If Herman Cain has been harshly criticized for his 9-9-9 plan, which includes a 9% national sales tax, should we expect Robert Frank to come under fire? After all, on Morning Joe today, the Cornell University professor proposed a progressive consumption tax that could go to . . . 100% on the rich.
Frank's notion is that the very high rates would discourage the rich from building "mansions" [a term he used multiple times during his appearance]. And the taxes thus collected could go for things he thinks we need. For example, Frank incredibly claimed that in the US, "we don't invest in education," ignoring that we spend more per pupil than any country in the world other than Switzerland. Video after the jump.
Don't look now, that tidal wave might be a drop in the bucket instead.
On her MSNBC show Monday, Rachel Maddow cited a trio of reports warning of massive job losses if $61 billion in Republican-pushed spending cuts take effect.
The Economic Policy Institute, which Maddow described as a "liberal group," predicts the GOP budget plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000. A confidential new report" from Goldman Sachs says spending cuts passed in the House "would be a drag on the economy, cutting growth by about two percent of GDP, according to Jonathan Karl at ABC News, the source cited by Maddow. The third warning along these lines came from McCain '08 campaign adviser Mark Zandi, writing at Moody's Analytics, that the Republicans' proposal "would mean some 400,000 fewer jobs created by the end of 2011 ... and 700,000 fewer jobs by the end of 2012."
As a recovering journalist, it has always amazed me how little journalists, even those specializing in financial reporting, know about the basic principles of economics. Similarly, it has always fascinated me how otherwise reasonable reporters can be reduced to self-righteous anti-capitalist ideologues, spouting the kind of anti-market drivel that one might have heard at a Communist Party meeting in the 1930s.
Nowadays journalists routinely attack lenders who take a chance on the poor. Take the case of “‘Pay day’ loans exacerbate housing crisis,” an article by Nick Carey of Reuters. In it, Carey lectures his readers, identifying with certainty what is making the “housing crisis” worse. The culprit he identifies is the payday lending industry, a subset of the subprime sector so regularly vilified by liberals, including Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.