Seventy Three Billion

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.

Reid comes up with the num­ber at the 5:55 mark of the video.


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.….



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