If you have ever wondered why some people on the right don’t understand basic facts, I give you the fine example of Carl Cameron on Fox News, who today held up the Baucus bill in front of the camera called it huge, and said, “because of that so too could the price be huge.” Cameron’s dubious point was that you can always tell the cost of legislation based on the size of the bill.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
Cameron was talking about Sen. Olympia Snowe and the Baucus bill, and he said, “Olympia Snowe just said in the past few minutes that she wants very to see the Congressional Budget Office analysis of whether or not this Baucus bill, look at this, this is the beginning of the mark. It is only a beginning. By the time this is amended, facing 586 amendments. It will be huge, and because of that so too could the price be huge.”
How could Crawford say something so stupid? The size of the legislation has nothing to do with the cost of the program being proposed. The $700 billion bank bailout bill was three pages long. Using the logic of Fox News, a three page bill should have been cheap, but it wasn’t. The 2002 Iraq war resolution was three pages long, but so far it has cost the taxpayers $684 billion.
People wonder why Fox News viewers are so poorly informed. Well, this is a sterling example of what passes for logic on FNC. I am sure that Cameron’s simplistic reasoning might not seem like a big deal to some people, but it is. It simply is not true that a person can measure the cost of a piece of legislation by its size, and anyone who heard Cameron and believed him just accepted another piece of misinformation.