Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich made a very curious statement on Monday’s Morning Joe. During a roundtable discussion on income inequality, former congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) asked Reich what policies, besides raising the minimum wage, the government should employ in order to improve economic mobility and increase middle class purchasing power. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reich, who is significantly to the left on economic issues, signaled his support for expanding the earned income tax credit, but then added that we should also “spread ownership,” asserting, “ [W]e really do have to spread, seriously, ownership because if most of the gains are coming from stock rate gains, the whole country ought to be part of that.”
Let's assess the winners in losers in American culture for 2013. Our first obvious winner is "Duck Dynasty" and its Phil Robertson. He's a winner for standing by his Christian principles after some inartful remarks about homosexuality.
A&E suspended him and put the usual statement that they are "champions" of the gay agenda -- and proceeded to start running "Duck Dynasty" marathons. Mark Steyn put it just right: the gay-left blacklisters insist "espousing conventional Christian morality, even off-air, is incompatible with American celebrity." Robertson has successfully shattered intolerance of the anti-Christian left.
ABC This Week viewers were treated to a classic conservative versus liberal debate Sunday.
When former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich tried to blame the increase in poverty in the past five years on Republicans, former Speaker of the House and current CNN host Newt Gingrich called it "baloney" firing back, "Every major city which is a center of poverty is run by Democrats" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Charles Davis at Vice.com has written an eye-opening expose of “Exploited Laborers of the Liberal Media” – unpaid or poorly paid interns at liberal magazines, websites, and radio networks that claim to speak out for the poorly paid working stiffs.
Davis notes Harper’s magazine wants interns to “work on a full-time, unpaid basis for three to five months” and The Washington Monthly is offering internships that are “unpaid and can be either part-time or full-time.” But Salon.com’s hypocrisy is the most perfect:
At The Huffington Post, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich railed against how angry and divided America is and blamed it on a yawning gap of economic inequality. James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal added, “Somehow he neglects to notice that his own political allies try to incite resentment of ‘millionaires and billionaires,’ ‘corporate jet owners’ and similar targets."
Like many American liberals, he longs for the days when CBS News told everyone what to think: “Within this cacophony, we've lost trusted arbiters of truth -- the Edward Murrows and Walter Cronkites who could explain what was happening in ways most Americans found convincing.” He complained that “cable news and yell radio” make America angrier:
While liberals and their media minions across the fruited plain call Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney dead as a result of what they believe are serious missteps the past couple of weeks, Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's Labor Secretary, thinks it's too early to celebrate.
Writing in the Huffington Post Thursday, Reich offered "Four Reasons Why Romney Might Still Win" (photo courtesy AP).
Fresh off his humiliating defeat on Jeopardy! Monday night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually introduced a pair of guests Tuesday as "two of the most smartest people."
Almost as funny, "two of the most smartest people" in the Hardball host's opinion are Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Monday's CBS This Morning brought on former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich to brush off the effect of French socialist Francois Hollande's election on the world economy, despite the immediate decline in global stock markets: "I don't think there's really much danger." Anchor Erica Hill had asked the pundit if there was "a danger in throwing off the French economy and the ripple effect that could have."
Charlie Rose identified Reich as merely a "former labor secretary" and omitted mentioning his former Clinton administration role, along with his left-of-center ideology. The morning show also let the economist appear solo, without bringing on a conservative to appear opposite him during the segment.
George Will on Sunday marvelously told liberal economist Robert Reich something that many conservatives have been dying to say for years.
During a fascinating Right vs. Left debate on ABC's This Week, after Reich predictably pined for higher income tax rates to solve all that ails us, Will struck back with the line of the weekend, "You are a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS's Chris Wragge spotlighted a millionaire's bid to raise taxes on the rich on Thursday's Early Show, all the while omitting that his guest is a big money donor to liberal candidates like Al Franken and to Moveon.org. Wragge didn't bring on any opponents of higher taxes, nor did he play sound bites from them. Instead, he played three clips from proponents, including former Clinton aide Robert Reich.
Wragge and co-anchor Erica Hill trumpeted the "so-called patriotic millionaires [who] are begging Congress to raise their taxes" as they teased the segment three different times before it began. Hill did mention once that "they also spoke with a critic who said if they want to pay more, then they should make a contribution on their own, instead of raising taxes on all millionaires."
