Dobbs Pushes Dubious GOP Attack On Senate Democrats' BudgetMarch 14, 2013 11:09 PM EDT ››› JUSTIN BERRIER
Lou Dobbs promoted the GOP attack that the Senate Democrats' proposed federal budget raises taxes by $1.5 trillion, a claim based on "a willful misreading" of the budget.
In the "chalk talk" segment of his Fox Business show, Dobbs claimed the Senate Democrats' budget demonstrated that "they want us to be a debtor nation in perpetuity." Dobbs argued that in addition to the $975 billion of revenue Democrats include in their budget, they would need to add $500 billion in additional revenue to pay for the cost of the sequestration." Dobbs added the two to claim that the Democrats' budget actually calls for $1.5 trillion in new taxes:
But, as Talking Points Memo noted, the claim -- which has been touted by Senate Republicans -- is based on an "attempt to turn sequestration's spending cuts into a permanently lower spending baseline, and thus a willful misreading of the Democratic budget itself." TPM's Brian Beutler explained that a portion of the $975 billion in revenue is already earmarked to cover sequestration, meaning the additional $500 billion of alleged new taxes that Dobbs and Senate Republicans are adding to the revenue estimates doesn't exist:
Republicans have decided to torture the numbers. First, they assume a baseline Democrats aren't actually using -- one where sequestration-level spending is permanent. Not a tricky move by itself. The tricky part comes next.
They reason that if Democrats are actually proposing to reduce deficits by $1.85 trillion, then the nearly $500 billion in tax revenues they dedicate to paying down sequestration (and another $100 billion in spending they dedicate to financing a new jobs proposal) would have to come on top of the $975 billion of tax increases the budget explicitly calls for.
In other words, Democrats want to raise $975 billion in new tax revenue and use some of it to turn off sequestration. Instead of accepting this, Republicans are claiming -- falsely -- that the revenue for paying down sequestration is in addition to the $975 billion. It is not.