Rep. Kevin Brady isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, as he displays in this interview with Stephanie Ruhle this morning. But he does know how to spin.
"When it comes to monetary policy, that is on the Fed. I know you think the Biden administration is dropping the ball, they need to pay attention to inflation. What does the Fed need to do?" Ruhle asked.
"I think one, stop making things worse. They've really been in denial. I get frustrated with the Fed because I think they've been in big denial about the labor shortage for way too long, certainly about inflation. I think they're trying to sell this as transitory but it doesn't feel that way," he said.
She asked again what he wanted them to do.
"I think this tapering is a little bit of a help but they're still pushing Congress to go big on more stimulus spending and they're not addressing the labor shortage in any way. I get frustrated because covid isn't the problem with inflation or the labor shortage. That was already present in the economy in a bad way before the delta variant showed up, but in this new spending package, for example, beyond over a trillion dollars of crippling tax hikes, including on small businesses, there are a couple programs that actually discourage Americans from reconnecting to work. The new child tax credit will no longer be tied to earnings so it becomes a welfare program," he said.
(Wait, so that's why the Trump tax cuts extended it to the wealthy, and gave them a lot more than the poor?)
"Hold on a second. Why does that discourage people from going to work?" Ruhle said. "Here's an example. I can afford -- hold on. I can afford child care. It's very, very expensive in the United States, because I can afford child care, I can go to work. With the expanded child tax credit, people will be able to pay for child care in this country so they, in fact, can go out and work. If I'm only making minimum wage -- "
"Actually, they're not. Two new studies, one that shows the child tax credit for covid was spent mainly on retirement and savings, not a bad thing but not its intended purpose. (Editor's note: I'm not calling Brady a liar, but I couldn't find any such study. Instead, reports say about one-third of the money went into savings.)
"Secondly, it didn't reach nine of the ten poorest Americans who didn't -- who don't work, who don't have tax records, who don't know how to interact with the treasury and the irs, and so it even missed its mark there. Here's the challenge," Brady said.
"Hold on a second, sir. It didn't exclude those people. If those are people who don't currently file taxes, if they don't communicate with the IRS, it hasn't reached them yet. It's going to take some time to get the process to work. It's not that they were excluded," Ruhle said.
"Perhaps. But right now, nine out of ten are not getting help. Secondly, do we really, at a time we desperately need workers, are we smart to send about 1.5 million people exiting the workforce with the child tax credit no longer tied to earnings or work? This is not the time to be erecting barriers to reconnecting the jobless to a job, just the opposite," Brady said.
She retorted that it was always a good time to lift children out of poverty.
"Stephanie, it didn't. That's the point. It didn't lift it out of poverty. What did, though? The tax cuts and jobs act by Republicans lifted millions out of poverty within a year of being put in place and drove wages up to pay for child care, for example, among Hispanics, Blacks, women, disabled, in a way we didn't see at all the last time Joe Biden was in the Senate."
Sure, Jan! Go read this.
I mean, it's easier just to assume they're lying, but I do like to remind people what lying liars they are.