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O’Reilly and Morris Mourn the Death of Trickle-Down Economics

Reported by Ellen - March 1, 2009 -

Guest blogged by Julie

Bill O’Reilly introduced Dick Morris (always disingenuously introduced as "former Clinton advisor") on Thursday night, February 26, 2009, for his reaction to Obama‘s “massive spending situation” (in FOX News-speak, to push the good old Republican trickle-down economics theory). Keep in mind, folks, as you read along, that Morris’ track record at predictions hasn’t always been spot on. In fact, he was named “worst pundit in America” by Mark Nickolas at the Huffington Post. O’Reilly's game plan seemed to be “let the other guy say the stupid stuff while I just sit here looking fair and balanced,” but at the end of the broadcast, he thanked Morris for his “straight talk.”

O’Reilly took one of his customary swipes at the liberal media, this time saying, “So . . . the most expensive government in the history of mankind . . . It’s money he can’t possibly get, right? Now, he knows it . . . We know it . . . The only people who don’t know it are the liberal press. Why -- NY Times, NBC, CBS, ABC, why won’t they tell the folks what we’re telling the folks?” Maybe, Bill, because the other media outlets work with FACTS.

Morris, working at giving Mark Nickolas some more fodder for his next “Worst Pundit in America” post, had this astounding explanation: “ . . . They [the liberal media] are not sincerely interested in ending the recession. He [Obama] is not #1 interested in ending the recession. That’s his #2 goal. His #1 goal is to expand government and pass his ideological agenda . . . .” Huh? So . . . That pesky little “ideological agenda” is not about ending the recession, or improving Americans’ lives, providing health insurance to the poor, allowing people to keep their homes, get or keep a job?

Morris, of course, never got around to mentioning that President Osama’s “ideological agenda” -- for the government to spend boldly and forego the trickle-down theory -- has won the approval of, oh, about 65% of the population at last polling.

Morris claimed that Obama sees rich people “as the enemy . . . as one great big cookie jar to take the cookies out of to pass on to everybody else.”

O’Reilly mournfully commented that the Reagan trickle-down is gone, and that Obama’s vision is taxing the rich.

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor to President Clinton and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, debunked the “rich will save us“ theme, saying, “ . . . the rich don't spend as much of their income as the middle class and the poor do -- after all, being rich means that you already have most of what you need. That's why the concentration of income at the top can lead to a big shortfall in overall demand and send the economy into a tailspin.”

Big shortfall in demand . . . Economy in a tailspin. I’m beginning to see a pattern here.

Similarly, United For A Fair Economy reports that “Trickle-down is largely a rationale for upward redistribution that’s been kept alive by those who benefit from it by paying less tax. Reagan put this stuff on the map, GW Bush brought it back with a vengeance . . . Overall, data from the past 50 years strongly refutes any arguments that cutting taxes for the richest Americans will improve the economic standing of the lower and middle classes or the nation as a whole . . . However, what this study does show is that any attempt to stimulate economic growth by cutting taxes for the rich will do nothing -- it hasn't worked over the past 50 years, so why would it work in the future? To put it simply and bluntly, Bush's top-bracket tax cut is an ineffective attempt at stimulus that will not cause any growth -- unless, of course, if you're talking about the size of the deficit.” But that side of the argument was never presented, despite FOX News’ “fair and balanced” motto.

Morris wrapped it up with a little wishful thinking in the Rush Limbaugh “I hope he fails” style. “If this country re-elects a Democratic congress in ‘10 they’re gonna get what they deserve. My bet is that none of this works, the economy goes from bad to worse, he makes a recession into a depression, and my bet is that you get a Republican congress in ‘10 that changes all of this.”

Considering Morris’ track record, this is a good omen both for the economy and for Democrats.