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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ben Stein Tells the Truth on Fox News

Posted by on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I have no respect for Ben Stein. I watched his fucking anti-evolution documentary. He's an idiot. But like the old saying goes: Even a stopped clock can tell you it's hot if you put it in the oven at 450 degrees for a half an hour. Gawker noticed Stein telling the truth about taxes on Fox News today. Specifically, he said we have to raise taxes on the very wealthy if we want to be fiscally responsible:

I still don't have any respect for the man, but I do hope he got out of Fox's studios alive.


Comments (30) RSS

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NaFun 1
Dude's an economist, and hasn't forgotten the basics.
Posted by NaFun on October 18, 2012 at 4:55 PM · Report this
So did they let him out alive? With a severe beating for being uppity? What happened next?
Posted by jnonymous on October 18, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 3

He has a degree in economics, but Ben Stein is actually a lawyer.
Posted by keshmeshi on October 18, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Pick1 4
Posted by Pick1 on October 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM · Report this
@1 He was never an economist. And most economists completely disagree with him: not about the taxes, but about the spending. Cutting spending now to 'fix' the deficit will hurt the economy, not help it. It may actually make the deficit worse in the long run.

There's a nice experiment being run in Europe right now that demonstrates this nicely.
Posted by dirge on October 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 6
I don't care if he got out alive. The damage that piece of shit did to any kids who watched his anti-science documentary forfeited his right to personal safety in Fox studios.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 18, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
@5 The situation in Europe shows that a national economy based on government debt will eventually collapse. Sooner or later a country runs out of people to barrow money from.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on October 18, 2012 at 5:48 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 8
@7 and yet creating huge national debt has been a hallmark policy for Republicans for the past 50 years.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on October 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM · Report this
Ben Stein's father was an economist who worked for Nixon at one point.
Posted by palamedes on October 18, 2012 at 6:18 PM · Report this
badstone 10
@7 I thought that the situation in Europe proved that austerity harms prospects for a recovery
Posted by badstone on October 18, 2012 at 6:36 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 11
@ 9, Ben Stein himself wrote speeches for Nixon.

Well, his old game show on Comedy Central was fun, even if the prize money was paltry, even by pre-Who Wants to Be a Millionaire standards.
Posted by Matt from Denver on October 18, 2012 at 6:56 PM · Report this
Knat 12
ID proponents forfeit their place at the adult's table.
Posted by Knat on October 18, 2012 at 6:58 PM · Report this
I'm no economist, by several miles, but I don't see how you don't hurt the national economy, let alone help it, by reducing or eliminating people's disposable income. A guy who's struggling and depressed is not going to go out to spend money in the store. That means the people in the store lose their jobs, the people in the factories making the products not in demand lose theirs, and with more people out of work and without extra income, the problem just magnifies. This seems pretty straightforward and simple to me. You grow the economy from the middle and the bottom, not the top. And yet that's what Romney, Vampire of Companies, just can't wait to do.

Ben Stein's anti-evolution propaganda piece is worse than stupid - it's disingenuously dangerous, based on blind ideology rather than reason. It's the opposite of playing fair, in other words.

And yet... I can't help but like him, a little bit, on a personal level. Maybe it's the Ferris Bueller movie and Win Ben Stein's Money ("I shall do my best"), but he is clearly very, very smart (if blind in his ideology, for the most part) and he doesn't come off as a Romney Family jerk. The anti-tax, anti-government stance is required orthodoxy in today's Republican party, so the fact that he, a famous conservative, goes on the heart of conservative television and defies it, is very notable.
Posted by floater on October 18, 2012 at 6:59 PM · Report this
eclexia 14
This isn't a sudden revelation for Stein. He was writing columns about the problem of wealth disparity back in the Bush years, before the crash, long before Occupy.

