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