Monday, October 12, 2015

Sadly, no: Penny-pinching

Dr. Whom? Image via Americans Against the Tea Party.
Dr. Ben Carson at the Iowa Freedom Summit, January 25:
Dr. Ben Carson, in conversation with Sean Hannity, October 5:
Nancy Pelosi said if you cut the budget by one penny, it will be a disaster. Not true at all.
Dr. Ben Carson, in conversation with Kai Ryssdal October 7:
the assumption of so many people is that every penny that the government spends is critical. You remember Nancy Pelosi saying, "If you cut one penny, the system will collapse"? And that's not true.
Dr. Ben Carson, in conversation with Wolf Blitzer, October 8:
I know that Nancy Pelosi said, if you cut one penny, the whole system will collapse. You know what I say about that? It's not true. 
And you know what I say?

That there's no evidence that Pelosi ever said that, or anything quite like it. It's an exurban myth. The closest I can come is from the debt ceiling crisis of fall 2013, when radical Republicans in Congress attempted to extort spending cuts in agricultural subsidies, Social Security, Medicaid, SNAP benefits, and/or Medicare by threats to withhold the government's authority to make payments on its debts, thus plunging the country into default, and Pelosi's response (via Politico) was as follows:
"The cupboard is bare," the California Democrat said in an interview aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "There's no more cuts to make."
"We all want to reduce the deficit," she added. "Put everything on the table, review it, but you cannot have any more cuts just for the sake of cuts. Right now you’re taking trophies."
And not even in what she said, but in its translation into Wingnutspeak by John Hayward at RedState,
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi swung by CNN’s State of the Nation to assure America that austerity has run its course, the budget has been cut to the bone, and there isn’t a penny left to pinch from Uncle Sam’s moth-filled wallet.  “The cupboard is bare.  There’s no more cuts to make,” Pelosi gibbered.
Is that where Dr. Carson pinched his rhetorical pennies from? In any case it is clearly not what she said, and not what she meant. What she meant was that Democrats had made all the concessions they were politically prepared to make, and negotiations were at an end, and because Pelosi doesn't bluff much, it was true, though the Republicans had to throw the country into two and a half weeks of shutdown before they were able to accept it.

A couple of bonus pennies:

Dr. Rand Paul in response to the State of the Union address. January 21, this year:
I say: We will not cut one penny from the safety net until we’ve cut every penny from corporate welfare!
Dr. Rand Paul, January 21 2012:
Congress needs "to cut domestic welfare and entitlement spending" to balance the budget rather than tax the rich more, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told a Commerce Lexington luncheon on Friday.... 

Read more here: 
Rick Santorum in presidential debate, January 23 2012:
And the president of the United States can’t cut one penny out of the social welfare system and he wants to cut a trillion dollars out of our military and hit our veterans and that’s disgusting.
After the Budget Control Act of 2011 (widely regarded as a signal victory for Obama against Republican slashing) cut a trillion and a half dollars from discretionary spending over the period 2013-22, three fifths of it from domestic programs. The threatened military cut was for half a trillion on top of another half-trillion cut (over a ten-year period) that the Pentagon had already agreed to, and it wasn't the president's idea but a part of the automatic sequester that was to take place if Congress couldn't come up with a deficit-reduction plan, and its overall effect would have been to reduce spending to 2007 levels, which was not exactly poverty, and there was no reason to think it would affect veterans one way or another, since spending on veterans is through the Veterans Administration, not the Department of Defense.

Santorum literally puts more lies in there than his sentence has clauses!

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