American Morning

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November 8th, 2010
08:40 AM ET

Kristof: 'We have so much inequality that it suppresses economic growth'

Obama and Congressional Democrats were talking a lot over the weekend about whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for America’s highest earners. Much of the discussion is over the budget and deficit, but New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says they’re missing something.

Kristof joined Kiran Chetry this morning to talk about what he says the leaders aren’t talking about—the gap between the rich and the poor.

He explains why it’s a crucial part of the discussion.

For more, check out his column from this Sunday's Times.

Filed under: American Morning • Politics • Tax cuts
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Julieann

    One thing I am so glad for, at least people are paying somewhat attention to voting and the results. For years, I stood alone, people telling me their votes never counted, and they will do what they like anyway. This has changed.
    I found rich people that I know (and could have chose that life by marriage), they care more about money and impressing their friends, than their own family. Man making over 8 million a year, and for 7 years that I knew of never paid a dime taxes. He claimed loss. He worn clothes from the 70's and kinda flaunted his poor attire as he could get away with this being so rich. Old couch old car, and, he sponged off people when he traveled. The kicker came when I found he only gave his kids and their family a total of $200 for Chirstmas. When his only grandson had a birthday, he bought a 2.99 cartoon video, until I made him buy the kid an electric car. Yes, he says he needs the tax breaks pledged by his republican freinds, He hires only green card and otherwise people to work, because he gets subsidized for hiring them. He does not have to pay any health insurance on them because they all recieve free housing food stamps, education, baby sitters free health care, dental, etc. He could work them 10 12 hours a day rain or shine, no overtime, no unemployment. Tremendous amount of his friends and tons of brethern did the same.
    The gap between the rich and poor is conscience. Yes, being in business for decades, I could have chosen to do the same, but, when I saw these poor dang people coming into my business, I treated them like they might be an angel from God testing me. So many stories of pain bled me dry, but I always paid my bills.
    I found rich people piss away more money on botox, and improvement surgeries, some dang purse that could have fed a small country. But in their personal life many of them treat their families like ,
    The only thing conservative about a Republicans is spending someone else's money taking advantage of every tax break they can get and locate all these subsidises, free money things. I got an inside view of things for many years. I chose, I would rather struggle and be poor smuck, than an out and out crook..
    Is there a gap

    November 9, 2010 at 3:49 am |
  2. hoeltuy

    Nick D Kristof takes a very reasonable stance here. He puts the issue in context, he doesn't simply say that he's unquestionably right.

    November 9, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  3. Johnny

    for those of us out there who are the morons who put republicans back in charge...this is what i want you to take away from the bush tax cuts and extending them for everyone. Let's make this simple.....across the board tax cuts sound good...they FEEL good...but we will use an example of someone making 20K a year and someone making $1 Million a year....if I am making 20K a year and have to pay an additional 4% in taxes, that comes out to $800 a year, but if I am making a million a year, 4% is 40K in tax me unfair, but I dont feel sorry for someone who gets to save double in taxes what I make in a year. And dont give me this crap that they need that extra 40K...they are not spending it....they are saving it or investing doesnt get put back into the economy.....we are talking about a million a year people....this person still has 960K to work with...woe is me, but I cant feel bad for them because they have problems paying the mortgage on their fourth or fifth home when I cannot even afford one....

    November 8, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  4. reggie523

    Feed the BIG FAT PIG....the pigs should invest in us small neighborhood biz folk. Hell i could even hire folks...

    November 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  5. Lou Danner

    People in the us need to understand that no one deserves tax breaks. Less taxes mean less social programs. So we need to make a move and stand strong behind one not try and do both.

    November 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  6. Ralph

    Kristof is spot on. Aren't facts fun? The Republicans have been redistributing the wealth for 30 years. Now the top 2% have most of it. If that wasn't bad enough, the Repugs want to strip away most of the social safety net. Let them eat cake.

    November 8, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  7. Steve Hula

    Unfortunately, a large portion of the tax cuts go to benefit wealthy business owners who out source jobs to other countries ...

    November 8, 2010 at 9:59 am |