In the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Ben Stein plays an economics teacher, lecturing a bored-looking class about supply-side economics, as championed by President Ronald Reagan during the 1980’s. In real life, it turns out Stein isn’t much of a fan of that economic theory—blaming “the folly of supply side economics,” identifying the tax cuts of President George W. Bush, the ramped up spending of President Barack Obama and the “inflexible belief” of some Republicans that “low taxes were an American birthright,” Stein leveled criticism at just about everyone involved in the protracted debt ceiling fight. Stein blasted all of the key players during a commentary aired on CBS “Sunday Morning” this weekend but it’s not the first time he’s been critical of the resistance to tax increases, arguing that the richest Americans can afford to pay a little more in taxes. Plus, said the economist Stein on CBS, “That large cuts would yield higher government revenue…there never was any convincing data to back that up.” We hear directly from the self-identified conservative economist about why taxes should be increased, spending should be decreased and how the country’s political leadership missed a golden opportunity to make some tough but necessary decisions. Perhaps Uncle Sam can even win some of Ben Stein’s money if, as he has argued, we let those Bush tax cuts expire.
Ben Stein, actor, economist, lawyer, political commentator
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT; member of the Senate Committees on Budget, Veterans, Energy, Environment; Health, Labor & Pensions