an areas.
1) We will need to cut Defense, entitlement, and other traditionally “off limits” programs.
2) The retirement age for SS and Medicare will need to go up to at least 65. We are living longer than before; we simply can’t afford to pay for the extra years.
3) SS and Medicare benefits will need to be indexed.
4) We will need to eliminate the disparity in retirement and health benefits between private and public sectors. Both the private sector and public sector underfunded their pensions for years, so much so it is impossible to catch up. We simply can’t afford it.
5) TAXES WILL NEED TO BE RAISED ON THE RICH. The rich have trillions in wealth sitting idly that needs to be freed up to stimulate the economy. History has proven that Reagan’s stupid trickle down strategy for stimulating the economy does not work. After all if it did, why are we in this mess?
6) CORPORATIONS WILL NEED TO START PAYING THEIR FAIR OF TAXES. As a percentage of total Federal Tax receipts, corporate tax receipts have fallen from an average of 28 percent in the 1950s, 21 percent in the 1960s, to an average of about 10 percent since the 1980s. On top of this many of our most profitable corporations pay no taxes at all. http://underthemountainbunker.com/2011/02/27/some-of-americas-richest-corporations-pay-no-taxes-while-main-street-americans-shoulder-the-full-burden/ To make matters worse, taxpayers have picked up the liability for many unfunded private pensions. Corporations pay a pittance of employee health and retirement plans. AND THE REPUBLICANS SAY THEY NEED MORE RELIEF?
The media and extremist on the right and left can say all they want, they can argue till they are blue in the face; the reality is that all of the above needs to be done to get us back on track. PERIOD.

Posted by: JJH1 | March 4, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

How about this idea? Have the Congress start meeting every other year instead of between quarterly vacations as they do now. What do you want to bet that the country would function just fine without them?

Posted by: jams4dad | March 4, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

We would all be better off if the government shut down except for social security, medicare and military. The rest of the programs are not needed!!!

Posted by: annnort | March 4, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Having pelosi mentioning budget cuts or meeting half way is an oxymoronic saying. This Marxist shrew, should have zero credibility after having an approval rating of 9 when she left. These were the 9 relatives who scarfed up free travel, freeze booze on her king sized jet
This menace should be put away

Posted by: nomobarry | March 4, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi in charge of something and its a total clusterf@ck that isn't what we're being told...go figure!
This woman is the GOP's most effective weapon.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | March 4, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

richard36 “Can you find another picture of Pelosi? I'm tired of looking up her nose.”

----------------------------------------
Have you noticed that Pelosi is still the “face” of Congress in the Post Politics at a Glance section? Why are Democrats the only politics for the Post?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | March 4, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Boner and the Repugs have done nothing but read an edited version of the constitution on C SPAN, hold a ceremonial vote to repeal health care reform and pass a couple of stupid anti abotion bills....


I've got news for the extremist Republican party:


Now that you have some actual power again (the House) you won't be able to get away with spending all of your time throwing verbal bombs at the Dems, going golfing and then hitting the DC cocktail circuit at night every day.


You either CREATE JOBS or you will be gone in 2012 so fast that your heads will spin!


Chop chop Repugs!


You've got two years!


Time's a wastin'!


.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 4, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the balanced reporting.

Posted by: j762 | March 4, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I get such a kick out of liberals take DrainYou for example. Get this DrainYou said-- “You either CREATE JOBS or you will be gone in 2012 so fast that your heads will spin!”

Hey bub, how long have the Republicans been in charge in the House 3 months, and you are screaming for jobs… Obama and the demorats have been in charge for what more than 2 years, what did they do DrainYou? Well, even Obama will claim credit for it but, and I don’t think it was enough, Obama did sign an extension of the Bush era tax rates for the next two years. I can see jobs in jeopardy yet again. At least businesses can plan out 2 year but it ISN’T ENOUGH! There wasn’t a demorat talking about extending the Bush tax rates. NOT ONE including you DrainYou, Obama co-opted it, called it his when he signed it and it wasn’t even close to a demorat bill.

