I'm not a big fan of any Democrat going on Fox News because on a good number of their shows, they'll just find themselves being either outnumbered or talked over, but this interview with Rep. Peter DeFazio and Neil Cavuto was an exception to that rule. I think he did a pretty good job of beating back at Cavuto's Republican talking points about how we can't do anything on the revenue side to take care of our deficit and that it's important to take care of our crumbling infrastructure in America.
DeFazio: Well if you draw the line and say there can be no additional revenues, and in fact we're going to reduce revenues, you're digging the hole deeper, and that's what Paul Ryan's budget does. Reduce revenues by four trillion dollars.
Cavuto: How are you digging the hole, seriously sir, how are you digging the hole deeper? If you're in a 1.5 trillion dollar hole this year and a 14 trillion dollar debt hole, collectively, you can't possibly dig it deeper.
DeFazio: Neil, I voted against extending all the tax cuts in December. If we had not extended all of the Bush tax cuts, I mean, just all of them, including those that go to middle class folks and others, that would have meant the deficit would have been $440 billion dollars smaller this year. Now, so we wouldn't have a record deficit.
Cavoto: So let's take best case scenario. We would still be looking at a 1.1 trillion dollar deficit. We would still be looking at a $13.5 trillion dollar debt. And we would still be looking at a ten year time horizon of $43 trillion dollars in debt, so isn't the issue, it's not a tax problem congressman, it's a spending problem?
DeFazio: It's both. Well, Neil, you can't solve it on spending. If we eliminated the entire government today, we would still have a deficit this year. That means the Department of Defense and everything else that you think of as government is gone tomorrow. We open the prisons. We open the borders, you know, everything. You'd still have a deficit. So you can't just say you're going to cut your way there. You've got to deal with the revenue side too.
Cavuto: No you wouldn't. That's not...
DeFazio: It is true. $800 billion for the military and $600 billion for discretionary spending, which is the little budget we're fighting over right now. That's $1.4 trillion less in the deficit.
Cavuto: You're talking about providing more money, more taxes for what I think you'll acknowledge sir is a faulty product. Why don't we address the faulty product that's spending beneath it, right?
DeFazio: Well, there are certain things I don't think are faulty products. Investing in the next generation's education so we can achieve more. How about me? I'm on the transportation committee. We're headed towards a transportation bill that will invest 40% less than the bill we passed six years ago.
DeFazio: We had two conditions when the Republicans controlled everything that said our infrastructure is falling apart and becoming third world, we've got to invest in our infrastructure.
Cavuto: Good ideas. We'll look more into that.
I'm not holding my breath for any follow up on that during Cavuto's weekly show on Fox.