Hillary Clinton’s appearance on all five Sunday shows overshadowed the significant event of the debut performance of Chief of Staff Bill Daley as a public advocate for the Admnistration. Those who had problems with his appointment worried about his more conservative outlook, but were assured that he was a “good soldier” and would not deviate from the party line. Here’s what he had to say on Face the Nation:
The White House acknowledges that more cuts are needed beyond the spending freeze President Obama proposed, chief of staff William Daley said Sunday.
Daley, in his first Sunday show appearance since taking office, said that the Obama administration understands that, if it wants to balance the budget, more cutbacks will be necessary beyond the five-year freeze in domestic discretionary spending the president laid out in his State of the Union address.
“It will take a tremendous amount more than that,” Daley said on “Face the Nation” when asked if more cuts would be needed beyond the freeze.
Let’s stipulate that Daley happens to be telling the truth. If you want to actually balance the budget, if that’s your main thrust, then it will take more than the discretionary non-security spending freeze. But you see his points of emphasis here. He also said “we all agree there must be cuts in spending.” At a time when the Republicans clearly want to make trillions in cuts, right when the economy is in a fragile state, Daley on multiple occasions in this appearance agreed with their premises. At the same time, he said that the tax cut deal will provide stimulus to the economy and create jobs, and you absolutely cannot reconcile those two stances. You cannot presume to be concerned about jobs in the near term while accepting that “everyone agrees” spending must be cut.
There were a lot of ways Daley could have gone here which would have been in step with the Administration perspective. He could have said that the Republicans walled off 84% of the budget, so you can ask them how they’ll squeeze a 40% reduction in spending necessary to balance the budget out of that other 16%. He could have said that if the American people want to see jobs, they cannot see threats to areas of spending that will lead to mass firings. He could have said all sorts of things. Instead he sat there and tried to bargain with crazy.
Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed with Daley’s debut.