And furthermore you liberals are screaming that the Republicans are going to cut Social Security. Let me give you a little hint DrainYou, when Obama signed the Tax Rate Extension included in that bill was a 2% reduction in payroll taxes, remember?? Well guess where funding for Social Security and Medicare come from DRAINYOU? You got it, PAYROLL TAXES… Humm, now tell me who is cutting Social Security again?

Posted by: vatownsend1 | March 4, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

NOW, we see that Biden is going to Russia next week. Do we wait on him for the next meeting?

BTW, the tax cuts from last December are producing jobs (thanks Republicans).
“The tax deal that the president enacted in December with investment incentives with pay roll tax cuts and his emphasis on business is really starting to pay off,” Goolsbee said on MSNBC. “We’re setting the stage and the conditions for the private sector to stand up.”
http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0311/see_it_works_d3d57d0e-3699-4822-b75d-5280e7eaa5b5.html

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | March 4, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The real story here is that the very people that got us here...no matter what party...are now telling us that they are fixing it or prepared to fix it. Wake up! Look at how many of the 545 members of Congress have been around more than eight years...that means they are the ones that got the whole thing screwed up! They can no more solve the problem than they can tell the truth..no matter what party. They are incompetent, lying, self-serving, CAREER POLITICIANS who want only to hang on to their cushy jobs, great retirement benefits (including healthcare), and travel perks. Until we clean out Congress, enact term limits for both politicians and their staff, change the election funding laws, and make them accept the same healthcare, and delete their retirement program we are going to be stuck with these incompetents. So unless you support cleaning house just sit back and enjoy being cheated and watch our tax dollars being flushed down the toilet.

Posted by: staterighter | March 4, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Who gives a hoot about $10B, $61B, or even $100B?

Obama's 2011 budget contains a $1.65 TRILLION deficit! Wake me up when you're ready to get serious, and I'm talking to Republicans as well as Democrats!

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | March 4, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Question: will this be revised now that the Senate Appropriations Committee has released their year-long CR plan?

Highlights here: http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=7e62b4eb-ed09-4dd4-86f0-411534783127

kitchendragon50, you should think twice before thanking the GOP for last November's tax cuts. While the biggest single chunk was for the wealthiest sliver of the populace, a whole heck of a lot of the tax breaks were extensions of Obama's stimulus package.

Posted by: dkp01 | March 4, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey Nancy you schrill - maybe if you dems did your job in 2010 - we would not be here..how about that? Instead - you punted..and why ..cause had you - once again you would have demonstrated a 1.6 trillion debt in Oct - 2010. If you think you got slaughtered in Nov - 2011 - - had you generated such a budget - the democratic party would have gone extinct like that of the dinosaurs - and you know it.

Now shut up Nancy - you failed to execute your job - now get out of the way for some adults in the room to execute theirs.

Posted by: short1 | March 4, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't meet them halfway or even say it. Republicans are determined to force their political agenda via the crisis they created. You can't burn down your house and then expect not to pay to rebuild it. They want America to be small and do small things poorly via private contractors. They are determined to use the federal treasury to reward their rich friends and that is why they want to destroy government and make the lower 98% suffer for the folly of Wall Street abetted by the Republican Party.

Posted by: wd1214 | March 4, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

C'mon -- does anyone out there honestly believe that EITHER side of the aisle is capable of telling the truth (or quoting "facts" without distoring them)?

How long have you people been around?

Posted by: Robb11 | March 4, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Yep, Democrats won't have reached out to Republicans until they have acceeded to all of the demands of the Tea partiers. Why don't we talk about real facts:

- Republicans lie
- Republicans continue to obstruct any job creation moves
- Republicans hate women and the middle class
- Republicans are owned by the Koch Brothers
- Oh, and did I say, Republicans lie

Posted by: pblotto | March 4, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Princess NanP is sooo sure of herself that her daughter will be along shortly to amend the non-existent list of tax custs.

The budget needs to go back to 2009 levels, not the liberal inflated 2010 budget.

If the libberals had manned up and voted on a budget - they would never be in this problem. Oh wait, like the liberals cowards in Wi, these slime buckets ran also.

