Economist Joseph Stiglitz is hitting the media circuit to promote his new book. And as with any good book tour, he’s also throwing out a few political bombshells.
Primary example: Speaking to reporters in New York on Monday, the Nobel Prize-winner and former World Bank chief claimed that if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) is elected president in 2012, the risk of another recession will go up “significantly.”
“The Romney plan is going to slow down the economy, worsen the jobs deficit and significantly increase the likelihood of a recession,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.
Stiglitz went on to say that economic policies proposed by President Barack Obama and his challenger have “very big differences” because Obama views income inequality as a problem, whereas Romney does not.
Those two very different positions could mean the world to Americans in that Obama would attempt to address inequality with more progressive tax policies that levy higher rates on wealthy people, whereas Romney would accelerate inequality by lowering taxes on wealthy people and raising them on the poor.
Stiglitz’s characterization of Romney’s economic policies was recently supported by an analysis from The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, which found that reduced taxes on wealthy Americans, major spending cuts to social safety net programs and increased defense spending would have a disastrous effect on lower-income Americans. That effect will be especially pronounced among those who rely upon Social Security, which would have to be cut 59 percent by 2022 under Romney’s policies.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Stiglitz explained that Romney, like most Republicans, still adheres to the debunked principles of “trickle-down economics,” which he said encourages income inequality.
“[It] is based on the fallacy that inequality is good for economic growth, but again, the evidence is to the contrary,” he said. “Time and again, inequality has been shown to retard economic growth and promote instability. These are findings based on mainstream studies. Even the International Monetary Fund, not known for its radical economic stances, has come to recognize the adverse effects of inequality on economic performance.”
He added that income inequality also tends to encourage the most wealthy and influential to seek special protections from the government, which Stiglitz said has repeated itself throughout history. “Such rent-seeking behavior is a terribly inefficient use of resources: Rent-seekers don’t create value,” he said. “Rather, they use their privileged positions in markets to capture larger and larger portions of existing value. They distort the economy, lowering efficiency and economic growth.”
To begin addressing the problem of inequality, Stiglitz has recommended setting up “a fair tax system” that does not unfairly punish working people while giving the wealthy lower rates. President Obama has put several proposals on the table that would bring tax rates between the rich and poor more into line, but Republicans in Congress have consistently blocked progressive efforts to reform the tax code.
This video was broadcast by Bloomberg TV on Monday, June 4, 2012.
Photo: Screenshot via Bloomberg.com.
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019