Robert Reich on The Daily Show
April 20, 2012 2 Comments
Robert Reich appeared on The Daily Show Thursday night, making much sense on taxes, government spending, and the influence of money.
REICH: Under Dwight Eisenhower, the highest marginal income tax rate was 91%. He was a Republican. He was a former general. And, you know, nobody accused him of being a communist or a socialist. And I’m not suggesting we go to 91%. I’m just saying, in those years, we had three decades after the second World War, the economy grew faster than it’s grown since and even after all the deductions and tax credits, people at the top were still taxed around 55, 56 percent.
On government spending.
REICH: Big corporations in those days were much more American. Now they are global. So if we don’t have a government that is investing in our people, in education, in job skills, in infrastructure, in public transportation, in basic research and development — in all the things we need government to do, we can’t expect the big corporations are going to do it.
On the influence of money.
REICH: Even the Democrats are pretty dependent on some of those same sources: Wall Street, and big corporations, and to some extent what’s left of labor unions — not much, but they have labor unions — so where are the people, and who is representing you, and me?
STEWART: I’m rich, actually.
One opportunity that progressives have is to point out just how out-of-sync conservative values are with the America that followed World War II. Rich people not paying taxes should be framed as an issue of patriotism (which it is) and investing in America should be seen as an issue of patriotism (which it is) and big corporations not investing in America should be framed as an issue of patriotism (which it is).
Sadly, it’s hard to imagine a liberal such as Reich getting a top position in the Obama Administration.