The argument that tax cuts to the wealthy will create jobs through a trickle-down effect doesn’t hold water. The Nation’s editor-in-chief Katrina vanden Heuvel debated Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity on CNN’s In the Arena where she debunked some of the myths the Republican party has propagated regarding the federal budget.

Asking the poorest in society to shoulder the spending cuts is a cruel take on balancing the budget that will be ineffective to boot, vanden Heuvel says. “The debate we are having in this country is so wrong-headed, so narrow… It’s not a deficit crisis or a debt crisis, it is what a majority of Americans say it is; a jobs crisis. Where’s the attention to that?”

In looking at recent fiscal history, President Bush’s and Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts—in trickle-down terms—did not increase jobs. But jobs were created after Bill Clinton’s tax increase, vanden Heuvel says.

—Sara Jerving