Monday, April 8, 2013

Stephen Moore's Still A Hack

UPDATE:  The fine folks at Upworthy have the clip in question. Sadly, I don't know how to embed it, so just click it.

On Friday, Wall Street Journal columnist, and notable dumb person, Stephen Moore, graced the panel on Bill Maher's Real Time. Towards the end of the show, he got into an exchange with Maher and co-panelist, Sen. Bernie Sanders about corporate tax rates:

Sanders: One out of four corporations of America are not paying any taxes.

*cross talk*

Moore: We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, senator.

Sanders: No, we do not.

Moore: Yes we do. 35%. The Tax Foundation says the United States has the highest corporate tax rate.

Sanders: And who funds the Tax Foundation?

Maher: Whoa, whoa, whoa.


Moore: We have the highest tax rate!

Sanders: We have the highest nominal, not effective, that's the difference.What people really pay is the lowest. It's 12%...

 Maher: How much did General Electric pay? Zero! [Emphasis his]

It was at this point, a funny thing happened: Moore agreed with Maher!

Moore: That's why we gotta totally overhaul the corporate taxes. I've been on that for - we should have a flat tax.
Wait, what? Not too long ago Moore was complaining about taxes being absolutely draconian, and now he agrees that they're not in fact as high as he was stating? This apparent contradiction wasn't lost on Maher, who responded with a chuckle: "A second ago, we were paying the highest."

Moore then tried to save face by suggesting that "some" corporations get away with not paying any taxes, and that led to this exchange:

Sanders: One out of four, as a matter of fact.

Maher:  A lot of them. Over half of the biggest 500 corporations paid less than 11%.

Moore: Wait a minute. Can we agree if you have the highest corporate tax rate in the world...

Sanders: You don't!

Moore: ..and out tax collections are too low, there's a big problem with the system?

Wait, what? After making a deceptive argument, then getting called out on it, then agreeing with the rebuttal, Moore...goes back to his original deceptive argument? All this happened under 2 minutes!

Of course, Moore's been doing this sort of thing for years, so I shouldn't be surprised. I guess I just expect a bit more from WSJ hacks than I do from your average right wing hacks.


  1. Watched this too. I kinda thought Moore looked like he was searching for an exit.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I didn't see the segment, but it is possible to agree that both 1) the tax rate is too high (penalizing some companies without access to legions of tax specialists/lawyers) and that 2) paying 0% is too low, so we need to reform the tax code and close the loopholes being exploited. Then, everyone pays some "Goldilocks" middle rate, it's the SAME rate so it seems more equitable, and revenues actually increase.

  4. You know what will happen if we DO fix the tax code? (not that I'd count on it, too many accountants who need jobs) Small Businesses would not be burdened with higher tax rates than giant corporations! There might actually be more vigorous competition, as the corporations would have one less edge over the upstarts. (aw, now I'm just being delusional)

  5. The large corporations are the ones who create the most jobs. The more that they are taxed, the less money they will have to invest. Investing leads to hiring more people and lowering the unemployment rate. It is unfair that small businesses are forced to pay a higher rate, but in the long run they are not the ones who have a meaningful effect on lowering the unemployment rate. Many people think that the corporate tax code should be raised to reduce the "deficit", but they misinterpret what the deficit really means. Economist Paul Krugman explains the deficit in an article America would be worse off the corporate tax rate goes up because large corporations will have even less incentive to invest money and create jobs.

  6. "The large corporations are the ones who create the most jobs. The more that they are taxed, the less money they will have to invest. Investing leads to hiring more people"

    This is incorrect, large corporations have billions of dollars sitting around doing all kinds of nothing and the money will continue to do nothing even if you lowered the corporate tax rate to 0% across the board. Just because you now pay lower taxes you want to start hiring? I don't think so.

    Companies hire when they need to grow to meet demand. If you sell ipods for example and you have been selling 50 million over the last 18 months but expect to now sell 150 million in the next 6 months, then you hire more workers to meet that demand. No matter what the tax rate is, you want to hire because growth is profit regardless of the tax rate. 150 million ipods at $99 each, assuming a profit of $15 is 2.25 billion in profit. Assuming paying proper tax rates cuts into that even as much as 50%
    still leaves 1.25 billion in profit. To think that a company will refuse to hire, and simply give up the 1.25 billion in profit because they would be too burdened by taxes ignores common sense, practical business sense and basic human greed. If a company can get 1.25 billion in profits for the mere price of actually paying taxes, you bet they will be willing to do so.

    Supply side economics and trickle down economics only work if enforced, and we do not enforce the concepts. Nothing trickles down and there are plenty of warehouses full of stuff not getting bought because the middle class had reverted to working class and can't afford extra spending.

  7. I'm not so sure about your large corporations; biggest employer comment.

  8. If I remember right, this was exactly what Romney was talking about fixing...

    Not saying anyone should have voted for the guy, just finding it funny that his policy on that is exactly what everyone seems to want.

  9. I bet stevie moore has health insurance...right...and would someone inform him that it is called "Affordable Care Act" when he calls It Obama Care...he says it in a insulting manner...I just wish he could live the life of an ordinary citizen for a week...instead of the effete snob he is...
    my Father insisted I call to college and he WAS NOT a snob...
    you right wingers are just envious of intelligence...
    you all sicken so glad im a senior citizen so I don't have to listen to people like S Moore much longer...
    you know what you can do with all your money...right?

  10. The presentation on this post is truly incompetent. Moore's point is that the high taxation threat--which is the highest, and which did not get answered as an argument--is higher than any other and so jeopardizes business. How blind are you? The reason a word like "effective" means anything here is because of the ability of corporations to move out of the hurricane of taxation and operate off-shores. The high tax rate is thus not only ineffective practically, it attempts to milk a dead cow. Wake up.