The 7 Biggest Economic Lies — Robert Reich


The President’s Jobs Bill doesn’t have a chance in Congress – and the Occupiers on Wall Street and elsewhere can’t become a national movement for a more equitable society – unless more Americans know the truth about the economy.  

Here’s a short (2 minute 30 second) effort to rebut the seven biggest whoppers now being told by those who want to take America backwards. The major points:

  1. Tax cuts for the rich trickle down to everyone else. Baloney. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both sliced taxes on the rich and what happened? Most Americans’ wages (measured by the real median wage) began flattening under Reagan and have dropped since George W. Bush. Trickle-down economics is a cruel joke. 
  2. Higher taxes on the rich would hurt the economy and slow job growth. False. From the end of World War II until 1981, the richest Americans faced a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent or above. Under Dwight Eisenhower it was 91 percent. Even after all deductions and credits, the top taxes on the very rich were far higher than they’ve been since. Yet the economy grew faster during those years than it has since. (Don’t believe small businesses would be hurt by a higher marginal tax; fewer than 2 percent of small business owners are in the highest tax bracket.)  
  3. Shrinking government generates more jobs. Wrong again. It means fewer government workers – everyone from teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and social workers at the state and local levels to safety inspectors and military personnel at the federal. And fewer government contractors, who would employ fewer private-sector workers. According to Moody’s economist Mark Zandi (a campaign advisor to John McCain), the $61 billion in spending cuts proposed by the House GOP will cost the economy 700,000 jobs this year and next. 
  4. Cutting the budget deficit now is more important than boosting the economy. Untrue. With so many Americans out of work, budget cuts now will shrink the economy. They’ll increase unemployment and reduce tax revenues. That will worsen the ratio of the debt to the total economy. The first priority must be getting jobs and growth back by boosting the economy. Only then, when jobs and growth are returning vigorously, should we turn to cutting the deficit. 
  5. Medicare and Medicaid are the major drivers of budget deficits. Wrong. Medicare and Medicaid spending is rising quickly, to be sure. But that’s because the nation’s health-care costs are rising so fast. One of the best ways of slowing these costs is to use Medicare and Medicaid’s bargaining power over drug companies and hospitals to reduce costs, and to move from a fee-for-service system to a fee-for-healthy outcomes system. And since Medicare has far lower administrative costs than private health insurers, we should make Medicare available to everyone. 
  6. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Don’t believe it. Social Security is solvent for the next 26 years. It could be solvent for the next century if we raised the ceiling on income subject to the Social Security payroll tax. That ceiling is now $106,800.  
  7. It’s unfair that lower-income Americans don’t pay income tax. Wrong. There’s nothing unfair about it. Lower-income Americans pay out a larger share of their paychecks in payroll taxes, sales taxes, user fees, and tolls than everyone else. 

Demagogues through history have known that big lies, repeated often enough,  start being believed – unless they’re rebutted. These seven economic whoppers are just plain wrong. Make sure you know the truth – and spread it on.

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Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do…

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain

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Religious Intolerance? People & Ideas Should Not Be Treated as Equals | Atheist Republic

One of the biggest complaints I hear from theists is that I’m intolerant of their religion. Quite often, these people act as if it’s a personal attack on them specifically. I am indeed intolerant of religion, but it isn’t my fault that these people can’t understand that there’s a difference between hating an idea and hating the people who believe in that idea….

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Donald Trump is…

Donald Trump is a #%!king, Disgusting, Pandering, Xenophobic, Hate, Fear, and War Mongering Liar


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Fracking Controversy – Top 10 Myths About Natural Gas Drilling | Popular Mechanics

A good rational look at “Fracking”

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The Sad Tragic Truth About Our Relationships | Jason Silva

I love following and listening to Jason Silva for what he has to say about this life we are all living. In this video he explores and in a sense laments the transitory quality of romantic love and how he is still dealing with trying to find a “hack” to help him with the fleeting and passing quality of romantic love.

The “hack” or at least the hack I’ve found that works for me (or at least makes sense to me) comes from the ending of the musical Candide (obviously drawn from Voltaire’s Candide)….

CANDIDE (with force). No. We will not think noble because we are not noble. We will not live in beautiful harmony because there is no such thing in this world, nor should there be. We promise only to do our best and live out our lives. Dear God, that’s all we can promise in truth. Marry me, Cunegonde.

(He sings.)
You’ve been a fool and so have I,
But come and be my wife,
And let us try before we die
To make some sense of life.
We’re neither pure nor wise nor good;
We’ll do the best we know;
We’ll build our house, and chop our wood,
And make our garden grow.
And make our garden grow.

CUNEGONDE (sings).
I thought the world was sugar-cake,
For so our master said;
But now I’ll teach my hands to bake
Our loaf of daily bread.

We’re neither pure nor wise nor good;
We’ll do the best we know;
We’ll build our house, and chop our wood,
And make our garden grow.
And make our garden grow.
(Cast begins slow entry.)

Let dreamers dream what worlds they please;
Those Edens can’t be found.
The sweetest flowers, the fairest trees
Are grown in solid ground.

We’re neither pure nor wise nor good;
We’ll do the best we know;
We’ll build our house, and chop our wood,
And make our garden grow.
And make our garden grow.

Gardens have their seasons, their ups and downs, but if you properly and diligently attend to them as a farmer or gardener would they will return to bloom again.

(and it’s a great song too and arguably one of the best ending songs to a Broadway Musical ever)

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Let’s Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day (instead of Columbus Day)

The truth about Columbus…

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When you share fake stuff, you mess up Facebook — so stop it! | Chicago Tribune

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The Dirty Truth About ‘Organic’ Produce | Newsweek

Organic foods have never been shown to have health or environmental benefits.

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We Don’t Cry Because We’re Sad…

Published on Apr 21, 2015

“The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be.” – Alain de Button

More from Alain de Button

Why Do We Cry When We Are Happy?…

Additional footage provided by Leonardo Dalessandri / Watchtower of Turkey

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