Posted by: zendrell | March 4, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't want Democrats reaching out to Republicans or meeting them halfway. If it's something the Republicans want, no good can come of it.

Posted by: gsross | March 4, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

How about about 50 pinnochios for this one:

Corporations are people.

Or at least 100 pinnochios for this one:

Republicans are fiscally prudent and want smaller government. They want to cut spending.

(Really????? Then why have the Republicans been granting billions in subsidies to the oil industry, for instance, which is already making money hand-over-fist. Why is it that welfare for the poor is terrible, even though it's more like a penny spent compared to what corporate welfare gets.

Besides that, if there had been good stewardship shown by the Republicans after they took over a surplus from Clinton, that would have been one thing - because that surplus should have lasted for decades with good management - but instead it was completely squandered.

So how can they now grandstand and claim they are fiscally prudent. John Boehner was one of the people who actually helped write the first stimulus bill - the one that allowed Wall Street executives to give themselves bonuses a few months later. So how on earth can they refer to themselves as fiscally prudent when he is now their majority leader. FIVE HUNDRED PINNOCHIOS FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOR THEIR CLAIM THAT THEY ARE FISCALLY PRUDENT.

Posted by: jKO2010 | March 4, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the thousand year old Pelosi took the time to read this proposal? It sounded like she could not be bothered to read the health care joke before she and her minions pushed that square peg through our round hole. I suspect it will be proven like the heath care bill to be filled with more misleading information and out right lies. Pelosi and Reid are true politicians in my view, they are willing to quickly step up and lie to legitimise their goal. The sad thing is I suspect they both feel its OK because its the right thing for them to do. They seem to believe the American citizen is to stupid to know what is best for themselves. Americans need them to guide us because they are all knowing, I personally think both of them are just arrogant. I'm shocked that either one was re elected for any reason.

Posted by: AmazedattheBS | March 4, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

This "fact check" is totally dishonest. The cuts the Dems propose are exactly as Pelosi stated. You call yourself a newspaper?

Posted by: rebagg | March 4, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

We've been chasing the "waste, fraud and abuse" bogeyman without notable success for as long as I can remember. If such a demon does actually exist, it will never be killed because virtually every person in the U.S. benefits from it to some degree--it is ubiquitous and most of us do not notice or care.

Posted by: ptgrunner | March 4, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@JJH1, re shortfalls in private pensions: so far, taxpayers are not responsible for these defaults. The PBGC uses investment earnings, and hikes premiums on pension plans that are still solvent in order to cover the costs of the insolvent plans. Down the road, however, if current trends continue, the PBGC may need a bailout unless it lowers insured benefits considerably. It's running a deficit of about $10 billion a year and it has $80 billion in reserves. PBGC needs stronger laws to make sure it gets its fair share when corporations cop out by declaring bankruptcy. That might help postpone the day of reckoning

Posted by: beachcomberT | March 4, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

While Democrats squirm around trying to find firm ground in the quicksand from which to pitch there BS, "We the People" are being told that the quicksand only feels like quicksand but is really terra firma.

Posted by: rteske | March 4, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Well this is the first article/column in any major newspaper, except in the the Washington Times, or Wall Street Journal, where the democratic lying machine has been outed. The biggest lie to date was that Obama care would reduce the deficit. That one had P.T. Barnum spinning. Another fact check should be that unions represent the middle class. I guess that's right if what's left of the middle class is government workers. Good job keep it up.

Posted by: Herbert1 | March 4, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Republicans like Glen Kessler are very adept at spinning and twisting the numbers to make Dems look bad. You're not fooling anyone Glen.

Posted by: ExConservative | March 4, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

All politicians are currpt liars, so what is new! The question is: How do we break the culture of corruption! As long as we have "know it all" idiots in the congess(like the picture you piblished with this article), we don't have a chance!

Posted by: Prof-Dr-G | March 4, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

All politicians are corrupt liars, so what is new?? The question is: How do we break the culture of corruption? As long as we have "know it all" idiots in the congress(like the picture you published with this article), we don't have a chance!

Posted by: Prof-Dr-G | March 4, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Bleeding heart, spend happy, "social program" liberals take note:

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man
by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and
should do for themselves."

