07/02/2010 10:27 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Asked About Budget Cuts, Norton Cites Budget Transfer

On KVOR radio in Colorado Springs June 19, talk show host Jeff Crank tossed this question at GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton:

You know, people get frustrated because politicians run and say well, yeah, I don't know about the Department of Education and things like that. I don't know if we can kill it. It's like, nobody's bold enough to want to make the tough decisions and do it. Where are some cuts that you would make in spending to get us to a balanced budget?

It's a fair question from a right-wing host, and here's Norton's response:

Jeff, I have talked about looking at Departments like Education, block granting the money to the states, rather than this huge bureaucracy of 5,000 people.

Crank's been around long enough to know that transferring money from the Department of Education to block grants for the states doesn't save the feds any money. Yet, Crank didn't ask Norton to explain how you balance the federal budget by moving money form one corner of the budget to another.

To be fair, in response to Crank's question, Norton recited some other money-saving ideas, like stopping earmarks. But transferring money out of the Education Department was among her biggest money-saving notions, even though this wouldn't save any money.

You'd think Crank's ears would have also tuned into Norton's statement that she's "looking" at the Education Department, not pledging to eliminate it, which is a different position than she's expressed in the past, and it may put her in the category of waffling politicians whom Crank says he's frustrated with.

If Crank were to visit Norton's website to seek assurance that she won't leave him frustrated about the Education Department in the future, he won't find solace there. I couldn't find any mention of cutting the Department of Education on Norton's web site.

Instead of calling Norton on this, all Crank could say to Norton was, "Thanks for all you do and good luck on the campaign trail."

Maybe other frustrated right-wing talk show hosts on the campaign trail will pursue the question further with Norton and give us some clarity.