On this week's Meet the Press, guest commentator Tavis Smiley made the following assertion:
Why couldn't somebody have said, why couldn't somebody have said very simply, to David's question, tax cuts for the rich and lucky are not the answer? That's what needed to be said, that's what was not said and that's why we're in this mess now.
This notion of tax cuts for the "wealthy" being a root cause, or even part of the problem we are currently facing is about as wrong headed as you'd expect from a someone with Tavis Smiley's financial creds. Problem is, he's not the only person who has made such an arbitrary connection. Here's a quote from President Obama's Budget Director, Peter Orzag:
We arrived at this point because of an era of profound irresponsibility. We threw fiscal caution to the wind and ran up trillions of dollars in debt by cutting taxes and ignoring "the deep, systemic problems" that are a drag on the economy.
Such indulgence in fantasy hasn't just been the domain of sycophantic journalists and members of Obama's cabinet. President Obama himself has made similar claims:
But as we've learned very clearly and conclusively over the last eight years, tax cuts alone can't solve all of our economic problems — especially tax cuts that are targeted to the wealthiest few Americans. We have tried that strategy, time and time again. And it's only helped lead us to the crisis we face right now.
While Bush was roundly blamed for tenuously connecting the 9/11 terror attacks to Saddam Hussein, Obama is making his own tenuous connections between the so-called Bush tax cuts, and the current economic crisis we are in. But Saddam Hussein had actually used his own WMDs previously and was known to fund terror. Bush's tenuous link between Saddam and Al Qaeda was considerably less of a stretch than Obama's linking tax cuts to the current crisis.
To be more specific, there is no link between cutting taxes, even those "targeted to the wealthiest few Americans" and the root cause of recessions. Or this recession. Yet, the media ignores such claims, neglects to challenge these incorrect assertions, and allows the President and his cabinet to continue with such statements without clarification. It's been repeated so often, that it's become conventional wisdom, or more accurately the lack thereof.