“It is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem,” she said. “We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address.”
Pelosi gave an exclusive, pre-taped interview to Chris Wallace, which aired on Fox News Sunday this week. The two of the them spent the first part of their interview talking about the looming sequestration, and the best strategies for avoiding it. And while Pelosi advocated a balanced solution, for the House Minority Leader and her fellow Democrats, spending cuts really aren’t a big part of the solution.
“The fact is, we’ve had plenty of spending cuts,” she told Wallace. “$1.6 trillion in the Budget Control Act. What we need is growth — we need growth with jobs.”
Wallace questioned Pelosi’s assertion that tax increases need to be part of the sequester avoidance plan — especially since he noted even a 100 percent tax on those making more than $1 million a year wouldn’t even match the projected deficit for this year — and kept pushing her hard on spending cuts.
“Are you really saying that in a government that spends $3.5 trillion a year, that increased federal discretionary spending by 14 percent over the last four years, you can’t find $85 billion to cut, to avoid sequester?” Wallace asked.
Pelosi said that certain subsidies had been cut, but Wallace again called her out.
“But why not just cut spending?” he asked. “$85 billion in a $3.5 trillion government.”
Pelosi countered with a familiar Democratic card and blamed the Bush administration for the financial situation of the nation. Wallace responded that the debt increased by $5 trillion under President Obama, which Pelosi blamed on trying to avoid the fiscal cliff.
During the interview, the House Democratic leader also struggled to remember exactly what the income limit was for the fiscal cliff tax increase — an increase to 39.6 percent from 35 percent for families earning more than $450,000 and individuals earning more than $400,000. She said it was “a very good thing” to raise taxes “on people making over, uh — the high end of our population.”