Goolsbee on Tax Cuts for the Rich

Conference went well, will have updates as soon as all the final materials are online. But it did mean unplugging from the internet for a while (it feels like an eternity).

Some updates you probably have already seen today:  when Austan Goolsbee was appointed to the CEA Chair I wondered if his academic work on the lack of work disincentive for taxes on the rich would lead him to take a more active role in the tax cut debate. And sure enough, here he is with a new “White Board” feature from the White House.

I hope they do more like this. I’m always impressed when Goolsbee explains things; they should get him in front of even more people.  It’s really terrible that the Democrats couldn’t use this huge advantage where the correct policy matches the popular opinion to their benefit.

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4 Responses to Goolsbee on Tax Cuts for the Rich

  1. Ted K says:

    This is really terrific stuff. Goolsbee “rocks the mic”.

    This is where Goolsbee really has Summers beat, his people skills and communication skills are so much better than Larry Summers it’s not even funny. You know what my little fantasy is Mike??? That they will grab Laura D’Andrea Tyson to fill Goolsbee’s former post, and go ahead and let Goolsbee take Head of the National Economic Council permanently. This will never happen if for no other reason than I want it to happen. But I must have my little fantasies Mike. They keep me going.

    Alan Blinder is another guy who I think has heavy enough credentials that I am always baffled his name never gets thrown in the mix. Although I was pretty disappointed in Blinder’s shenanigans trying to “punk” deposit insurance, I basically still think that he is overall a good guy.

  2. Gabe T says:

    While I think the Republicans are complete hypocrites on this issue, this video is like watching something from 1984. Goolsbee’s use of the word “giving” and display of tax savings from the various proposals creates an impression that is completely disconnected from reality.

    The video portrays lower income people and government are “giving” $100,000 to the higher earners. Although the the facts (tax cut amounts) presented are true, there is zero money going from poor to rich. In fact there is zero money going from the government to the rich. The only “giving” taking place is the government taking less money from someone at threat of violence (income taxes). I guess the propaganda bosses in the White House approved this redefinition of “giving”. It should be helpful in reducing the number of words in use and simplifying the communication with the masses.

    The more accurate graph would show the amount of income tax money coming from those making less than $50k ($0) vs. the money coming from higher income brackets (all the rest). On this scale, the lower confiscation rate would seem very fair.

    • Phil G says:

      If you’re the sort of person who thinks taxes pay for services, then those taxes are money the rich would be giving to the poor in the form of services the government provides. If you think of taxes as a way to discourage demand and legitimize the currency, then I suppose you’re right — but in that scenario (and assuming I understand MMT, which is, admittedly, a dodgy proposition) all that money the rich are saving is causing the government to either run bigger deficits or tax the poor, thereby forcing them to “deficit spend.” (Unless our trade deficit inverts, which would be a pretty neat trick.) So if those tax cuts aren’t a “gift to the poor,” it’s because you’re all for full-speed-ahead deficit spending.

      To which I say: more power to you! I’d love to see the President or someone say “sure, we’ll cut your taxes, we’ll cut everyone’s taxes, it’s a great fiscal stimulus. We won’t cut spending, though, because taxes don’t really pay for that. We pay for that by printing money! It will even support our inflation targets, since we won’t get any of that until the private sector stops stuffing cash in their mattresses.”

      Wow, that felt liberating. Even if my understanding of MMT is dodgy, I might keep believing this way anyway. It’s like being a gold bug in reverse!

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