Chuck Grassley “on” The Daily Show!

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night.  Well, Grassley wasn't exactly a guest on the show, but Grassley was featured on the show.  The bit is titled "Chuck Grassley's Debt & Deficit Dragon." Please note: this clip contains strong language.

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Chuck Grassley's Debt and Deficit Dragon
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UPDATE:  At one point in this bit, Stewart asks: "Is this how you speak to your grandchildren?  He must be the world's worst grandpa."

Grassley grandson Pat Grassley, a state representative, emails the following:

"I appreciate my grandpa's effort to draw attention to the legacy of debt that President Obama is leaving my generation.  We better pay attention while there's still time to do something about it." 

Jill Kozeny, a spokeswoman for Senator Chuck Grassley, emails the following response to The Daily Show bit:

"Also, on Sunday morning, George Stephanopoulos showed a clip of Senator Grassley’s speech (which was given on Thursday evening) during his “This Week” interview with Treasury Secretary Geithner (the Geithner interview was taped Saturday).  The clip used was where Senator Grassley talked about public debt to GDP would reach 82 percent by 2019 under the Obama budget, the highest levels since WWII.  In response to the clip, Secretary Geithner left open the door to tax hikes on middle-income Americans (see the transcript below).  Subsequently on Sunday, Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation said to Lawrence Summers that Secretary Geithner had said on ABC that you’d do whatever is necessary to bring down the deficit (paraphrased).  Summers then made his statement about not ruling anything out and the burden shouldn’t be primarily on the middle class.  So, Senator Grassley’s floor statement and the question based on it led to the White House press secretary on Monday having to reiterate the President’s no tax hikes on the middle-class pledge."

STEPHANOPOULOS: I did want to get to that. And as we pull out of the recession, the other big worry going forward is deficits. You heard that from the Chinese this week. Our next guest, Alan Greenspan, has warned this as well.
And Senator Charles Grassley, the Republican ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee has cited CBO estimates, Congressional Budget Office estimates, that your budget will add $9 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.
SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R-IA), RANKING MEMBER, FINANCE COMMITTEE: Our debt, as a percentage of the economy, will grow in excess of 80 percent, a level also that has not been seen since this country was in World War II.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is a very, very high level. And I know you believe that passing health care is essential to getting the deficit under control, but independent analysts also say that even with that, you're going to have to find new government revenues.
The former deputy treasury secretary, Roger Altman, said: "It is no longer a matter of whether tax revenues must increase, but how." Is he right?
GEITHNER: George it is absolutely right and very important for everyone to understand that we will not get this economy back on track, recovery will be not strong and sustained, unless we are — can convince the American people that we're going to have the will to bring these deficits down once recovery is firmly established.
Remember, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. The cumulative consequences of policies this country pursued over the last eight years left us with $6 trillion more debt than we would have had by making a bunch of commitments to cut taxes and add to spending. Without paying for those, we are not going to be able to afford to do that. And it is very important people understand.
Our first priority now, though, is to get this economy back on track, make sure this financial system is repaired. Without that, we're not going to get our deficits under control.
And the necessary path to fiscal responsibility, the necessary path to getting this country living within our means again is not just health care reform, to bring down those costs, but we're going to do a range of other things. And that's going to be a very difficult challenge to this country.
We can do this, it just requires the will to act.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Including new revenues?
GEITHNER: Well, we're going to have to look at — we're going to have to do what is necessary. Remember the critical thing is people understand that when we have recovery established, led by the private sector, and we have to bring these down, deficits down very dramatically.
We have to bring them down to a level where the amount we're borrowing from the world is stable at a reasonable level. And that's going to require some very hard choices. And we're going to have to try to do that in a way that does not add to the — unfairly to the burdens that the average American already faces.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Wow. I feel cheated by how boring Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl are compared to this guy. I don’t recall either of them using visual aids on the floor. The dragon was actually kinda cute.