A lot of my friends tell me how difficult it must be for me to have to listen to conservative talk radio as part of my job.
But they don’t know how interesting it can be, and I’m guessing you don’t either. Some of the better conservative hosts can be fearless questioners, even if their queries have everything to do with their political agenda and nothing to do with exposing the whole truth. Here’s an example from yesterday’s “Cari and Rob Show.”
Co-host Rob Douglas had Rep. Scott Tipton on the program to discuss the budget bill passed yesterday by Congress cutting $38 billion from the federal budget and funding the federal government through Sept. 30. A Congressional Budget Office analysis concluded that the bill would cut non-war federal “outlays” by $352 million, meaning that most of the $38 billion is cut from planned spending, not this year’s budget. Tiption voted against the bill, along CO Congresspeople DeGette, Gardner, Lamborn, and Polis.
Douglas gave a brief hello to Tipton then asked:
Douglas: We’ve gone from in essence a Pledge to America, that I’m holding in my hand, of $100 billion in cuts, that became $61 billion in cuts, that became a $38.5 billion cut as of last Friday night, that is now scored by the Congressional Budget Office, we are told by numerous sources, as only reducing what will still be increased spending in 2011 by $352 million. Did the Pledge to America mean anything?
Tipton: “Well, we have not followed through for only cutting $352 million as a body…. Three hundred fifty-two million dollars is far short, obviously, of the $100 billion, and what we’ve likened it to time and again, even $100 billion when we’re looking at the massive debt, deficit and even the spending during this fiscal year, $3.7 trillion….”
Douglas: “Scott, you probably recall, I think you were even in studio one of the times with us, when we expressed to you our great concern with John Boehner becoming Speaker of the House. The language I’ve used time and time again is, why would we put somebody who’s been at the scene of the crime of the spending binges in Congress in charge of the House of Representatives. Erick Erikson of Redstate has called on any member of the House who votes with Boehner on this today to be, well, probably language we don’t want to use too much on air, but basically to be publicly flogged and that they should have a primary challenger. Now we know you are going to vote no on the bill today but why should Speaker Boehner continue?… Now we know that a $100 billion pledge meant nothing and it turned out to be $352 million this year. I’ve got to imagine that the level of trust between the House Freshman and the Speaker has been damaged perhaps I would argue, beyond repair. Why should he not be removed as Speaker of the House by the House of Representative Republicans forthwith?”
Tipton: “There’s going to be a lot of frustration…because the one thing that you have that you value to the best of your ability is, what you’re saying is the truth. And I think the moving shell game, and it’s the problem I have with the CR [temporary budget extension supported by Tipton] is originally, and you kind of ran through the numbers Rob, $38 billion, well, not really. Then it was taken down to about 20. Now we’re all the way down to $352 million, according to the CBO. I think there needs to be some questions answered.”
Douglas: “The 64-billion-dollar question, or should I say the 100-billion-dollar question, instead of the old game show, is. was Speaker Boehner straight with the conference? More specifically, do you think he was straight with you? Do you trust Speaker Boehner going forward given what this has turned out to be?”
Tipton: “Yah, I’ve got a lot of questions. I’m not trying to stick up for him at all in this sense. They are dealing with some different sides, but you get a sense of the politics as usual that are going on. And we’ll just keep playing with the numbers until they say what we want them to say…I can’t think of a defense for going down to $352 million.”
Douglas: “Finally, as clear as you can say it, I guess, yes or no, has your trust in [House] Speaker Boehner been damaged?”
Tipton: “You know, I would say yes, but I will give him the caveat as I always give somebody an opportunity to explain. And I want to hear how we went from $100 billion down to $352 million.”
Douglas: Let us know when you get that explanation…On behalf of the Liberty Movement, I think i can say with great confidence that I hope the folks there in Congress, particularly the 87 freshman that we just sent down there, are cognizant of how angry the atmosphere is out here, and how much people feel that we got to the first major test in the House of Representatives, after backing you all, and that this is a complete failure.”
Here’s the section of the Pledge for America Douglas referred to above:
Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels
With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to prestimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future.