In a post yesterday, James chronicled the rampant cronyism which characterized the so-called fiscal cliff deal. This morning Arthur Brooks appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box and revealed some startling facts on the same topic. Here’s a partial transcript of the interview.
JOE KERNEN: The fiscal cliff fight’s over, a battle that is still looming large. Our guest host today is Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, author of “The Road to Freedom.” Arthur, I want to just start just quickly with you. OK, your point — and we were talking about it in welcome, it’s good to see you — out of the $62 billion, we’ve got a trillion dollar deficit, this raises how much in revenue? $62 billion or so?
BROOKS: About $62 billion a year, $620 billion over 10 years.
KERNEN: Your work is that $50 billion out of $62 billion is to corporate cronies?
BROOKS: Yeah, the first two years, $100 billion is going to corporate cronies, payoffs to corporate clients of the government effectively. And all kinds of crazy stuff: algae producers, rum producers.
KERNEN: Renewable crap.
BROOKS: Yeah, yeah. The wind guys that are a big deal with the Obama administration. Effectively what it means is that 80 percent of the new tax revenues are going right into the pocket of corporate cronies.
KERNEN: So people that call him a redistributionist, it just sounds good to him that he’s trying to help the — he always calls them ‘folks’ I think. Rich folks got to pay a little bit more —
BROOKS: To rich folks, to other rich folks.
KERNEN: But the rich folks are actually paying to other rich folks. Redistribution from the 2 percent to the corporate —
BROOKS: The corporate 1 percent. So it’s basically the rich makers are redistributed to the rich takers. That’s basically what Obamanomics is all about in a nutshell. That’s how it works. And he talks about redistributing to poor people and working people and helping people and all that.
Think about that. 80% of the new revenues that the government will collect as a result of the fiscal cliff deal will go to Obama’s wealthy corporate cronies. I wonder what Obama’s low-information voters, to whom I referred yesterday, would think of that. Brooks, Joe Kernen and the rest of the Squawk Box crew discuss a few other things as well, including how meaningless this fiscal cliff exercise was in terms of actual deficit reduction. Click the image below to watch. It’s eye-opening.