Conservative Democratic senator Mark Warner is on the secretive Gang of Five—the three Dem and two Republican senators (Tom Coburn took a powder a few weeks ago) who are trying to cut a deal on the deficit in return for raising the debt ceiling. You must see this from today’s Morning Joe: Economist Jeffrey Sachs takes down Warner’s—and by extension, most corporate-friendly politicians’—fallacious argument that you can raise revenues by lowering tax rates for billionaires if only you close a few loopholes. And Sachs leaves no doubt about what he thinks of letting the top 2 percent run away with such an outlandish share of the American economy.
Sachs: These billionaires and multimillionaires have gotten away with the biggest increases of income and wealth in the history of this country, in the history of the world, since 1980. What are we talking about? Are they so fragile, so desperate that we need to get the billionaires’ top rates down? It’s outrageous.
Warner: We’re talking about trying to make sure they actually are paying close to…
Sachs: Make sure? Go after them! Make sure! This is what’s ridiculous—that we have to come beg them to pay their taxes?
Later in the clip, Sachs zaps the Simpson-Bowles commission as “filled with gimmicks” even as Warner repeats its formula of three dollars of cuts to one dollar of revenue as if that’s somehow a square deal. Warner is the sixth-richest congresscritter, with a reported net worth of between $65 million and $283 million.