CNBC Host to Obama Advisor: Ask Yourself – 'What Would Milton (Friedman) Do?'
It's not often someone in the media challenges the liberal point-of-view - especially on the issue of taxes when they become a means to redistribute income.
CNBC "Squawk Box" fill-in co-host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera wasn't afraid to buck the trend and challenge Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's senior economic adviser Austan Goolsbee.
Goolsbee appeared on the August 14 "Squawk Box" to defend an op-ed he wrote for the August 14 Wall Street Journal outlining Obama's tax plan. Caruso-Cabrera invoked the name of Milton Friedman, an economist who was a primary defender of free markets throughout the 20th century. Ironically, Friedman taught at the University of Chicago, where Goolsbee is a faculty member.
"WWMD, Austin - what would Milton do? Remember that," Caruso-Cabrera said. "Remember your roots - what got you to where you are."
Goolsbee, in other media appearances, has also consistently defended the Obama plan by claiming the overall rate would be lower than it was under former President Ronald Reagan.
"He's outlined a program that's paid for and keeps the overall tax rate in the economy the same as what it was under Ronald Reagan," Goolsbee said.
Goolsbee was referring to the tax rates as a percentage of gross domestic product compared to Reagan - as Caruso-Cabrera pointed out on CNBC's August 14 "Power Lunch." But "Power Lunch" co-host Sue Herera warned with the current economic conditions, it would be no time to raise taxes on anyone - as would an Obama administration might try to do.
"[W]e're at a very fragile state in this economy," "Power Lunch" co-host Sue Herera added. "If indeed - as [CNBC contributor] Dennis [Kneale] suggests, we're at an inflection point at either the economy or the stock market, this is the worst time to raise taxes. You want to improve the economy? Cut spending, don't raise taxes."
Caruso-Cabrera wasn't playing favorites with political parties. She also had strong criticisms for the Republican Party in general on CNBC's August 14 "Power Lunch."
"[T]he Republicans have not had truth in advertising," Caruso-Cabrera said. "They were supposed to be the party of smaller government. They were supposed to stay out of your pocket and out of your bedroom and they didn't do either of those things. They did just the opposite."