Paul Cooper

AFL-CIO Chief Economist Calls Cavuto an “A**hole” on Live TV

Posted on June 26 2010 9:00 pm
Paul Cooper is a husband and father above all else. With a wife and 2 daughters he could use a dog, but sadly he only owns a cat – a female cat no less. Paul is also a pastor, blogger, and business owner. Find him on Twitter.
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Another gentle Union leader.

If spending almost a trillion dollars in stimulus has given us millions of jobs lost and no net gains, is it a good idea to keep throwing money at the problem?

That’s the one basic question Fox News’ Neil Cavuto had during a June 25th interview with Ron Blackwell, chief economist for the AFL-CIO.  You would think when the chief economist of the AFL-CIO is on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” with millions watching, he would keep it classy.  Well, you’d be wrong.

Blackwell tried several answers.  First he argued, “We do not have a short run budget deficit problem or debt problem” based on Obama policies.

His next response was the almost obligatory blame Bush attack.  Any deficit problems are only because of Bush policy according to Blackwell (ignoring the fact that Obama’s deficit spending is light years larger than Bush’s).  Cavuto cut him off and would not allow it saying,  “Let’s leave the evil Bush out of it.”

The rest of the interview was all about Blackwell claiming that because of stimulus spending, we lost far fewer jobs than we would have.  In other words, yes, we have lost and continue to lose millions of jobs, but it would be worse if we didn’t spend a trillion dollars.  Cavuto rejected that lame argument and Blackwell wouldn’t budge.  It eventually got to the point where Blackwell claimed Cavuto was simple minded for not ‘getting’ his argument.  Then the fireworks really started.  (Warning with the video: it is not censored.)

Blackwell: “I’m answering you right now – these programs did create jobs but not net creation.  We lost more jobs because of the recession than were created by these programs. Net, gross – is that a complex idea for you?”

Cavuto: “Ron, you’re the chief economist there.  Where did you get your degree, a baking school? Where are you cooking up these numbers? The fact is we spent a trillion dollars…”

Blackwell: “Oh, that’s an insult.  Forget about it. You’re a joker – you’re an a**hole.”

Wow, good one Blackwell.  Once you realize you have no valid argument you take to vicious name calling on live television in the middle of the day.  I wonder how many kids heard that.

Cavuto summarized Blackwell’s response to the question and the union leader ended the interview with yet another attack.

Cavuto: “So your answer to just answering a simple question is to curse at me, or to frame it differently, or to obfuscate the facts, or to ignore the facts with a trillion dollars spent and we haven’t seen any net new jobs and you’re answer is, ‘Well, we have to spend more?'”

Blackwell: “We lost more jobs because of the recession than we created by these programs.  Gross and net – it’s not a complex idea. You should have learned that in high school, Neil.”

I’m happy to see Cavuto stepping up as one of the lone voices in the media willing to say the emperor has no clothes.  Sadly too many journalists aren’t willing to call out fuzzy economic figures like those Blackwell is using.  I personally know a lot of great union people, but this guy is a disgrace.  At least he helps us see how silly the other side of the argument is.

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