Former Reagan Official Blasts GOP: 'Dogmatic,' Relies on 'Fantasy'

News & Politics

Former right-wing economist Bruce Bartlett continued his crusade of debunking conservative economic arguments over the weekend when he appeared on MSNBC and lambasted right-wing ideas on taxes. Bartlett, who garnered attention last week for penning a devastating critique of conservative economic ideology and the GOP in The American Conservative, made his remarks Sunday on “Up W/ Chris Hayes.”

Bartlett appeared in a segment with Veronique de Rugy, a conservative economist, on the issue of taxes and revenue. De Rugy offered the usual conservative line that raising taxes on the rich would be bad for the economy. Bartlett, though, wasn’t having any of that.

Bartlett blasted Grover Norquist for his strict no taxes pledge that Republicans have signed on to, and pointed out that more taxes on the rich were needed. Bartlett’s reasoning was that if taxes don’t go up, and new revenue is not forthcoming, interest rates on the U.S. debt would go up, causing more spending without any any revenue to offset it.

He also called out de Rugy directly by saying her ideas were “dogmatic.”

“We need higher revenues, both to restrain spending and to change the dynamics of the fiscal process…Your idea is so goddamn dogmatic. You’re living in a fantasy world where we’re going to balance the budget by abolishing Medicare and other ludicrous ideas,” Bartlett said in response to De Rugy, as Think Progress notes. “Let me point out something very important. Federal revenues today, right now, are about 15.8 percent of the GDP. That is way, way below the historical average. If we can just get up to the post-war average, we cut $500 billion a year off the deficit.”

The line of reasoning Bartlett pursues aligns with the argument Democrats are making in the midst of discussions over the debt and the budget as January approaches, which is when automatic spending cuts and tax increases will go into effect. President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are pushing for higher tax rates on the wealthy as part of any long-term budget deal.

Watch Bartlett’s remarks here, courtesy of Think Progress:

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by