Abraham Lincoln

We need to cut all the "spread the wealth around" welfare programs that give to those that are too bone idle lazy to work and contribute to this country!

Some of you have nothing better to do than cuss at Republicans - perhaps you could tell us how Democrats have done any better?

The 10 poorest cities in America are:

1. Detroit, MI

2. Buffalo, NY

3. Cincinnati, OH

4. Cleveland, OH

5. Miami, FL

5. St. Louis, MO

7. El Paso, TX

8. Milwaukee, WI

9. Philadelphia, PA

10. Newark, NJ

What do the top ten cities with the highest poverty rate all have in common?

Detroit, MI hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961.

Buffalo, NY hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1954.

Cincinnati, OH hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1984.

Cleveland, OH hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1989.

Miami, FL has never had a Republican mayor.

St. Louis, MO hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1949.

El Paso, TX has never had a Republican mayor.

Milwaukee, WI hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1908.

Philadelphia, PA hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1952.

Newark, NJ hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

Einstein once said, 'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'

It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats yet they are still POOR!

Posted by: Aquarius7251 | March 4, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I hope all you Dems KEEP focusing on the 'last Congress', the "Bush Congresses", and "the Bush regime" in all your posts.

Keep your eye on the past! That way you won't realize Pelosi is LYING RIGHT NOW.

Posted by: ironchefofmunchies | March 5, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If you want to really know what is going on in our nation, then read Thomas Frank's "The Wrecking Crew". Then you'll find out why republican presidents and congresses run up deficits-which never seem to matter while they are in office-and then use those same deficits against the progressives when they get elected in. Nothing will change in our nation until lobbyists are run out of DC and our elected representatives actually represent we the people. Obama - stand tall and firm on your "I will veto any bills with earmarks coming to my desk"--as that is a good beginning (and it went right over the media and the vast majority of American's heads when you said it).

Posted by: Sherry91 | March 5, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmph... meet the new "fact" checker... just as bad as the old fact checker. And just as inaccurate, too.

Posted by: jade_7243 | March 5, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice that Pelosi is beginning to have a strong resemblance to Khadaffi? It would seem "they" would take better pictures of her - unless that's just not possible.

Posted by: UNAI88196 | March 5, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Duplication, waste and fraud? Hmmmn, that sounds like good descriptions for the rhetoric our elected politicians spew forth any time they may corral an audience.

Posted by: UNAI88196 | March 5, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Our congresspeople seem to think they do not have to respond to the people - happily living in their own dream world. I would hope they take serious note what is happening to governance systems that do not respond.... Look at the middle East today for a guideline as to what can happen.

Posted by: UNAI88196 | March 5, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Glenn - great article but it's been nice to know you for this short time. With you daring to say anything negative against any Democrat in the WaPo - your days at the paper are numbered.
Really appreciate you taking a stand but the Capitol Hill gang of dims will tell WaPo that you have upset them. They can't stand the truth.
Great article though.

Posted by: LarryinMD | March 5, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

@ Aquarius 7251...Practically every city,town and suburb has gone to hell the last 30 years regardless of who their Mayor is. "Bleeding heart" liberals built this country to the greatest "prosperity" and largest middle-class in the history of civilization from the 30's til the early 80's. Even Eisenhouer and Nixon would be called "liberals" or "socialists" by today's rediculous standards.
Reaganomics (trickle-down) has made the rich, insanely wealthy (two different things) and powerful. The rest of us 98% have less security,freedom and stability to show for it.
Two-thirds of the debt were run up by the Republicans by the way (Santa Clause theory the Republicans came up with in the late 70's). They should have to account for at least that much.

Posted by: micgo95 | March 5, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I get so many sample stuff for free its awesome. Actually it is not difficult to find them just search online for "123 Get Samples" It is the best way!

