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Fiscal Cliff Deal’s $4 Trillion Price Tag Ignored by 5 out of 6 Shows

On day of the deal only one of the network morning and evening shows mentioned the hefty cost of the deal because of the lack of spending cuts.

To the chagrin of many conservatives, a deal that would result in tax hikes and lacked spending cuts was passed on New Year’s Day, hours after the the fiscal cliff deadline had passed.

Because it didn’t include spending cuts, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would cost $4 trillion over the next 10 years. That is $4 trillion on top of a federal debt that already exceeds $16 trillion. During Obama’s tenure he has run annual deficits of $1 trillion or more.

But the $4 trillion price tag was ignored by 5 out of 6 morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC on January 2. Only CBS “This Morning” discussed the CBO estimate while “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “Evening News,” “World News” and “Nightly News” did not.

According to at least one network, the deal was a “compromise,” but to many it just looked like the president got his way. Even CBS said Obama “won out.” The bill will increase income and capital gains taxes on individuals making more than $400,000 and families making more than $450,000, payroll taxes on everyone, and the bill did not include any cuts to spending.

The Jan. 2 “Today” show mentioned some agitation over the lack of spending cuts, including a comment from Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., who said “We also need to address the fundamental causes of our debts and deficits and that is out-of-control spending.”

CBS’s Nancy Cordes also pointed on the Jan. 2 broadcast of “This Morning” that many conservatives were upset that the bill “did not include serious spending cuts.”

She included remarks from Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who said “I’m unwilling to gag down a deal that, a bill that they’ve sent over here that’s unacceptable.”

Talking about the deal and the lack of spending cuts, CBS “This Morning” host Norah O’Donnell said to retiring congressman Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, that “you’ve left this country with a huge hangover because now you’ve got about $4 trillion in debt added to the deficit, and no spending cuts. I mean, again, what is wrong with Congress?”

LaTourette replied that “It’s outrageous and it’s because no one will make the difficult decisions necessary to get this thing done. This is a problem that requires a $4-to-6 trillion fix. Quite frankly the president won’t show the leadership to do it on the entitlement side, we’ve been slow to the dance on the revenue side.”