Democrats Take No Responsibility for a Budget Mess They Created
April 5, 2011BEGIN TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
Let's go to Chris Van Hollen. He's the point Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, Democrat side. He was the first guy yesterday who responded to Paul Ryan on Sunday, on the Sunday shows. Ryan gave us a sneak peek at what his budget proposal was gonna be. They sent Van Hollen out there. He's from Maryland. They sent Van Hollen out there to offer up the 30-year-old cliches from the Democrat Party playbook about why this budget's dead on arrival, and he talked about all the tax breaks for the rich, and of course we have the story about the crony capitalism with Obama and AT&T, $140 million of your taxpayer money given to AT&T to fund health care for their early retirees. Ninety-seven million dollars to Verizon and $202 million to the United Auto Workers.
By the way, Obama just said that they have agreed to $73 billion worth of cuts but the Republicans are pressing for specific cuts. They'd agreed to $73 billion, but some of those cuts Obama's not gonna put up with. He's not gonna put up with some of them. (imitating Obama) "I've agreed to $73 billion, but not some of the things that they want to cut." Meanwhile, folks, we are only here because the Democrats failed to do a budget in the first place. As far as I'm concerned they have no standing in any of this. They punted. When it was time constitutionally to do a budget they voted "present." The adults have to take over and now fund the country with these continuing resolutions, and as we all know Boehner is trying to adhere to the rules. But Obama doesn't like the specific cuts. Here now is Van Hollen. Let's see what he's got to say. Press conference after Ryan proposed his budget this afternoon.VAN HOLLEN:
The Republican plan in the House fails the simple test of balance. In fact, if you look at the Republican plan it is simply a recycled rigid ideology that says we need to provide big tax breaks to the very wealthy --RUSH:
-- and the very powerful --RUSH:
-- at the expense of the rest of the country.RUSH:
See? VAN HOLLEN:
It's dressed up in a lot of nice sounding rhetoric about reform, but in fact it's the same tired, old playbook that we've seen before. They preserve and in fact increase tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans. They keep in place tax subsidies to the oil and gas industry and other special corporate interests while they cut education.RUSH:
They don't cut education. You see, it's the same old same old. And these are phantom cuts anyway, these are phantom complaints. We're simply, Mr. Van Hollen, going back to 2008 spending levels, your budget. Are you telling us now that your budget was filled with tax cuts for the rich? Are you telling us that your budget in 2008 kicked old people out of their houses and denied them health care? Is that what you're telling us, Mr. Van Hollen? Dressed up in a lot of nice sounding rhetoric and reform, same tired playbook, tax breaks for the very wealthy. Don't forget, Mr. Van Hollen, you're on thin ice here. It is your party, crony capitalism, federal dollars in Obamacare to AT&T, Verizon, the UAW to fund health care. If anybody's in bed with these wealthy special corporate interests, it's Obama and it's all of you. You voted for this health care bill, Van Hollen. You've got, quote, unquote, the blood of all this on your hands. Here's what he accused Ryan of regarding Medicare.VAN HOLLEN:
What do they do with Medicare? They essentially end Medicare as we know it. They don't reform it. They deform it. They take away the Medicare guarantee for seniors. They say you've got to go into the private insurance market and, by the way, we'll give you a voucher, premium support, whatever you want to call it. It will reduce value over time. And all the risk of increased cost in the health care system will be borne by the Medicare beneficiary, the seniors.RUSH:
No, only among those who can afford it. Now, keep in mind, this is what Ryan wants. He wants them demagoguing it this way. He said so, Snerdley. I mean you can sit there and look at me like I don't know what I'm talking about. He said it. You see Van Hollen in just two sound bites look at everything they're fighting. What Ryan has done here is flood the zone with so many proposals that the Democrats are going to sound silly. They're going to be opposing virtually everything in it. They are going to become the party of "no." These are the people that punted. These are the people that voted "present." These are the people that checked out of the entire budget process last fall. Now, Obama just clarified, by the way, he's willing to go to $73 billion but now Boehner wants the full $100 billion. They didn't agree to 73. Obama has said he's willing to go there but now Boehner wants a hundred billion.