Bachmann, Weiner Heatedly Debate Budget

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 07:40 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner squared off on Fox News Wednesday in a fiery budget debate that underscored the stratospheric differences on federal spending between the tea party and Democrats.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity began the debate by noting Democrats controlled Congress in 2010 and failed to pass a budget, creating the impasse over 2011 federal spending.

“All the Democrats are offering is $4.5 billion in cuts. We have a $1.65 trillion deficit this year; we also have, you know, a $3.7 trillion budget deficit. You can't find more than $4.5 billion to cut?” Hannity asked Weiner.

weiner, bachmann, debateWeiner took aim at the tax cuts enacted during President George W. Bush’s tenure.

“Well, frankly, let’s get the history right: The Bush administration drove the economy [off] a cliff and we’ve been digging out ever since,” Weiner said. “Well, let me answer the question, it is true we did add a trillion [dollars] of additional debt and deficit by giving tax cuts to billionaires and millionaires – something many of us opposed.

“You want tax cuts?” Weiner asked Hannity. “Look, you make a lot of money, you want tax cuts, but you got to pay for it. Now maybe what we should do, maybe we should have cuts in defense – or maybe we should do Michelle Bachmann's plan and cut Medicare and cut veterans.”

Bachmann jumped in at this point, noting the new Congress inherited a mess.

“Well, let’s look at it. The last year that the Republicans had a budget resolution, the deficit was under $161 billion,” she said. “Just last month under President [Barack] Obama, the deficit was $223 billion.

“So the president has been creating more debt than anyone has ever seen before. So there is no comparison,” Bachmann said. “When you look at tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, I don’t think they are getting a great deal right now, because the top 1 percent of all income earners in this country are paying over 40 percent of all of the taxes to the federal government. So his [Weiner’s] facts are wrong on this.

“You know, Sean. I had no idea that Representative Weiner was such a reader of fiction. He's a huge fiction reader because that's all of his numbers...”

Weiner interrupted and pounced on the comment, personally attacking Bachmann, who has received considerable criticism of late for making factual mistakes.

“Bachmann, I don't think you want to go there – I don't think you want to go there Bachmann,” he said. “And by the way, for her to make fun of me not knowing fact from fiction is a bit ironic to say the least.

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