Arianna Huffington Comes Out in Favor of Flat Tax -- for Greece
Sometimes even the seemingly most unreasonable characters as far public policy goes can be reasoned with if the circumstances are right. Just sometimes it takes someone like Steve Forbes to pull it off.
On the June 14 broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Forbes explained that a flat tax might be the medicine that
“Well, when you engage in binge spending and the idea that going to revive an economy, you just get in a spiral on that,” Forbes explained. “In terms of countries like Greece what should be done, in addition to the necessary austerity, is they haven't put in place policies, Joe that we did in the early '80s that enabled this country to get back on its feet.
Forbes alluded to the bounce back
“For example, one thing
“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough expressed concern that belt-tightening measures may inhibit an economic recovery. But that isn’t the case according to Forbes, if the recipe is right.
“No, if you combine it with these other pro-growth measures,” Forbes said. “For example, we have enormous tax increases coming in this country. Don't do it. In
Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington, also a guest on “Morning Joe,” said she’d be in favor of a Forbes-style flat tax, in
“Well, there’s something to be said for the flat tax in
However, Huffington explained that she thought the real problem wasn’t tax rates, but high unemployment, similar to what the
“But to prevent what happened to Greece from what happened in America, surely Steve, you must agree that the kind of unemployment we are facing right now – 26 million people out of work, either no job at all or under-employed or too discouraged to look for work – is not sustainable,” she continued. “I mean the kind of fear and anxiety that is seen around the country is leading to violence in many areas. So, how do we deal with that when retail spending is down? When consumer spending is down? Doesn't the government have a role here?”
But rather than government being pro-active, as Huffington suggested, government should get out of the way to allow for business to expand Forbes explained.
“Well, the government has a role to provide an environment that makes it possible for a business to grow and hire,” Forbes replied. “For example, this new tax bill that the Senate may pass is going to be very, very onerous on small businesses. Stop it. Stabilize the dollar so you get small business lending again. So you create the environment and entrepreneurs will step in. But right now everybody is on the side with uncertainty. We saw it in the jobs report where businesses extended the workweek instead of hiring new people because of uncertainty. So if the government provides the right environment, this thing will snap back.”