Expressing disbelief that a politician would deign to embrace a widely popular idea that could bring massive numbers of voters to the polls and drastically reduce inequality, President Donald Trump’s favorite show “Fox & Friends” ran a segment on Tuesday sliming Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) plan to guarantee every American a decent-paying job as a mere “vote-buying operation.”
“That’s what it is,” grumbled Fox News host Stuart Varney. “Fifteen dollars an hour, a government job with benefits guaranteed by the government.”
In addition to scoffing at Sanders’ desire to give unemployed Americans jobs and pay them decent wages, the “Fox & Friends” panel was particularly appalled by the idea that the rich might be required to pay a bit more in taxes to fund the program.
“Who’s going to pay for it?” asked host Steve Doocy.
“I’m sure it will be, ‘tax the rich because the rich because the rich will be paying their fair share,'” Varney said. “It’s a nonstarter.”
The “Fox & Friends” segment comes less than 24 hours after the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein reported that Sanders is planning to introduce a federal jobs guarantee that would “fund hundreds of projects throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure, caregiving, the environment, education, and other goals.”
“The plan’s authors envision millions of Americans getting hired under the proposal,” Stein noted.
Fox News panelists are hardly alone in opposing Sanders’ ambitious proposal, which polls “stunningly well” nationwide.
In an interview with the Post, Ernie Tedeschi, an economist who served in Obama’s Treasury Department, worried that the plan “would be extremely expensive.”
Progressives, however, argue that the idea is hardly radical or unprecedented, pointing to the New Deal’s public employment programs as evidence that federal job initiatives can be both extremely effective and a good investment.
“This is an opportunity for something transformative, beyond the tinkering we’ve been doing for the last 40 years, where all the productivity gains have gone to the elite of society,” Darrick Hamilton, an economist at the New School in New York, concluded in an interview with the Post.
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