Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) clashed over their respective characterizations of the Ryan Budget Tuesday on Fox Business. Gowdy responded to Schakowsky’s assertion that the Ryan Budget would “decimate” many entitlements that the middle class depends on:
TRACY BYRNES: Look, you want to talk about the center and the American people, we have all had to create budgets over the last couple of years and had no choice but to live by them. We don’t have printing presses at home. This notion that we don’t have a budget right now, a little disheartening. You think we’ll get one out of all this?
JAN SCHAKOWSKY: The House passed a budget, the Ryan Budget, that would decimate many things that the middle class actually depends on. And I also want to say that already signed into law is $2.4 trillion worth of spending cuts. The Republicans act as if that didn’t happen and we’re starting now from ground zero. And the majority, the vast majority of Americans say that asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a bit more is exactly what they think is a fairest way to deal with a deficit issue.
BRYNES: I’m not sure, I’m not sure they will agree with that when these wealthy Americans stop buying stuff because more money is being taken away from them. Congressman —
SCHAKOWSKY: Come on.
BYRNES: You know, I’m sorry, it is the way it works in this country and the other thing is —
SCHAKOWSKY: No it’s not.
BYRNES: You’re not going to collect the revenue you’re looking for because wealthy Americans are smart enough to figure out a way around it. Congressman Gowdy, one of the things we haven’t heard a word about, or at least not enough about is the entitlement spending. How are you going to address that?
GOWDY: Well, you do it by knocking back against the demagoguery I just heard with respect to Paul Ryan’s budget. You know Paul Ryan had the courage to take on social security reform, medicaid reform and medicare reform. As my colleague just repeated, one of their talking points, that it decimated this group or the other, it balanced in 40 years. I want your viewers to let that soak in. Paul Ryan’s budget balances in 40, four, zero, years. Yet my colleagues on the other side of the aisle say that is draconian and mean-spirited. Social security is easy to fix. Medicare is easy to fix, but not when you trot out stale talking points like “vouchers” and “destroy medicare as you know it.” If you want to have a thoughtful, serious conversation about it which everyone concedes privately on entitlement reform. But when someone has the courage of Paul Ryan and they get demagogued and you show ads pushing a senior citizen off a cliff, it makes you less likely to do it.