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MSNBC's Hayes: Tea Party 'Broke' Washington to 'Impose Economic Suffocation on the Country'

Media Research CenterOn Friday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes asserted that "Washington is broken because the Tea Party broke it," adding that the Tea Party strategy on changing the budget process was to "impose economic suffocation." Hayes:

Washington is broken because the Tea Party broke it. They broke it on purpose. They broke the normal budgetary process, replaced it with government recurring crisis, all so they can use control of one-half of one branch of government to impose economic suffocation on the country as a whole.

The MSNBC host's comments came as he began the show by fretting over polls finding that Americans who do not want Congress to authorize an increase in the debt ceiling outnumber those who do. Hayes began:

Tonight on All In, we could be just five legislative days away from a government implosion, but a shocking 44 percent of Americans agree with Republicans that we should send the country into an economic abyss.

After delivering plugs for other stories, he returned to the debt ceiling issue:

But we begin tonight with a new poll that shows a plurality of Americans favoring imminent catastrophe. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 44 percent of Americans opposed to raising the debt ceiling, with only 22 percent in favor.

He then added:

Now, at first blush, that is both an upsetting and staggering finding since not raising the debt ceiling would mean a government default and all the cascading miseries that come after that. But, of course, what this poll actually shows is that no one really understands what the debt ceiling really means.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, September 13, All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC:

CHRIS HAYES: Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. Tonight on All In, we could be just five legislative days away from a government implosion, but a shocking 44 percent of Americans agree with Republicans that we should send the country into an economic abyss.

(...)

But we begin tonight with a new poll that shows a plurality of Americans favoring imminent catastrophe. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 44 percent of Americans opposed to raising the debt ceiling, with only 22 percent in favor. Now, at first blush, that is both an upsetting and staggering finding since not raising the debt ceiling would mean a government default and all the cascading miseries that come after that. But, of course, what this poll actually shows is that no one really understands what the debt ceiling really means.

In fact, the last time around we did this, in June 2011, a majority didn't want to raise the debt ceiling then, either, but, a month later, after a great deal more attention had been brought to the subject, not the least of which President Obama explaining to the public what it really meant, those numbers basically flipped. The public supporting raising the debt ceiling.

The real point is that no one understands what is really going on with the budget in Washington. This is the single biggest issue, the single biggest issue the President and Congress are fighting over now, and are poised to do battle on all fall, and no one, no one understands.

So let's just take a moment to look at why we are where we are, all right? There are two deadlines coming up. The first is the deadline for the authority for the government to spend money when it runs out. That's known as the continuing resolution. That's a piece of authorizing legislation. It's a short-term budget extension that expires on September 30. That as you will note from this handy-dandy calendar is just 17 days from now. If a C.R. isn't passed, the government can't spend more money. It shuts down.

Now, a few weeks later, somewhere between mid-October and November 5, the country hits a so-called debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is this stupid, artificial thing to allow the government to borrow more money so it can pay its bills, bills it has already incurred. It's a different thing than the continuing resolution, but it's another deadline and the thing to understand about the crises that are happening right now, or threatening to happen, is that the Republican party's strategic goal is to create as many opportunities for crisis as possible so that in each moment of crisis, they can ask for a hostage. That has been the strategy, explicitly, and the reason they have the strategy is they did it once for a big bang back in the summer of 2011, when Republicans, led by the Tea Party, held up the debt ceiling and basically won.

What they got was a whole process including what's called the Budget Control Act that ultimately led to the sequester. And the Budget Control Act and the sequester, well, they really cut government spending. I mean, that's what they wanted and that's what they got. They got cuts in the first Budget Control Act. They got further cuts when the sequester kicked in, and ever since, we departed from the path of a normal budgetary process and we've got on the path of the Budget Control Act, we have had a series of crises, and that is no accident.

Republicans came in, broke the normal budget process and replaced it with a series of ad hoc measures, each with its own deadline, each with its own hostage, and this time around, the hostage is ObamaCare, of course, the Affordable Care Act.

JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And for the sake of our economy, we'll continue to do everything we can to repeal, dismantle and defund ObamaCare.

HAYES: They are insisting on defunding ObamaCare as the price of the continuing resolution or raising the debt ceiling, sometimes one, sometimes both.

NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Now, Americans face the prospect of another Republican-manufactured crisis to shut down the government. What's interesting to note is the proposals that the Republicans are putting forward are not proposals, continuing resolutions to keep government open. They are proposals to shut down government.

PELOSI CLIP #2: They know that what they're proposing is not going to pass the Senate or be signed by the President.

HAYES: That's where we are as we head into the fall. As we gear up for this political fight, we're all going to be covering and paying attention to, and there's going to be a countdown clock to crisis, that's where we are. And when people watch this, they feel like Washington is broken, and they are correct.

Washington is broken because the Tea Party broke it. They broke it on purpose. They broke the normal budgetary process, replaced it with government recurring crisis, all so they can use control of one-half of one branch of government to impose economic suffocation on the country as a whole. The question now is: Will it work again?

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.