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, in a column appearing at Business Insider, says that we're heading in the direction of a "double-dip" -- and though he doesn't follow it with the word "recession," it's obvious he's not talking about an ice-cream cone. It's also obvious that he's less than pleased with the media spin that things are really okay.
Along the way, Reich had to go back to the mid-1930s, the era of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ongoing economic depression (at least as far as employment was concerned) to exemplify what a supposedly good recovery from an economic trauma looks. He was clearly desperate to avoid saying anything nice about the more historically relevant and objectively more impressive recovery and subsequent prosperity that occurred under Ronald Reagan. This is also true of the establishment press.
Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich wrote a truly nonsensical piece for the Huffington Post Tuesday ironically called "The Republicans' Big Lies About Jobs."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews must have loved this tripe and its sophomoric title for he invited the Berkeley professor on Wednesday's "Hardball" so that the pair could put on a clinic in liberal economic fantasy (video follows with partial transcript and oodles of commentary):
In an interview with former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Erica Hill wondered if higher gas prices in the wake of Mideast unrest were the result of some sort of fraud: "We've seen prices skyrocket....Is the public right to feel taken advantage of in some ways here, or even scammed?"
Even the liberal Reich didn't accept the premise: "Well look, a lot of this is supply and demand. The country can feel a certain sense of taken advantage of. But some of this is the demand that's coming from China. I mean, you have developing nations all over the world....And their oil needs are very high. And so they are also putting pressure on oil prices. It's not just the Middle East."
Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich made a couple of rather startling comments on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.
During the Roundtable segment, the devout liberal not only defended former governor Sarah Palin as a "realistic candidate" for president, but also questioned whether or not the government bailout of GM was necessary (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Martha Teichner promoted left-wing class warfare talking points from former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich: "[He] in a new book points out another ominous parallel between the Great Depression and the 'Great Recession,' its cause." Reich proclaimed: "More and more of the income that was generated by the economy went to people at the top." [Audio available here]
Teichner worked to bolster Reich's argument: "In the last century, there were only two years, in 1928 just before the great crash, and then again in 2007, during which the richest 1% were taking home nearly a quarter of the entire income of the nation." Reich continued his assault on upper income earners: "Last year, when most Americans were suffering, the top 25 hedge fund managers each earned $1 billion. A billion dollars would pay the salaries of something like 20,000 teachers."
Again, Teichner made sure to back up Reich's assertions: "That wage inequality, Reich argues, is at the heart of our economic woes. And to fix things, we need to pay those teachers and the rest of the middle class more, not less, so they can spend enough to kick-start the economy. And yes, that means higher taxes for the rich."
Bill Maher on Friday said Barack Obama's problem is "he's only half black." He'd be a better president "if he was fully black."
In the season premiere of HBO's "Real Time," while chatting with former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich, the host said, "Isn't Obama's big problem is that he does everything half-assed? Maybe it's because he's only half black."
Maher continued, "If he was fully black, I'm telling you, he would be a better president."
As if that wasn't enough, "There's a white man in him holding him back because everything is half-assed" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
Can you imagine what would happen to the economy if top wage earners were taxed at 70 to 90 percent?
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich can, and he thinks it's a great idea.
To be sure, many Americans were concerned that giving Democrats control of the executive and legislative branches of our government during an economic crisis could usher back in socialist tendencies first seen in this nation during the Depression.
Fears of such a leftward shift sparked a new powerful movement called the Tea Party.
With this in mind, Reich's op-ed "How to End the Great Recession" published in Friday's New York Times validates these concerns:
Robert Reich on Sunday falsely accused former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of saying Muslims are like Nazis.
As NewsBusters reported last Monday, Gingrich was quoted by the New York Times as saying that building a mosque at Ground Zero "would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum."
Gingrich elaborated on "Fox & Friends" that very morning:
Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.
Unfortunately during the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week," Reich claimed without challenge that Gingrich said, "Muslims are like Nazis" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
Nothing ruins my Sunday more than a pundit defending his or her politician by completely misrepresenting a law and nobody on the program in question bothering to challenge the falsehood.
Such happened on the recent installment of ABC's "This Week" when Democrat strategist Donna Brazile said of President Obama's pathetic response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, "The administration has been constrained by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which basically gives the responsible party the lead role in trying to not only fix the problem, but contain the problem."
