MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews had to do a little arm twisting with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to lay partial blame on the exploding national debt on President Bush’s tax cuts.
Matthews: Let me ask you about this Congresswoman. $2.6 trillion added to the national debt according to these groups including the Joint Economic Committee. Would we be better off without the Bush tax cuts never been enacted period?
Schakowsky: You mean for middle income as well as for upper income?
Matthews: No for all of us, overall. If we had to choose between no tax cuts at all or what we got would we be better off without not having them passed that ten years ago?
Schakowsky: Well we may be better off but certainly the bulk of the tax cuts went to the wealthiest Americans and created the largest gap in income between the very rich and everyone else that we’ve seen since 1928. So, but but you may be right but certainly…
Matthews: I’m asking I don’t know I’m asking you still. I’ll ask you one more time. Would we be better off without having passed the Bush tax cuts?
Schakowsky: Well I think the tax cuts for middle income people are appropriate and that the bulk of the tax cuts should be repealed.
Matthews was obviously frustrated with Schakowsky’s initial reply as he deemed it necessary to ask the question a second time with only slightly better results.
Schakowsky did support the repeal of tax cuts for the rich but she didn’t give Matthews the answer he was really seeking which was that all the Bush tax cuts should be repealed and that we would have been better off economically without them.
If Matthews was so concerned about the national debt, then why didn’t he talk instead about how fast the debt has grown since Obama took office?
A check of the Bureau of the Public Debt’s website shows that since President Obama was sworn in in January of 2009 the national debt has grown by $3.7 trillion or 35% and continues to accelerate.
But that would throw a monkey wrench in Matthews’ plans to help Obama get reelected.
The better strategy in his mind is to blame Bush for the debt problem even though he has been out of office for more than two years. But more voters are beginning to realize that blaming Bush for our current economic ills makes no sense.
Matthews and his fellow liberals just need to own up to the fact that their man, Obama, has not improved the economy since he took office despite promising to do so. What they really fear is that by November 2012, a majority of voters will be asking themselves if they are better off today than they were four years ago, and that the answer will be a resounding no.