Sean Hannity, America’s favorite “gymnast” as Jon Stewart calls him, came up with an interesting mental gymnastics routine when he was speaking with an economist about the Obama economy and what Hannity sees as the failures of it. Instead, economist Austan Goolsbee asks Hannity a question that makes him land flat on his face.
In the segment posted below Hannity started playing his audience’s favorite song, “It’s all Obama’s fault,” saying:
[President Obama] will accumulate by the time he leaves, after eight years, more debt than every single solitary president before him combined.
It’s the same old simplistic tripe trotted out every single day on the Fox News channel, without context or explanation — just a big scary number designed to outrage a political base that puts stock in the knowledge of pundits like Hannity or Bill O’Reilly.
But Goolsbee wasn’t deterred and starts by spanking Hannity’s bottom:
Look, we can go through the Obama record if you like. You have been confused for a long time, and I can un-confuse you. It would take time.
While debt has definitely risen during the Obama administration, federal spending has slowed and the deficit has closed by 76 percent since Obama took office in 2009. The deficit tells us if the country is overspending, but if the deficit is small or non-existent that means the country is bringing in enough or almost enough GDP to pay all the government’s debts. The deficit is something that gets roundly ignored on Fox News.
Goolsbee was just getting warmed up, and then destroys Hannity for liking Trump if he’s so outraged by debt and deficits:
The last six years, things have gotten substantially better, and the question for us today is if you’re looking at the next eight years, or the next four years, if you so dislike deficits, why are you supporting a guy who has got a $12 trillion tax cut? The biggest tax cut of all time?
A $12 trillion tax cut would rip the deficit wide open. We’ve seen this on a smaller scale in states like Louisiana and Kansas, who decreased taxes for the wealthiest people and their deficits ballooned. Louisiana was even in a surplus when former Gov. Bobby Jindal took over, now they’re millions in debt.
Like a good little Fox News gymnast, Hannity tried to play his Ronald Reagan card by saying the president doubled revenues in the 80s with tax cuts. The other panel guest on Hannity’s show, Tezlan Figaro, tried to say that things had not improved at all for African Americans in the last eight years. But they both apparently forgot they were talking to an economist.
Goolsbee quickly shot back:
In the last six years — the first two years of the Obama administration, we come in losing 800,000 jobs a month, in the worst recession of our lifetimes. When that recession ends, which he did not cause, we spend six years improving. Poverty among African-Americans has fallen for the last five years. The poverty rate rose more under Ronald Reagan than it has under Barack Obama. You never want to say that. You never want to admit that!
The panel then tried to say that the unemployment rate had not improved from the beginning of the recession — especially for African Americans — which is a lie because it has improved dramatically for all demographics, though African American employment trails behind white employment.
If mental gymnastics were an Olympic sport, Hannity would get the gold medal. Because as Jon Stewart so eloquently pointed out, Hannity will get outraged if Obama eats a burger with dijon mustard, but not if Trump eats pizza with a knife and fork. And while Hannity might be outraged that the deficit hasn’t completely disappeared under Obama, it makes no sense that he’s supporting a man who promises to explode it.
Featured Image via Media Matters Screen Capture