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are seeing history happen before our eyes. We are watching how democracy really works. Obama just said that if Boehner and Reid can't work things out he's gonna have them come back to the White House tomorrow. He's gonna summon Boehner again. He's gonna summon Reid up there. If they can't work this out, he's gonna have 'em come be back. He's the referee, see, he's clean and pure as the wind-driven snow. He's got no dog in this hunt. That's the way he's choosing to play this, it's like he had nothing to do with health care. He didn't have his own plan. That's the way he plays it. He had nothing to do specifically with any of the elements of the budget or legislative process that have led us to where we are. Here's more Van Hollen. This is the last bite. We've had Pelosi talk about it. We've had Reid talk about it, now Van Hollen. This block grant proposal on Medicare, this has just sent 'em into a tizzy.VAN HOLLEN:
Simply put, turning Medicaid into a block grant program is just code for cutting deeply into supports for seniors in nursing homes, seniors in assisted living facilities, low-income kids, disabled individuals, and the most vulnerable population. It's a blank check to governors with a license to cut the support for those individuals in our society. It is certainly not courageous to pick on some of the most vulnerable in our society.RUSH:
Now, what's wrong with this? Just intellectually what's wrong with it? Right, governors want to kill their own people. Chris Van Hollen says the block grant program sending it back to the governors, the governors just want to close down these institutions and send people in them out to the streets to die. Low-income kids, disabled individuals, the most vulnerable population, blank check to governors to cut support for those individuals, the governors are gonna kill their own people. You leave it up to the governors, they're gonna kill their own people. He just does not want any of this power divested from Washington. (interruption) I know we block granted welfare reform, and it worked. Governors cannot print money. Governors have to make things balance. Governors have to do things. They can't sit up there and play games. BREAK TRANSCRIPTRUSH:
Where is the Democrat Party's 2011 budget, folks? Where is it? Where is the Democrat Party's 2012 budget? They are now two budgets behind. Where is Obama's deficit commission proposal? He deep-sixed it. My point is that the Democrat Party is assuming no responsibility for a mess they have made. As is the usual case, the simplest way to say this is, we are the good guys. We are the serious ones, all of us together. From the Tea Party on up, we are the ones trying to solve the problems. We are the ones trying to fix the mess. The Democrat Party is MIA. They make the mess. Somehow they are excused from ownership. They didn't do a budget last year. They haven't done a budget this year. All they do is complain and whine and moan. So Obama and the Democrats have not offered a budget for this year; they've not offered a budget for next year. They have rejected the deficit commission proposals. They call everybody else extreme, irresponsible, they want to cut school lunches. They claim that we want to starve the elderly, that all we care about is tax cuts for the rich.
Where are the Democrats? The Democrats aren't even being talked about in the media or in the polls. All this is being cast as the evil Republican Party versus the shining knight, Barack Obama. That's how the media's casting this. Democrats are not even being talked about by the media. They're being given a free ride. They're total spectators. They create the mess. We are the good guys in this. We're the ones trying to clean it all up, and yet we're the extremists. We're the racists, sexists, bigots, homophobes, all of this. They are the gutless wonders, the masterminds of destruction. We have picked up the mop. We are trying to get the car out of the ditch. They sit around and cry like a bunch of stuck pigs, whine like a bunch of little children and you can't really top Obama for chutzpah. He just said we cannot have a "my way or the highway" approach to this problem. This is the same guy who said, "I won." The same guy who said, "I won" during the leadership meeting, first one he held after being immaculated in early 2009. Some Republican said, "Well, you might want to try tax cuts to get the economy --" "Well, that would be good except for one thing: I won." The same guy who didn't even meet with the Republican leadership until a couple of months ago now says we can't have a "my way or the highway" approach to this problem, when that's all we've had since he took office. END TRANSCRIPT