But every time I think I'm about to like him, he goes off and jumps on the wrong side of a big issue.
Posted by eclexia on October 18, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
Daddy Love 15
Ben Stein can kiss my Democratic ass.
Posted by Daddy Love on October 18, 2012 at 8:17 PM · Report this
@8 The first George Bush cut military spending by 30% and raised rich people's taxes. This was good for the country but bad for his political career.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on October 18, 2012 at 8:18 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 17
You might want to check your history, Republicans have not had legislative, or executive control for 50 years.

But who cares about facts when you got partisan vitriol.

Not like both parties have already been bought and sold or anything.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on October 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 18
The Scientific American link that debunks Stein's moronic ID argument contained the following link in the sidebar;…

It's a 16th century "Urine Wheel" that graphically depicts the different urine colors & odors that were commonly used in diagnosing disease! Love science.
Posted by mikethehammer on October 18, 2012 at 8:44 PM · Report this
sirkowski 19
Posted by sirkowski on October 18, 2012 at 9:17 PM · Report this
@18 That's so awesome.
Posted by floater on October 18, 2012 at 10:19 PM · Report this
His dad wasn't just an economist, he was a very good economist. Krugman always has kind words to say about him.
Posted by minderbender on October 18, 2012 at 10:20 PM · Report this
@7, The Irish economy was first to enter the recession while government debt was comparatively small, i.e. private debt was the problem, not government debt. In most neoliberal economies, private debt is huge due to the housing bubble whereas welfare states have comparatively little private debt. Conservatives are trying to implement the shock doctrine so they never mention that what matters is the total asset-liability mismatch.…
Posted by anon1256 on October 18, 2012 at 10:25 PM · Report this
"Even a stopped clock can tell you it's hot if you put it in the oven at 450 degrees for a half an hour."

Not that this would have been a clever line *anyway*, but it's especially classy when talking about a Jewish man born during WW2.

Stay classy, Paul.
Posted by Cow on October 18, 2012 at 10:35 PM · Report this
venomlash 24
@17: Nitpicker, nitpicker, pick me a nit...
You're putting words in his mouth. He didn't say that they'd been successful in implementing those policies, just that they'd wanted to.
Posted by venomlash on October 18, 2012 at 10:55 PM · Report this
Ben Stein, the actor who plays an economist on TV thinks the government should raise taxes in order to pay off the national debt we are told we owe or we will suffer the fate of Greece or Argentina in the late 1990s?

Didn't Stein in 2007 say the economy was not in a recession and the subprime mortgage crisis would “blow over and the people who buy now, in due time, will be glad they did.”

Didn't he also dismissed fears of a credit crisis prior to Lehman Brothers going bankrupt, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac take over by the federal government, the AIG bail out by the Federal Reserve, and the rest of the destructive pile up following the global economic crisis beginning in September, 2008.

Ben Stein is an idiot. I think you Sloglodytes agree on more than you think.
Posted by Spindles on October 19, 2012 at 2:06 AM · Report this
I wouldn't make the mistake in saying Ben Stein is an idiot; come on, doesn't anyone remember Win Ben Stein's Money?

Seriously though, he is intelligent and shrewd. He is just also wrong. About most everything.

....You know what? I retract my argument.
Posted by DresdenWhite on October 19, 2012 at 6:03 AM · Report this
@22 Yeah, Denmark has one of the most socialist economies in Europe and that country has weathered the global financial crisis fairly well. Germany has one of the least socialist economies in Europe and the German economy is doing quite well. It's not big government that got the Greeks into trouble it's irresponsibly financed big government.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on October 19, 2012 at 6:43 AM · Report this
Big Matt G 28
@26) My friend won some of Ben Stein's money.
Posted by Big Matt G on October 19, 2012 at 7:11 AM · Report this
@1: He's a smart guy, but there's a reason why he went into acting rather than economics.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on October 19, 2012 at 8:32 AM · Report this
Is @23 a Godwin?
Posted by ishf on October 20, 2012 at 3:55 PM · Report this

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