On this morning’s Face The Nation, Senator Harry Reid says that a number has been reached for the amount of cuts to make in negotiations to prevent a government shutdown. The number he gives is $73 billion. This is the first time I’ve heard that number. I’ve been reading all week that the number is $33 billion. This number would make the Republicans very happy since they’ve been wanting $61 billion. Of course, they would still want the cuts to be where they want them to be!
My guess is that Reid misspoke. I am disappointed that Bob Schieffer let that number pass without asking about it. In the blogs I read I do not see any immediate reactions to that number.
A commenter, Joe Friday, at Steve Benen’s blog at The Washington Monthly explains that Reid was simply using a different baseline and the $78 billion and $38 billion dollars are the same.
Assuming this is correct, this then is a continuation of the seemingly eternal problem the Democratic Party has with messaging. I pay a reasonable amount of attention and Reid’s number confused me. I guess I could be the only one who was (is?) confused…but if the same baseline was used consistently, maybe more people would understand…..