Glenn Beck hosted an unusual show on Tuesday night, devoting large segments of the program not to personal sermonizing, but instead to hearing from two different experts with very different takes on the economy. Those two experts were economists Art Laffer and Richard Duncan, who managed to both take a very pessimistic view of where the economy currently is, while also offering diametrically opposed suggestions for how to improve it.
Broadly speaking, Duncan approached the issue from the Left, while Laffer approached it from the Right. However, those two descriptions don't actually do the full clash of ideologies justice. Duncan argued that the choice of options for the United States government was threefold, and that policymakers could either 1) Revert to a balanced budget, which would contract the economy all the way into a depression, 2) Keep spending at the current rates and go bankrupt and hit a recession in 5-10 years, or 3) Keep spending at current rates, but use the money to invest in up-and-coming technology, rather than to pay off cronies or create shovel-ready jobs. Duncan favored the third approach, as you'll see in the following video:
Laffer, meanwhile, was pushing for an approach that can pretty much be described as down-the-line conservative movement orthodoxy, arguing for a flat tax rate, low levels of regulation, sound money and free trade. He also dismissed Duncan's approach as a failure to do math, claiming that Duncan's usage of accounting based on the Gross National Product (GNP), rather than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was flawed. Hear him make his case below:
Beck seemed to side with Laffer, but let Duncan make his case and pitched his book respectfully at the end of the latter's segment. However, he did indicate what his own views are regarding the economic crisis in a solo segment talking about the prospect of America's credit rating agencies being taken over by the Federal government. Listen to Beck explain this menace here:
"This is putting a crack addict in charge of the crack factory. It's like putting Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in charge of bank security," Beck said. "It won't work; it's crazy! Progressives are seizing power, and November 6th is the point of no return."