Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
It's been just over a month since the Wall Street Journal ran its misinformation hit piece claiming that Bernie Sanders' budget proposal would cost $18 trillion, and the Journal is back at it again.
This time it's Jason Riley who's criticizing Bernie's budget plan as being unrealistic and expensive, not to mention socialist.
In his opinion piece titled "Bernie Sanders and the Soak-the-Rich Myth," Riley writes "Bernie Sanders has been asserting [...] that pretty much every domestic problem, from aging infrastructure to student debt to teenage acne, could be solved by raising taxes high enough on the super rich."
Riley goes on to construct the rest of his, very flawed, argument based on this exchange between Senator Sanders and George Stephanopolous on Sunday.
Bernie went on to explain that guaranteeing paid family and medical leave would require a small increase in the payroll tax across the board.
And Riley is quick to write that that would mean a tax increase that would "hit" everyone.
But he completely ignores the fact that guaranteed paid sick and family leave would actually save many US workers money because they wouldn't be forfeiting wages whenever they take time off.
Riley goes on to broaden the scope of his piece, he criticizes Hillary for claiming that she would "make the wealthy pay," and then he writes: "[T]he irony is that liberals who want the federal government to secure more revenue for redistribution ought to favor a tax code that's less progressive. Time and again, history has shown that the rich pay more when the marginal rate is reduced."
The rest of his piece weaves a web of historical dreams, one where President Kennedy supported trickle-down economics and one where economic growth has anything to do with the top marginal tax rates.
He preempts any criticism of his history by writing, "The reason liberals find this history unpersuasive is because their soak-the-rich-rhetoric is more about politics than economics."
He goes on to accuse liberals of being too concerned with inequality and not concerned enough about growth.
And he's wrong. On pretty much every count.
The truth is that liberals, and anyone familiar with our country's economic history, find Riley's version of history unpersuasive because it's a complete distortion of reality.
It's well documented that the economy does best when the middle class does best.
In other words, the economy does well when economic inequality is low.