Chuck Todd allowed Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to lie and distort the president’s economic record without even the slightest push back on Meet The Press.
Ryan completely distorted the president’s tax plan, “So what I think the president is trying to do here is again exploit envy economics. This top-down redistribution doesn’t work. We’ve known it for six years. Look, it may make for good politics, but it doesn’t make for good economic growth.”
What did Chuck Todd do when confronted with a series of obvious lies, and a rewriting of recent history? He moved on to his next question as if Paul Ryan had spoken the gospel truth.
One chart blows Ryan’s claim that raising taxes on the wealthy while lowering taxes on everyone else doesn’t work:
The chart above comes from a study conducted by Princeton economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson that found that the U.S. economy grows faster under Democratic presidents, “The U.S. economy has grown faster–and scored higher on many other macroeconomic metrics–when the President of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican. For many measures, including real GDP growth (on which we concentrate), the performance gap is both large and statistically significant, despite the fact that postwar history includes only 16 complete presidential terms.”
Repeated studies have also shown that Ryan’s favored tax cuts for the wealthy don’t grow the economy.
It also would have been nice if Todd would have let Ryan know that Barack Obama is the biggest tax cutter is American history.
There is also the matter of Paul Ryan’s claim that the country has practiced top-down economic redistribution for the past six years. The truth is that President Obama came into office saddled with Bush tax cuts. Republicans threatened to throw millions of people into poverty unless Obama extended the Bush tax cuts in 2010. Republicans didn’t realize it at the time, but they were set up by the president for what eventually became a tax increase on the wealthy.
Paul Ryan told several lies that would have been easy for Todd to push him on with a follow-up question, but the Meet The Press host chose to do nothing. It is tough to take any “public affairs” program seriously that makes facts optional. To his credit, Chuck Todd has been open about why he feels like he has to let Republicans lie on his show. Todd has argued that if he doesn’t allow Republicans to lie, they won’t come on his show anymore. Todd is right. If he started calling out lies, Republicans would abandon his program, but he does have a responsibility to not let blatant untruths go unchallenged.
Paul Ryan’s economic policies don’t work. The only way Ryan can justify his policies is to lie. It is up those who interview Ryan to correct basic facts. This interview was a perfect example of why many Americans no longer trust the media.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association