How can you spice up a fairly mundane debate on the efficacy of deficit spending during a recession? Put it on Fox News and pit the show's host, deficit hawk Neil Cavuto, against the AFL-CIO's chief economist Ron Blackwell.
The conversation between the two was already pretty cantankerous when Cavuto asked where Blackwell actually had earned his degree.
"A baking school," Cavuto wondered. "Where are you cooking up these numbers?"
Shockingly, Blackwell, who was making the point that spending money is a fairly well-tested way of spurring economic stimulus, didn't take well to the slight. He proceeded to call Cavuto an "asshole"... on live air.
Ron Blackwell: Why don't you let me finish my thought.
Neil Cavuto: You never answer a basic question.
Ron Blackwell: I'm answering you right now.
Neil Cavuto: Why will spending work?
Ron Blackwell: These programs created jobs but not net creation. we lost more jobs because of the recession than were created by these programs.
Neil Cavuto: Wait a minute, Ron, you're the chief economist there. Where did you get your degree? A baking school? Where are you cooking up these numbers?
Ron Blackwell: Oh that's an insult. You're a joker. You're an asshole.
The interview ended shortly thereafter, with Cavuto saying that the public would likely regard Blackwell as a hysteric.
AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale, who seemed genuinely surprised that Blackwell had it in him, tweeted the following response to his colleague's take on Cavuto: "Yes Mr. Chief Economist Blackwell, he is."
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