Peter Morici

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  • MSNBC's Ali Velshi Outlines The "Built-In Unfairness" Of Trump's Tax Plan

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    MSNBC outlined the major problems in President Donald Trump's proposed tax cut plan, which drastically reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent while lowering personal tax rates for high-income individuals at expense of almost all tax deductions that benefit the middle class.

    On the April 27 edition of MSNBC's MSNBC Live, host Katy Tur discussed Trump's tax outline with correspondent Ali Velshi and conservative economist Peter Morici, outlining how the plan could greatly reduce the president's personal and business tax burden while saving the Trump family billions of dollars in future estate taxes. Velshi argued the proposed reductions in corporate tax rates and creation of a new income loophole for some contractors and business owners created "built-in unfairness" in the tax system. Morici added that Trump's plan would not assist the middle class and complained that the administration had only produced a one-page memo "with a lot of white space" despite having five months to craft substantial tax reform proposals:

    During the next hour of MSNBC Live, Velshi introduced another segment on the proposed tax cuts by noting that Trump is making "a frantic last push for what has eluded him in his first 100 days: a major legislative accomplishment." Joined by MSNBC contributor Charlie Sykes and Democratic strategist Steve McMahon, Velshi noted that "we don't actually know" what Trump's tax agenda is to which Sykes responded, "this is not a bill, it's basically a press release ... there is no meat to the substance." Sykes added that, while he leans toward conservative tax policy, he does not think "there is any rational way" to claim Trump's plan helps the middle class or can avoid "blow[ing] an enormous hole in the federal deficit." After Velshi detailed a laundry list of middle-class tax credits that "could go away" under the plan, McMahon highlighted that Trump's plan "is going to be an absolutely huge windfall for very wealthy people":

  • Fox Forwards Claim That Government Seeks "Retribution" In S&P Lawsuit

    ››› ››› ALBERT KLEINE & ALAN PYKE

    Multiple Fox News personalities have suggested the Justice Department's lawsuit against Standard & Poor's is 'political retribution,' either papering over or outright ignoring the facts behind the suit. However, the S&P investigation began well before U.S. credit was downgraded, and a raft of internal emails suggest the company may have knowingly inflated securities ratings.

  • On Fox, Morici Uses Debunked Labor Force Claim To Attack Obama's Job Record

    Blog ››› ››› THOMAS BISHOP

    Frequent Fox News guest Peter Morici claimed that President Obama's "most effective jobs program" has been convincing job seekers to stop looking for work or settle for part-time work. But the president's policies have created millions of jobs, and economists have found that there are other reasons besides the economy that the labor participation rate has declined.

    After the release of the January 4 unemployment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Morici used a FoxNews.com op-ed to attack Obama's economic record. He wrote that if the labor force participation rate was the same today as in the Great Depression, the unemployment rate would stand at 9.7 percent. Morici also claimed:

    "Convincing millions of Americans they don't want a job or compelling desperate workers to settle for part time work has been the Obama administration's most effective jobs program."

    In fact, prominent economists have found that the labor participation rate is "right about where it should be." The Washington Post's Ezra Klein explained that the rate is not necessarily driven by economic conditions:

  • CBS Runs Error-Ridden Report On "New Solyndras"

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG & SHAUNA THEEL

    In a misleading segment painting a skewed picture of the Department of Energy's clean tech investments, CBS News' new morning show purported to reveal 11 "New Solyndras" -- companies CBS said "are having trouble" or "have filed for bankruptcy" after receiving federal assistance. But CBS only identified 7 companies and included some that did not actually get federal funds.

  • Media Uncritically Repeat Perry's Unrealistic Job Numbers

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Source: Chad TeerCiting a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil and gas industry trade group, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry claimed he could create over a million jobs by expanding domestic fossil fuel production. That estimate is based on highly dubious assumptions, but several news outlets have uncritically repeated it.

    Michael Levi, an energy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, did what so many news media outlets have proven unable or unwilling to do, and actually scrutinized API's numbers. He concluded that they are "unrealistic":

    The numbers that Perry and Romney are offering for job creation in the energy sector are unrealistic. They assume that they will be reversing deeply anti-industry Obama policies that don't actually exist (which is not to say that the Obama policies have no flaws), ignore real constraints at the state level, and don't fully account for market dynamics. Five hundred thousand is a reasonable upper limit for the number of jobs that a new policy might create by 2030, of which 130,000 or so might actually be in oil and gas. Taking into account market dynamics could lower those numbers further.

    The Washington Post also recently reported that that "only a third of the 1.4 million positions created would go to people working directly for the petroleum industry." API's job creation estimate includes "a seldom-used category known as 'induced jobs' that API says covers everything from valets to day-care providers, from librarians to rocket scientists," according to the Post. The article added that energy economist Philip Verleger said "The API is the best there is at lying with statistics."

    Yet according to a Nexis search, several news outlets simply repeated Rick Perry's claim that his energy plan could produce more than one million jobs.