Sarah Palin poked her head out from her Twitter bunker long enough to appear on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor tonight, where the self-styled hockey mom attacked filmmaker Michael Moore for daring to suggest that America isn’t broke. Palin said, “How can Michael Moore tell Americans that we aren’t broke?…What’s in the water in Hollywood?”
Here is the Sarah Palin video via Media Matters:
Palin was talking about Social Security privatization and gutting entitlements when she took a shot at Michael Moore, “Everything is going to have to change. How can Michael Moore for instance as you have said in your introduction tell Americans that we’re not going broke? We take in $2.2 trillion a year and yet we’re paying out three and a half trillion dollars a year. What’s in the water there in Hollywood and D.C. for people to not want to understand or believe reality…They’re not truthful. So we have to be truthful and we have to deal with reality. Reality is we are going bankrupt, and the only we are going to get out of the problem we face is to cut. Is to cut budgets. Is to cut entitlements.”
Here is what Michael Moore said to raise the ire of Palin and the right wing via Mediaite:
Moore said, “We’re not broke. This country is not broke. The state of Wisconsin is not broke. There’s a ton of cash in this country. . . . What’s happened is is that we’ve allowed a vast majority of that cash to be concentrated in the hands of just a few people. . . . They’re sitting on the money, they’re using it for their own – they’re putting it someplace else, they have no interest in helping you with your life, with that money. We’ve allowed them to take that. That’s not theirs, that’s a national resource, that’s ours. . . . I think we need to go back to taxing these people at the proper rates. They need to – we need to see these jobs as something that we own, that we collectively own as Americans and you can’t just steal our jobs and take them someplace else.”
Michael Moore is correct and American history backs him up. By the Republicans new definition of bankruptcy, for the vast majority of the last 71 years America has been broke. The country has only had a budget surplus 12 times since 1940. Most interestingly, 7 of these surpluses came under Democrats. Only the Eisenhower budgets of FY 1951, 1956, 1957, and 1960 were Republican. George W. Bush gets credit for one surplus that he inherited from Clinton, which he quickly burned with tax cuts for the rich. A Democrat, Bill Clinton, holds the modern record for most consecutive years with a budget surplus (FY 1998-2000).
If America has been bankrupt for decades, then what are these sudden Republican cries of fiscal crisis really about? Palin herself gave the answer right after her jab at Moore. This is all about using the fear of national bankruptcy as an excuse to privatize Social Security and dismantle entitlement programs. Moore was right. America is not broke. This is all just an opportunistic pretext designed to hide the right’s true agenda.
Palin was trying to earn brownie points with Republican primary voters by attacking Hollywood via non-Hollywood resident Michael Moore. Palin was attacking Moore in the same way that Mike Huckabee recently went after Natalie Portman. The Republican attack on “liberal Hollywood” is as old as the hills and it is the cheapest way to pander to the base.
Michael Moore is more in touch with reality than Scott Walker, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the faux budget crisis right will ever be. What the Palin and Walker types don’t get is that Americans say they are concerned about the deficit, but oppose any decreases in spending. If the Republicans need proof of this, all they have to do is try to touch Social Security or Medicare and the sparks will fly.
While Sarah Palin gets her information from reading The Blaze, Michael Moore is speaking the truth. America is no more broke than she has been for decades, and no one should be fooled by an imaginary bankruptcy that is designed to do nothing less fulfill a long standing right wing fantasy with grandma and grandpa as collateral damage.