On “This Week”, Obama for America senior adviser Robert Gibbs noted that in the middle of Romney’s “fundamentally dishonest” debate performance, we got one specific in Romney’s budget; Big Bird must go.
Gibbs said, “Look, the only thing he outlined that he would cut in the budget is Big Bird.” So Romney knows what programs he’s going to cut, but doesn’t know what loopholes he’s going to cut? How did that work out in Romney’s math session, when you need all of the variables in order to do the math.
In order for Romney to determine that he needed to fire Big Bird, surely he did some math. Why won’t he tell us about his secret tax plans?
STEPHANOPOULOS: But he’s saying, as you know, Robert, he’s stating unequivocally that he will not push the tax cuts if they increase the deficit and that he will not push them if they force tax increases on the middle class.
GIBBS: Well, then he has — then he’s got no economic theory. Then he’s walked away from 18 months of what the whole campaign has been about. But, George, we’ve seen this movie before where people say, ‘Oh, don’t worry. It’s all going to get paid for. It’s fine.’ When you ask him what loopholes will you close specifically for wealthy earners to help pay for the $4.8 trillion in reduced revenue, there’s no answer.
I mean, let’s be clear, Paul Ryan a week ago was asked about the math for this, and Paul Ryan, said, look, the math takes too long. Well, Mitt Romney’s solution is he just decided there wasn’t math involved in this problem, and that’s absolutely crazy.
Look, the only thing he outlined that he would cut in the budget is Big Bird. You know, he’s taken the battle straight to “Sesame Street” and let Wall Street run hog wild. I mean, again, it was a masterful theatrical performance. It was fundamentally dishonest for the American people, and let’s be clear, if you’re willing to say anything to get elected President, if you’re willing to make up your positions and walk away from them, I think the American people have to understand how can they trust you if you are elected president.
As Jason Easley pointed out, PBS is a great investment that doubles our money:
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives $445 million from the federal government. Eighty nine percent of that money goes to public television stations that employ 21,000 people and add $1 billion a year to the economy.
The government spends $445 million on PBS, and more than doubles our money in economic growth at the local level every year. PBS isn’t waste. It’s smart spending.
If Mitt Romney was any good at business, even he could see that more than doubling your money every year is a good deal.
This wouldn’t be the first time Romney sought to starve the beast (e.g., he floated getting rid of the Department of Education while running against Ted Kennedy). So, Mitt’s argument, as bad as it is, implies that at some point, he sat down and did the math to pay for the 5 trillion in tax cuts he has been promising for over a year. He decides he can give Bird Bird the pink slip and then walks away, figuring he’ll do the rest later?
Firing Big Bird isn’t going to put a real dent in the deficit. Romney is only coming after PBS because conservatives hate PBS. Romney once promised that he would put ads on Big Bird because by itself as an education vehicle, PBS is worthless to conservatives. Unless it can be harvested for money for corporations and/or investors, it’s not worth having. It must make money and be harvested for profits in order to hold value.
PBS responded to Mitt Romney’s threat to Big Bird, “Each day, the American public receives an enduring and daily return on investment that is heard, seen, read and experienced in public media broadcasts, apps, podcasts and online – all for the cost of about $1.35 per person per year.”
It’s beyond bizarre that no one is asking Mitt Romney why he feels he needs to fire Big Bird if in fact he has not done the math yet. Since Big Bird barely makes a dent, are we to believe that Romney ran out of ideas after kill PBS? And if he has done the math, why won’t he tell us what it is?
Romney’s only specific is that he would fire Big Bird. How did Romney come to this conclusion? This is pure dishonesty or epic incompetence and while it could be a toss up given Romney’s performance thus far, the incompetence seems reserved for his public relations and foreign policy. Romney saves the deep dishonesty for economic policies, which makes sense given the failed ideology he’s hawking.
No one can make Romney’s secret math work without hurting the middle class and he won’t commit to anything other than firing Big Bird.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.