Ben Stein utterly CLOBBERS Bill O'Reilly on the idea that taxing the rich hurts the economy
Since when the hell did Ben Stein come out as a bleeding heart liberal who thinks the Billionaires can easily afford higher taxes?
Usually Ben Stein is on the side of the super rich when it comes to the last, oh, I don't know, 40 something years, but this time he decided to understand facts and recent history. Stein roundly delivered a thorough whooping to Bill O'Reilly's utter nonsense that if we make the rich pay tax rates that were fine under Reagan all hell will break loose today. Ben Stein delivers a scalding rebuke that would make a hard core liberal jump for joy, because it is full of facts and stuff.
Remember, raising taxes on the rich is class warfare, but raising taxes on the poor is making sure that everyone pays their fair share, and corporations are people too my friend but you can't raise their taxes either. With ideologically consistency like this, who needs pathological liars?
Transcript and more below the fold
Hat tip to John Amato at CrooksandLiars.com for the transcript and apt commentary.
Bill O'Reilly started his program off with his Talking Points Memo attacking Obama's vacation. See, Liberals were upset that George Bush took over 1000 vacation days were just as wrong headed as conservatives who say that Obama's 26 days off are more than Bush's downtime. He's the king of keeping it real.
Bill did his usual propaganda, blaming all our deficit problems on Obama and says he's glad the President is on vacation. His real point of TPM (and mission in life) is to cut our social safety nets and to spread his anti-tax increase on the rich dogma. He's outraged at the idea we should raise taxes on the right-wing job producers because that's a job killer in every economic time and Warren Buffett is out of his mind in Margaritaville for saying we need to raise taxes on the wealthy. (He really said Margaritaville) Anyway, Fox News stock "market gurus" Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Wayne Rogers (M.A.S.H) joined him to discuss Bill's brilliance. However, Stein didn't play the game and he's usually on board with the whole taxing thing.
O'Reilly: Alright Mr. Stein, you know, you know that everything I said in the memo was true, correct?
Stein: Absolutely not, I would say that almost every part of it is wrong except for the fact that it's better he's on vacation because he works terribly hard and he deserves a vacation...
Not only are you dead wrong, BillO, but Obama deserves his vacation because he's been working his ass off cleaning up the mess Republicans made when the economy crashed and the deficit soared under Bush. Whatever Ben Stein is drinking, I'll have one of those.
As a note, I love how Bill assumes you totally agree with his narrative, and if you don't he takes it as a sin, as if not agreeing entirely that every word Bill speaks is truth makes you a bad guy, because he loves a no spin conversation where it's Obama's fault and taxing millionaires like Bill O'Reilly is crazy talk. Right.
And what kind of debate is this? Where are the differing opinions, other than Ben, who usually wouldn't come to his senses like this and mention inconvenient truths that screw up Bill O'Reilly's narrative. Seriously, it's an economic debate between a movie star, a corporate CEO, and a tv pundit, which gives you a wide array of opinions between millionaires and millionaires, only one of whom has any record of actually being educated in any way on economics, and even then that record is usually wrong, not withstanding this instance. We might as well discuss how to slaughter cattle with three men who know nothing more on the subject other than how to cook a steak, but I digress.
More from the transcript . . .
O'Reilly: You get more money the better the economy is
O'Reilly: If you take (meaning taxes from millionaires) then you're helping the recession. You're feeding the flames of it.
Stein: That's not true.
O'Reilly: Sure it is
Stein: There's no correlation, I'm going to call you Mr. O'Reilly. There's no correlation Mr. O'Reilly, between tax rates on millionaires and people above that level (billionaires) and the growth of the economy... We had the highest growth in capitol and productivity and in the economy in general in the 40's, 50's and 60's when we had much higher taxes then..(Bill: yea, but they were inaudible ) Higher taxes don't correlate with inaudible growth...
I don't know what happened to Ben Stein this morning, though I surmise that The Ghost of Christmas past visited him a few months too early, but he is dead right, for once. Taxing the rich does not make a recession worse, anyone who understands American history can point to the 50's and show that is not true. Rather, I am coming to the point of view that the only thing that tax cuts for the rich creates is higher income inequality between the rich and the poor, budget deficits due to lost revenue, and excess capital for the rich which they will use to bribe politicians and speculate on Wall Street. Remember when Reagan raised taxes? I don't remember ever meeting a Republican that would admit that Reagan raised taxes, but he did. I am coming to the opinion that the ONLY way to bring jobs back, based on the last decade of evidence, is to raise taxes on the rich.
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