Saturday, October 15, 2011
Case in point: Maher and the panel were arguing about taxes, the deficit, and government revenue. There was one reality-based person on the panel and two Republican ideologues. The reich-wingers were busy spouting the line about the incredible tax burden we all suffer under now, that the evil, evil tax-and-spend Democrats are crushing the economy with taxes, and that if both personal and corporate income taxes were rolled back to essentially nothing, all would be well. Maher, of course, countered with the truth: tax rates now are the lowest they've been in many, many decades. Inevitably, of course, at some point the holy name of St. Ronald of Reagan was invoked.
Maher was trying to make the point that tax rates were higher under Reagan than they are now. The reich wingers immediately started shouting about how government revenues were higher under Reagan and were going on and on and on about how this proved that Republican economic policies work. Lots of shouting, lots of people trying to talk over each other, and no one recognizing the obvious: there was more money coming in because the government was asking for it. Higher rates -- higher revenues. And the economy was humming along just fine, more or less. If higher tax rates under Reagan helped business, why would higher tax rates hurt business now?
I really shouldn't watch any of these shows where Republicans are given a chance to try to use a set of facts as proof of the exact opposite. It's too frustrating -- Maher was trying (he was pretty blunt in yelling Bullshit!), but when you've got two idiots yelling that Up is Down, Black is White, and shit can flow uphill, their volume drowns out the voice of reason pretty fast.