Economist Austan Goolsbee Calls Out Fox Business Host For Pushing Right-Wing Spin On Tax Cuts

Goolsbee's Nuanced Fact-Checking Is A Great Example Of How Expert Input Can Improve Coverage Of The Economy

Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economics professor and former chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, called out Fox Business host Stuart Varney's suggestion that tax cuts, deregulation, and a return to trickle-down economics was the key to unleashing economic growth. Goolsbee was recently highlighted by Media Matters for being the only economist to discuss the economy during cable prime-time and Sunday news programming in the first quarter of 2016. From the April 25 edition of Fox Business's Varney & Co.:

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STUART VARNEY (HOST): Is there something wrong with lowering individual and corporate tax rates so that you give money back, and it gets right into private enterprise and stimulates the great engine of growth? I mean, what’s wrong with that?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: There's only one thing potentially wrong with that. Overall it doesn't -- it's not wrong, but if by doing so you choke off the money that you needed to make the investments that are critical to your future growing, then there is something majorly wrong with that. If you say, you know what let's do, let's cut spending on financial aid so people don't get education. We don't have money to spend on scientific research, we don't have money for infrastructure, then I think you've got problems.

VARNEY: Wait a second, what's wrong with cutting individual tax rates immediately and corporate tax rates immediately so you bring money into private enterprise immediately? I understand that you will probably raise the deficit in the very, very short run, but over the long run you would control it because you get growth in the economy and growth is the thing that we need more than anything else.

GOOLSBEE: You're sounding dangerously like you're coming back to the -- well these tax cuts are going to pay for themselves. Though, I like that you admitted that in the short run you know they would not pay for themselves.


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