Posted by: ethelcalton123 | March 6, 2011 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Obama is fast closing in on Jimma Carter as the worst president!
Carter has two things going for him in that regard; The Community Reinvestment Act made worse by Bill The Zipper Slipper Clinton's threat of federal suits if lenders refused to write subprime loans and Carter's killing of the ITC program whichn had been encouraging businesses to buy the newest and best and made the older equipment available the the next businesses down the line. It encouraged manufacturing which was trickle down at it's best. Killing the ITC started businesses sending jobs enmass out of the country. What is the common denominator? Democrats all! Socialists pretending to be Americans. Now we have to Usurper-in-Chief who doesn't even pretend to be American and who would lie about the sun coming up and the time of day if he thought it would further his agenda! Democrats All!

Posted by: TexRancher | March 6, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I am so sick of the lies, deceit and blantant disregard for the truth that is going on...This adminsitration is disgusting! I keep thinking of the old adage, "Liars use figures, but figures don't lie".

Posted by: jalee307 | March 6, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I am so sick of the lies, deceit and blantant disregard for the truth that is going on...This administration is disgusting! I keep thinking of the old adage, "Liars use figures, but figures don't lie".

Posted by: jalee307 | March 6, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Not hard to figure what side Glenn Kesslers on. Maybe he should start declaring exactly what the republicans idea's are? They come out declaring their cutting 100 billion dollars and have no idea how their going to do it! Its their usual cheap talk. They never make an effort at anything, they never do their homework. They disagree, then argue the point till the argument comes up with a platform, then act like they knew what they were talking about the whole time. The way everything's getting scrambled Pelosi probably wasn't sure what was going on. I give Kessler three Pinocchio's for for giving half the truth. Typical republican babble!!

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | March 6, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Wrong Way to Reduce the Deficit

A critical question never raised in discussions concerning the national budget and our "sovereign debt is, "Why should the government need to borrow at interest funds required to serve the commons?” The act of borrowing money becomes the origin of all public sector debt incurred by "sovereign governments." Were that not the case there would be no public sector deficit.

The right to "coin money" in America was transferred from the public sector to the private sector in 1913, in the Federal Reserve Act. However, our history of popular opposition to private and or foreign control of our currency begins in 1732 when attempts were made to establish Land Banks. Colonists opposed those banks favoring instead the issuance and control of currency be a primary function of government, as it was in England until 1694.

The colonists feared the specter of perpetual debt. It was in 1690 that Mass. issued "Bills of Credit," not backed by anything. These Bills were not legal tender but everyone accepted them and they served the purpose as legal tender. They remained in circulation, spurring economic progress after the disastrous economic consequences wrought by the Crowns forced coinage redemption during 1659-1691.

While Bullock and the Austrian School economists misread and therefore misunderstand the contributions of paper money, they do admit the Continental and…"Thus the Bills of Credit of this era, which ignorance and prejudice have attempted to belittle into the mere instruments of reckless financial policy, were really the standards of the Revolution. They were more than this: they were the Revolution itself!"¹

¹Alexander Del Mar, History of money in America, (repr.,New York:Burt Franklin, pp.20-30.

After the Revolutionary War and under the new Constitution the 1st Bank of the U.S. was chartered and bankers assumed a degree of centralized control over the nation's money. They charged the government 5%-8% interest and were eager to collude with foreign bankers in fomenting war which would guarantee perpetual interest payments.²

²Stephen Zarlenga, "The Lost Science of Money."

Jefferson wrote to Gallatin, "I deem no government safe which is under the vassalage of any self constituted authorities...except that of the nation, or its regular functionaries."³ The 1st Bank of the U.S. folded in 1811.

³ Thomas Jefferson, Letters and Addresses, edit. William Parker, (New York:Putnam, 1905), december 13, 1803 letter to Albert Gallatin.

Inclusion of this history would serve to broaden the discussion to "First Causes" (such as being forced to borrow) rather than limiting the discussion to symptoms. The Federal Government has historically, successfully spent rather than loaned money into circulation.

A policy of Interest free funds only in the public sector is the bane of all bankers. National & State budgets would be fully funded, taxes could be reduced and personal incomes increased in real terms.

Posted by: robbrian_06 | March 6, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The democrats have failed to carry out their federal duty ... provide and pass a National budget. What have they done? Health Care and regulatory tar-pits that will continue to drag this nation and economy down.

Posted by: pielusztcontractor | March 7, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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