Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) called out Fox host Martha MacCallum for stating that pension benefits drastically affect state’s budgets.
Appearing on the network Monday morning, the DNC chairwoman was brought on to talk about President Obama’s jobs plan.
But MacCallum chose to utter a line from an unnamed source that the plan would be “a temporary patch for budget holes that will likely remain until the money runs out.”
“The concern is, if you don’t restructure some of these pensions agreements that the police, the teachers, and all these groups have, what you’re doing is throwing some money at the problem to keep in their jobs short term,” Maccallum said. “And you’re not really changing the underlining structure and pensions agreements. And that long term, it doesn’t have the desire affect.”
Schultz swiftly replied in disagreement.
“Martha, to suggest that state pension plans and pension deals for government employees are what is dragging down the state and local governments is really unfair,” the Florida congresswoman said.
MacCallum wasn’t backing down from her belief, diverging from her usual “straight news” position.
“To suggest that the pensions aren’t dragging down state budgets is absolutely incorrect,” the Fox anchor fiercely replied back.
But pensions are not a key reason for state’s budgetary issues. Most economists, including conservative ones such as Heartland Institute Eli Lehrer, indicate that only 2.9% of state spending is on pension benefits.
“Pensions, in short, aren’t the main cause of state budget problems,” Lehrer wrote in an essay earlier this year. “And many political leaders trying to bring public sector compensation down ought to focus their attention elsewhere.”
WATCH: Video from Fox News, which appeared on September 12, 2011.