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Sunday, July 11, 2021
CNS' Hot Pestering Intern Summer, Round 1

It's summer intern time again, and is doing what it usually does: sending those interns to the Capitol to pester members of Congress with gotcha questions designed to feed right-wing narratives. This year's first round of gotcha questions centered on the federal budget, with a two-part question:

  • “President Biden has presented Congress with a budget that proposes running $14.5 trillion in deficits over the next decade. Will Congress ever balance the budget?”
  • "What year will Congress balance the budget?"

Articles detailing the answer included this biased boilerplate:

Under Biden's budget proposal, the federal government will continue to deficit spend (accumulate debt) for at least the next 10 years, with total borrowing hitting a combined $14.5 trillion in 2031.

The New York Times has reported, "President Biden would like the federal government to spend $6 trillion in the 2022 fiscal year, and for total spending to rise to $8.2 trillion by 2031. That would take the United States to its highest sustained levels of federal spending since World War II, while running deficits above $1.3 trillion through the next decade."  (Emphasis added.)

CNS did not show this level of concern about federal budget deficits when a Republican president and Republican-controlled Senate were the ones creating them.

Here are the senators CNS interns snagged, with the article dedicated to every. single. one of them:

Of course, this is all a biased partisan exercise, designed to give Republicans a platform to virtue-signal on the evils of budget deficits and to shame Democrats for realistically noting that ending federal deficits isn't like flipping a switch and that taxes may need to be raised. Helpfully, Craig Bannister pointed this out in a June 16 summary:

Generally, Republicans said that the U.S. definitely should balance its budget, but they were less certain about when that might happen.

Democrats – such as Senators Dianne Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren and Mark Kelly – said it would take more tax revenue to balance the budget. Others tended to be more skeptical, with some saying the budget will never be balanced and others saying that, if it ever is, it won’t be balanced any time soon.

Needless to say, none of these articles mentioned the role of a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate in running up deficits in the previous four years.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 PM EDT

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