Well, why don't we look at the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and see if Brazile was right (video and transcript follow with details about this law and commentary):
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Drew Griffin pressed former Clinton administration official Robert Reich on his call for a federal takeover of BP and its efforts against the Gulf oil leak. Griffin first questioned Reich if his proposal was serious, and later stated that the Democrat's idea "sounds not only highly illegal...but seems to me to smack of something that we might see in Venezuela" [audio clips available here].
The CNN personality, who was filling in for anchor Rick Sanchez, brought on the current University of California, Berkeley professor to discuss his proposal, which he first made in a May 31 column (as noted by Jeff Poor at MRC's Business and Media Institute). After summarizing Reich's position, that it was "time for the government to seize control of BP and take over the company's oil spill recovery efforts in the Gulf," Griffin bluntly asked the former labor secretary, "I've got to tell you, I have always considered you a very serious person, but this doesn't sound serious to me at all. Are you serious about this, or was this some kind of a joke to get things going?"
If you think government has all the answers, you'll certainly approve of this call.
Former Clinton Secretary of Labor and CNBC contributor Robert Reich has determined it's time for President Barack Obama to seize the reigns of control from BP (NYSE:BP) and put the North American operations of the company into a "temporary receivership." He told host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on CNBC's June 1 broadcast of "Closing Bell" that the government was the only entity remaining capable of determining if the oil giant was properly utilizing its resources to contain a spill that has been going on since mid-April.
"Well, Michelle, it is temporary," Reich said. "And the government merely takes over the North America operations, the subsidiary, in order to make sure the public is getting the right information, in order to make sure that risks and benefits are being weighed properly - still using the expertise and intelligence of BP. I think, in fact in many ways BP would want some relief and might even appreciate that direct kind of ownership."
Former Clinton operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos interviewed former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Friday's Good Morning America and wondered what more the government can do to bring down unemployment.
After business reporter Suzy Welch highlighted the plight of states with high unemployment having to layoff teachers, Stephanopoulos advocated, "Suzy, that would mean more stimulus, more aid to state and local governments. Can you buy that?"
Talking to his former colleague, Reich, the anchor wondered, "So, the big question is, what more, if anything, does the government need to do about [unemployment]?"
For the second week in a row George Will gave a much-needed education to one of the media's most beloved liberal economists.
During the Roundtable segment of Sunday's "This Week," Berkeley professor Robert Reich falsely claimed health insurance companies are exhibiting huge profits: "That is money directly out of the pockets of Americans."
Will countered, "[C]onfiscate all the profits of all the health insurance companies, with those profits you could finance our healthcare for 48 hours."
Reich arrogantly responded, "[R]ecipients of health insurance don't know what they are buying very often. Until there are common standards, minimal standards, then people are going to be taken."
This nicely set Will up to drive the ball out of the park, "There you have the premise of this legislation and the core of today's liberalism: the American people are such dopes they can't be counted upon to buy their own insurance" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
Robert Reich must have nightmares about Fox News. Shoot, he must have triple locks on his doors and sleep under his bed out of fear that Roger Ailes will come and take him away.
In a Monday column at Salon.com ("Is the President Panicking?"), Reich excoriated President Obama's proposed discretionary spending "freeze" -- a "freeze" that NewsBuster Julia Seymour noted fails to offset the spending proposals Obama brought up in his State of the Union speech -- for "invok(ing) memories of (Bill) Clinton's shift to the right in 1994," especially because "it could doom the recovery."
That was absurd enough, but in the process of recounting his fevered view of 1990s history, Bill Clinton's former Secretary of Labor threw in this whopper, revealing that for Reich, as Buffalo Springfield told us so many years ago in their 1960s hit song "For What It's Worth," paranoia really does strike deep:
In December 1994, Bill Clinton proposed a so-called middle-class bill of rights including more tax credits for families with children, expanded retirement accounts, and tax-deductible college tuition. Clinton had lost his battle for healthcare reform. Even worse, by that time the Dems had lost the House and Senate. Washington was riding a huge anti-incumbent wave. Right-wing populists were the ascendancy, with Newt Gingrich and Fox News leading the charge. Bill Clinton thought it desperately important to assure Americans he was on their side.