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Hannity Does His Best Chicken Little Impression

Reported by Guest Blogger - April 11, 2010 -

Co-Authored by Brian and Alex

On Wednesday’s Your World (4/7/10), Neil Cavuto interviewed Sean Hannity, who was promoting his new book, Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda. In addition to doing his best Chicken Little impression and throwing around a few Pavlovian buzznames for the far-right Fox faithful, Hannity trotted out, once again, the tired old story that President Obama “spent $1.46 trillion” in his first year in office. With video.

Cavuto started the interview by commenting to Hannity that "You really get under his [President Obama’s] skin,” to which Hannity replied “Good, I hope I do”. Cavuto continued, “Your big thing in the book …is that we've not only gotten into a trend into
bigger government, but it's gone into hyperdrive. It's on steroids, right?"

Hannity replied, "Jimmy Carter on steroids…” and then switched to Hanctimonious mode, whining, “I was hammered, Neil, absolutely beaten up badly for harping on Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn, and actually examining his record in the Illinois State Senate, the most liberal Senator in Washington in 2007…None of this is surprising me. The Barack Obama I saw prior to this election is the Barack Obama that’s governing. That's the guy that's taken over health care. That's the guy that's taken over banks and financial institutions."

Hannity went on to say that he doesn’t believe that Obama never wanted to “take over” the healthcare, auto and financial industries, although he did concede to Cavuto that the Republicans set the stage for the big bailouts and that TARP occurred under George W. Bush. BUT… “The circumstances of the election of the time were such that if the Republicans didn’t do something, they would be perceived as doing nothing, and that would create a bad environment for them to run in an election.”

Then, unleashing his inner Chicken Little, Hannity went on to pontificate about the evils of the bailout under Robber Baron Obama, in spite of Cavuto’s rational objection tht the economy seems to be heading towards recovery: “We've taken a sledgehammer to our kids’ and grandkids’ piggy banks. We have robbed them of their future. We have never done this before in the history of our country, where we do not create a better environment of hope, opportunity and a shining city on a hill for the next generation…We have trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. None of this includes the takeover of one sixth of our economy (by health care)…We’re looking at the end of capitalism as we know it. He will go down in history as the worst President we’ve ever had.”

Comment: So, according to Sean Hannity, Republicans ended up voting for TARP, the emergency financial bailout of 2008 that is supposedly destroying our grandchildrens’ futures, as a cynical PR move to try to win the election. Nice!

Now let’s take a look at those deficit numbers. According to the CBO, via capitalgainsandgames.com, the baseline 2009 deficit the Bush administration bequeathed to us when they left office was about $1.2 trillion. President Obama recently cited $1.3 trillion; some of the difference in this figure is explained by differences in accounting procedures. The author of the article maintains that “the difference between the deficit that would have happened with Bush in the White House and what's happening with Obama is only about $200 billion.”

In addition, according to a report in the NY Times, “President Obama banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller. The price of more honest bookkeeping: A budget that is $2.7 trillion deeper in the red over the next decade than it would otherwise appear, according to administration officials.

On the health care issue: According to the CBO, as reported by thehill.com, the new health care legislation will LOWER the deficit by $143 billion over 10 years. And as for the tired old saw of the new healthcare program being a “government takeover,” “regulation” is not the same thing as “takeover.” A takeover would mean that the government takes over, and/or is ultimately responsible for, running hospitals and other health care businesses, and doctors become government employees. A takeover would mean a single-payer system where the government pays all the bills. None of this is part of the new healthcare package in the United States.

Where was Sean when George W. Bush was turning record surpluses into record deficits? Did deficit-hawk Hannity have anything to say when then Vice-President Dick Cheney declared, while pushing for a new round of tax cuts in 2002, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter?" Why do deficits matter now when they didn't matter then? We sure could use the money lost through the $1.35 trillion tax cut in 2001 and $1.5 trillion tax cut in 2003, couldn’t we, Sean?