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Think Progress Misses Boat on GOP Senator’s “Crazy Reasoning”

-The article was originally published at The American Spectator.

On Wednesday afternoon, Center for American Progress reporter Scott Keyes reported on comments made by Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee. According to Keyes on Think Progress:

Cloaking his predilection for the rich as concern for the less fortunate, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) argued Wednesday that raising taxes on the wealthy would primarily hurt the poor. Lee’s comments came on former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s (R) radio show as the two discussed the looming fiscal showdown in Congress.

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This prospect, frequently repeated by conservatives, that raising taxes on the wealthy will decimate the economy and destroy job creation (and thus hurt the poor) is simply not supported by empirical evidence. As these three graphs show, the nation’s best GDP growth and job creation rate in the last 60 years actually occurred when the top marginal income tax rate was between 75 and 80 percent. The worst period for both measurements occurred when the top rate was 35 percent, as it stands today. In fact, job growth and gross domestic product has little, if any, correlation to the tax rate on wealthy Americans.

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Ezra Klein Misses Forest for Trees With Sequestration

-The article was originally published at The American Spectator and was co-authored with RJ Caster.

In a post published yesterday afternoon, Ezra Klein points readers to two graphs. The first relates to the sequestration cuts to defense. The second relates to cuts in non-defense discretionary spending. Klein’s analysis hits some excellent points, but he missed six key components of the debate over cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending.

First, Klein’s second graph shows analysis by the Economic Policy Institute on what the Ryan, Obama, and the Simpson-Bowles Commission aimed for in non-defense discretionary spending, as well as what President Obama’s April “framework” would do to such spending. Yet none of these expectations are actually going to become law. Certainly, neither the Ryan or Obama plans is going to get through the Senate and House, respectively, and the Simpson-Bowles recommendations never even became official.

Second, health care costs are the same problem for the military as they are for the general publicThis April 2010 USA Today article spells it out nicely:
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