Katrina vanden Heuvel has a terrific op-ed out this week, calling for an end to the attacks and scapegoating we've seen of government employees, blaming them as being responsible for America's economic woes, and naturally that's exactly what we got more of when MSNBC's resident bigot-in-chief Pat Buchanan got to take his turn asking her questions about the article on this Tuesday's Morning Joe.
Buchanan trots out the tired "the government's too big" talking point and it was nice to see some push back against these ridiculous analogies, as she did here, for once. It's just too bad she didn't hit him for conflating what our politicians, their staffers and lobbyists are making who live around Washington D.C. and your average government worker across the country that vanden Heuvel was writing about in her column, like teachers, firefighters and policemen. They're not making the kind of salaries that Buchanan ridiculously pulled out of his hat in an attempt to try to paint all government workers as being overpaid.
Once vanden Heuvel started making some good points on our tax burden on the rich being too low and crony capitalism, Scarborough was more than happy to change the topic and put an end to the segment.
BUCHANAN: I want to ask my friend Katrina about government workers, because I grew up in D.C. … in D.C. now federal employees now make twice as much on average as the average American. D.C.'s unemployment level is five or six percent. Fairfax and Montgomery County, two of the richest counties in the United States. We now have twice as many government workers in America as manufacturing workers.
The country can't go on like that Katrina.
VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, you're talking about a race to the bottom Pat. I'm talking about a race to the top. We should have more manufacturing workers. We should have more workers in the private sector. Why take down government workers? And why not uplift... lift all boats should be lifted Pat. And I think the inequality in this country is an inequality that needs to be addressed in the total sense because this country is not broke.
It is the debate and the establishment consensus in this country that the economy is, that is broke. And in what you just said to me, is a broken idea... we need to bring down government workers in order to lift up the economy. We need to boost demand by doing (crosstalk).
BUCHANAN: It's too big Katrina.
VANDEN HEUVEL: What's too big?
BUCHANAN: The government is too large. It's gotten gigantic. It's why Europe is going under...
VANDEN HEUVEL: That is not...
BUCHANAN: …and it's why the United States is going under.
VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, what is not too big is that the tax burden of the very, very richest is the lowest it has been in maybe eight decades Pat. I think we need a radical rethinking, re-shifting of this country. Crony capitalism is not what this country is supposed to be about.
BUCHANAN: More money from the private sector to build up government? The government's too big Katrina.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I think you need both lifted up and both as we were talking about work hand in hand.
You can read Katrina's op-ed they were discussing here -- Stop bashing government workers.