Do people like Mr. Cantor or Mr. Paul know that what they're saying isn't true? Do they care? Probably not. In Stephen Colbert's famous formulation, claims about runaway deficits may not be true, but they have truthiness, and that's all that matters.
And please stop saying both sides are just as bad. MSNBC is not reporting we are running a surplus. The NYT isn’t reporting there is no deficit. Its isn’t the same.