Thomas Sowell writes about what he labels "the biggest lie in politics," that is, the constant accusation of "trickle-down economics" by leftists to smear opponents' economic policies.
Statists will mischaracterize their opponents' views as being, in the words of new New York mayor Bill de Blasio: "that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else." They will then attack this position that they completely conjured up in their own imagination as if they were having an actual debate.
While there have been all too many lies told in politics, most have some little tiny fraction of truth in them, to make them seem plausible. But the "trickle-down" lie is 100 percent lie.
It should win the contest both because of its purity — no contaminating speck of truth — and because of how many people have repeated it over the years, without any evidence being asked for or given.
Years ago, this column challenged anybody to quote any economist outside of an insane asylum who had ever advocated this "trickle-down" theory. Some readers said that somebody said that somebody else had advocated a "trickle-down" policy. But they could never name that somebody else and quote them.
Such "debate" tactics are all too frequent coming from the "progressives." Construct imaginary straw men to slay; then smear and name call these imaginary villains, then claim intellectual superiority. All this obfuscation by the left underscores the great lengths to which they will go in order to avoid the true nature of their political ideology, because they know any true, honest exchange in the marketplace of ideas will not end well for their collectivist and authoritarian vision for society.