Robert Reich’s Top Seven Economic Lies—Now in Video!

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October 12, 2011; Source: Reader Supported News | Got two and a half minutes? Here’s a video of Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, expounding on the seven biggest economic lies in public discourse right now. As Reich says, “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.”

Don’t want to watch the video? No problem. According to Reich, here are the top seven economic whoppers:

  1. Tax cuts for the rich trickle down to everyone else. They don’t.
  2. Higher taxes on the rich would hurt the economy and slow job growth. It wouldn’t.
  3. Shrinking government generates more jobs. On the contrary.
  4. Cutting the budget deficit now is more important than boosting the economy. Exactly bass-ackwards.
  5. Medicare and Medicaid are the major drivers of budget deficits. Sorta, but the villain is health care costs, not the government programs themselves.
  6. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Nope. It’s solvent for the next 26 years. Extending that date would require smaller tweaks than were made to the program in any decade between the 1940s and 1980s. (We haven’t changed the program appreciably since the 1980s.)
  7. It's unfair that lower-income Americans don't pay income tax. Low-income Americans pay payroll tax, excise taxes, sales taxes in many states.

—Ruth McCambridge

  • Ken Knox

    It’s hard to believe anything that Reich says — he pontificates, writes, and has lived off the government, yet has not owned a business or had to meet a payroll. His experience in the private sector is non-existent so we all know that he advocates more government without having to hear him speak. His “myth” busters are all suspect.

  • Keith Oberg

    It’s sad to see the low level of discourse, that doesn’t address any of the seven points Reich makes, and contents itself with ad hominem attacks and tendentious and specious generalizations. I run a business and it doesn’t give me any special knowledge to question Reich’s assertions. One doesn’t have to run a business to study history and know that cutting govt. spending (e.g. 1937), especially on salaries, cuts jobs immediately, that Social Security whatever one’s opinion of it isn’t going bankrupt immediately, that low-income people do pay significant taxes. Simply labeling something “suspect” and saying nothing substantive is, to a rational mind, “suspect reasoning.”

  • Kelly Kleiman

    An ad hominem attack usually indicates the attacker’s inability to respond to the substance of what his opponent has said. That’s obviously the case here, when Reich is merely stating obvious and agreed-upon facts.