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Ignorance of Randi Rhodes   November 13th, 2009
I know, that's what I get for listening to Air America       

 
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I guess I should be expecting it when I tune in to Air America, but I did it last night. It really makes you realize the lunacy we're up against.

Randi Rhodes, liberal talk show host, was interviewing some economist (didn't get his name) that was obviously sympathetic to Keynesian (liberal) economics.

The amazing argument made by Randi Rhodes was that since the U.S. economy is below capacity by something like a trillion dollars a year, the government stimulus was not enough--she believes that if the economy is a trillion dollars a year below peak performance, the government should be spending a trillion dollars a year to make up for that!

She also criticized the existing stimulus because 2/3rds of it is in the form of tax cuts--actually only about 1/3rd is tax cuts. She lamented that states are cutting budgets and raising taxes which works against the intent of the stimulus package when, in actuality, $144 billion (18%) is going to state fiscal relief. If states are cutting their budgets, it's because their budgets are so out of whack that even with massive federal assistance they can't get their budget to work.

Randi Rhodes can't even get the facts right.

Now, there were some entertaining moments.

While she was definitely interviewing an economist that was partial to liberal economic theory, when Randi flippantly suggested that a 5% wealth tax on high income be levied, or even a 90% windfall profits tax and suggested that it wouldn't cause any damage, even her liberal economist immediately responded, "No! Not while the economy is struggling." Even her liberal economist told her that raising taxes on anyone during a recession is a bad thing. Apparently Randi didn't know that.

Yet, having suggested a 5% wealth tax and a 90% windfall profit tax, there was also a moment when Randi bemoaned the fact that not only were states cutting their budgets, they were raising taxes--which she stated was a drag on the economy and worked against the stimulus package! So if it's bad for states to raise taxes, why is it good for the federal government to raise taxes?

There was also a moment when Randi asked the liberal economist how much taxpayers should be willing to "pay" for a new job created. The economist proceeded to say that, perhaps, 5% of whatever the salary is. So if the salary of the job is $50,000, perhaps we'd offer a an incentive to business in the form of a $2500 tax cut.

Wait a minute, a tax cut? That's the way to create jobs? Isn't that what Republicans have been saying for decades? (Yes). And if this liberal economist on the Randi Rhodes show on Air America knows this, why was only 1/3rd of the stimulus bill devoted to tax cuts?

All of the above transpired during a 5-minute drive the evening of November 12th, 2009. At some point I need to see if I can find the audio for that entire segment. Because the internal contradictions within just 5 minutes of this program were absolutely amazing.

I wonder if any of her liberal listeners realized what they had just heard. Just as importantly, I wonder if Randi Rhodes realized that her program had just made the case for tax cuts to create jobs and made the case against raising taxes.

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