Tuesday, July 13, 2010

CNBC's Explicit Liberal Bias On Display with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI)

I am watching Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) appear on CNBC this morning's Squawkbox program as a guest host to discuss federal deficits, spending and tax policy.

In his opening few minutes, an exchange occurred which was simply priceless, displaying Carl Whathisname's and Becky Quick's undeniable, purely-liberal biases. I wish I could link to a video clip, because I can't recall the give and take verbatim.

However, I can give a pretty good sense of the comments.

Carl and Becky professed amazement that Ryan thought the US government should trim spending. Carl said, on several occasions, words to the effect,

'But if government didn't spend that money, then you have a spending shortfall.'

Quick contended,

'Surely even you don't believe that government shouldn't have enacted some sort of stimulus spending, do you?'

To which Ryan replied that, yes, he thought a stimulus was needed, in the form of tax cuts. Letting people spend their own money.

He then turned to Carl and refuted his points, noting that government borrowing and spending crowded out people using their own money to invest or spend.

The look on Carl's face was as if he'd been slapped, he was so dumbfounded.

This went on for a few rounds, with Quick and Carl desperately trying to get Ryan to admit that government had to spend lots of money to shore up the economy, no matter what. For co-anchors of a business program on a business cable network, they displayed unusual ignorance of basic economics, not to mention empirical work which has routinely been published in the pages of the Wall Street Journal by noted economists.

The two things which most greatly troubled and shocked me were Carl's inability to fathom that, if government didn't tax and borrow your own money, that money does not just hide in a mattress, and that federal discretionary spending, according to Ryan, doubled last year.

When Ryan said that, both Quick and Carl jumped on the economic weakness, assailing Ryan for perhaps saying no spending was needed.

That's when Quick tried to entrap Ryan by insisting he was for some sort of stimulus, thinking, of course, with her one-track mind, that this would necessarily mean spending.

Ryan then landed a Sunday punch, pointing out that only 4% of the $700B stimulus bill was for Keynesian infrastructure, with most of the rest going for social spending. The program's co-anchors then said, nearly in unison, that this was, of course, necessary to keep teachers, firemen and policemen employed.

Ryan countered, immediately, that this was simply delaying states' having to reckon with their own fiscal problems, and, thus, a red herring. Either way, Ryan noted, it was excessive spending. For good measure, Ryan noted that everyone supports Keynesian automatic stabilizers, such as COBRA, job training benefits and such. But the uncertainty stemming from government takeover of key industrial sectors had sent capital scurrying to the sidelines, inhibiting economic recovery.

Even now, as I'm finishing this post, the programmers recruited a liberal Democrat Congresswoman from Illinois, Rep. Schakowsky, to repeat the same contentions as the co-anchors. She is evidently ignorant of this recent piece by Art Laffer in the Journal, claiming that giving unemployment insurance creates demand that would not have otherwise existed. She also just assumes that federal spending is necessary because you can't rely on people to spend their own money in useful economic ways.

There have been few instances of such blatant liberal and socialistic economic bias on CNBC as this morning's hour-long assault on Paul Ryan and his prudent fiscal concepts.

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