Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) schooled the hosts of Fox & Friends on the details of the deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” during an appearance to explain his opposition to the Senate-passed compromise on Wednesday morning. Smith also laughed off the network’s suggestion that President Obama has not offered specific spending cuts.
Smith said he voted against the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012” because the measure locked in low revenue levels that could necessitate dramatic spending cuts in the future. The Fox News hosts appeared incredulous, however, arguing that Obama failed to put any spending cuts on the table or show leadership on entitlement reform. Once Smith pointed to Obama’s proposal to change the growth of Social Security benefits, co-host Steve Doocy quickly dismissed the plan as a “nonstarter.” The Congressman laughed at the network’s attempt to criticize Obama and then debunked its claim that the GOP offered more specific spending reductions than the president:
DOOCY: Congressman, it’s great that you’re worried about spending and taxes, but you know, there are a lot of people who are watching this and they see the president and he really took no leadership when it comes to cutting spending with the budget and with this latest crisis, so it seems like….
SMITH: I don’t actually agree with that. The president put on the table cuts to entitlements. He put on the table the chained CPI issue, among other issues.
DOOCY: Wait, but that was a nonstarter for a lot of people in your party.
SMITH: [Laughs] Here is the thing, I mean you can say, ‘well, he’s not showing leadership.’ But now what you’re saying is he showed leadership, but nobody else was willing to. So it’s really hard to blame the president … As long as we’re talking about the president, let me also make the point, Speaker Boehner, the Republicans, what have they put on the table in terms of specific spending?
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Look at the Ryan plan. Look at the budget they passed.
SMITH: No. A budget is not an appropriations bill, Brian. The budget said across the board, we will cut 10%. We’re not going to tell you what, we’re not going to tell you where. We’re just going to imagine that it’s going to happen. In terms of specific spending cuts, the president had actually put more on the table during this last negotiation than the so-called fiscal conservatives leading the House.
KILMEADE: Really? Because I don’t know anything that he wanted to cut besides defense.
SMITH: I just told you! I just told you!
“I’m concerned that revenue has been sort of taken off the table at this point,” Smith said. Ninety-percent “of the Bush tax cuts are now locked in permanently, so any effort to deal with the very large debt and deficit that we have going down the road here revenue is pretty much off the table and we didn’t get much. Those are my concerns and that’s why I voted no.”