Earlier tonight moderator John Harwood, of CNBC and the New York Times, attacked Senator Marco Rubio’s tax plan on the grounds that it disproportionately benefited the top one percent of earners. Rubio insisted the premise of his question was wrong, but Harwood stuck to his guns. Here’s the exchange:
HARWOOD: Senator Rubio, 30 seconds to you.
The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale.
Since you’re the champion of Americans living paycheck-to- paycheck, don’t you have that backward?
RUBIO: No, that’s – you’re wrong. In fact, the largest after- tax gains is for the people at the lower end of the tax spectrum under my plan. And there’s a bunch of things my tax plan does to help them.
Number one, you have people in this country that…
HARWOOD: The Tax Foundation – just to be clear, they said the…
RUBIO: …you wrote a story on it, and you had to go back and correct it.
HARWOOD: No, I did not.
RUBIO: You did. No, you did.
Well, it turns out that Harwood did previously admit that the premise of his question was wrong on Twitter:
CORRECTING earlier tweet: Tax Foundation says Rubio benefits lowest 10% proportionally more (55.9) than top 1% (27.9%). Avg for all: 17.8%.
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 14, 2015
Further, the president of the Tax Foundation, the organization Harwood is citing, said Rubio was correct:
Rubio was right about his plan. Poor get larger tax benefit than the rich. #CNBCGOPdebatehttps://t.co/GOkJyYpdfw
— Scott A. Hodge (@scottahodge) October 29, 2015
There were some questions about whether or not Harwood, who tends to reflexively spout a lot of liberal opinions, was an appropriate debate moderator. Committing such a major error seems to justify those concerns. An error of this magnitude should have been corrected on air, espcially since CNBC seemed to have no trouble tracking down a quote from Donald Trump that vindicated the moderators when Trump disagreed with them.
This guy Harwood seems to be a major scumbag.