Normally I might suggest the following exchange is proof positive Democrats don't get economics but in this case it may be proof they don't understand simple arithmetic. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) attempts to elicit a response from Fed Chief Ben Bernanke that Republicans who hope to trim the deficit by cutting spending without raising taxes are just plain wrong in that assumption. Instead it is Rep. Connelly who is shown to be wrong in his assumption shared by fellow Democrats that you just can't cut enough from the budget to reverse deficit spending. As Liberty Central notes, "Connolly voted for the ‘stimulus,’ for an increase in the debt limit (to $14.3 trillion) and for a health care bill that will drive the debt up significantly.’ In fact, thanks to people like Congressman Connolly, there is far more spending to be cut than there was just a few years ago."
Connolly doesn't want to look at the spending increases he and his fellow Democrats have put in place. He resorts to the frightening thought of cuts to Homeland Security and National defense instead:
CONNOLLY: I’m telling you, they don’t have an open mind. They have publicly expressed that they do not favor — you know, they’re all for deficit reduction as long as anything having to do with revenue is off the table. Can we get to serious deficit reduction — change that trajectory you talked about — if we eliminate half of the ledger sheet?Doh, you don't have to be an economist to understand the problem with the faulty Democratic assumption raising taxes will automatically increase revenue thereby mitigating the need to cut spending. The prospect that the Bush tax cuts will be sunsetted at the end of this year is already having a stifling effect on the economy. That argument is beyond the scope of Connolly's question though. Connolly and his fellow Democrats have trouble with simple arithmetic. They seem to have mastered addition and multiplication at least as far as growing the size of government is concerned, subtraction and division - not so much:
BERNANKE: Well, theoretically you could if you cut enough, but it would be very difficult to do that.
CONNOLLY: Is there enough spending to be cut?
BERNANKE: Of course! I mean … [laughs]
CONNOLLY: National defense, homeland security?
BERNANKE: That’s your judgment, that’s the Congress’ judgment. That’s not my judgment.
CONNOLLY: Ah. Um … it must be nice to be an economist.