Cautioning the Obama administration's "deficit projections...are
just that, projections," NBC's Chuck Todd on Monday evening bought into
the White House's claim that Democratic health care reform bills that
would add millions to the system are actually spending reduction
measures, as he warned: "If health care doesn't pass, because this
budget assumes health care will pass, that's yet another $150 billion
that would be tacked on to the deficit."
ABC's Jake Tapper also passed along the ludicrous contention, but at least stressed Obama's team is assuming passage of "reform" that's very unlikely to be enacted: "The President outlines a number of measures to reduce the deficit, over $1 trillion worth. But Diane, perhaps the most surprising, the budget assumes a savings of $150 billion over the next ten years from health care reform, legislation that is at the very best - at the most optimistic - on life support on Capitol Hill right now."
Meanwhile, CBS's Katie Couric empathized with the challenge that faced President Obama in developing his $3.83 trillion annual budget:
If the President of Toyota has big headaches, well, so too, does the President of the United States, putting together a budget in an economic downturn with more than 15 million Americans out of work. Today the President rolled out a spending plan, and we caution you, the numbers in Chip Reid's report could make your head spin.
Todd, checking in from the White House, on the Monday, February 1 NBC Nightly News:
As for these deficit projections, these are just that, projections. And it's assuming the economy is continuing to recover. If it does not, these deficit projections that we see today - 1.6 billion [really trillion] this year, 1.3 billion [trillion] next year - those numbers could go way up. And if health care doesn't pass, because this budget assumes health care will pass, that's yet another $150 billion that would be tacked on to the deficit. So, there's a long way to go before we know what these exact numbers are going to look like, and what Congress ends up passing.
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center