Sometimes I think that's what people think. Certainly, I think that's the case with a lot of the media. The concept that the president of the United States is flat-out lying about the sustainability of his own economic policy -– that's too high a hill for them to climb. And I guess the general public tends to give him the benefit of the doubt.
But there's a definite tilt in the way these things are covered and perceived. I think the average voter in California is feeling outraged about the state's $38 billion deficit, and then you stop and think for a second. You say, wait a second –- first of all, it's not $38 billion. It turns out that was a two-year number, and this year they've closed the books. And it's only $8 billion for next year. And, anyway, that number should be as abstract and remote from the ordinary residents of California as the national budget deficit is from the ordinary American.
But there's a machine that keeps on beating it out, saying Davis is bad; Davis is irresponsible; the deficit –- he lied to us. And the press picks it up, and, in turn, it makes its way to the public. So you have a situation in which mainstream publications continue to report and hammer on Davis' $38 billion deficit, which isn't even remotely true, while Bush, for the most part, gets a free pass on the $500 billion deficit which is absolutely real.