20/20 – John Stossel’s Give Me A Break

ABC’s 20/20 tonight was devoted entirely to John Stossel who was debunking lies, myths and downright stupidity while promoting his new book, Give Me A Break.

The 10 examples of lies, myths and downright stupidity that Stossel covered in the show are all listed a the link above. I have exerpted text from three of the myth segments because I have recently written about them or the people that were interviewed in the segment:

Myth No. 6 — Republicans Shrink the Government
Economist Stephen Moore, a Republican, says, “We fought a war against big government and you know what? Big government won.”

He noted, “You look at what’s happened to the government in the 10 years since the Republicans took control of Congress, the government is twice as big.”

Al Sharpton, democratic candidate for president, was interviewed for the following segment:

Myth No. 5 — The Rich Don’t Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes
According to presidential candidate Al Sharpton, “The top one percent in this country pays very much less than ten percent, very much less than five percent.”

Sharpton said he thinks the wealthy should pay “somewhere around 15 percent.”

But that’s so silly because — and I bet most of you don’t know this — the IRS says the richest 1 percent of taxpayers already pay 34 percent of all income taxes. Twice what Sharpton wanted them to pay.

Still you may feel the rich should pay even more. It’s a tempting thought, since they have so much.

But let’s remember the facts: the top 1 percent of Americans — those who earn more than about $300,000 a year — pay 34 percent, more than a third of all income taxes, and the top 5 percent, those making over $125,000, pay more than half.

Stossel’s report corroborated my previous post Ban Cars and Hands, Not Guns.

Myth No. 3 — Guns are Bad
America is notorious for its culture of gun violence. Guns sometimes do cause terrible harm, and many kids are killed every year in gun accidents. But public service announcements and news stories make it seem as if the accidents kill thousands of kids every year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, fewer than 100 kids 15 and under are killed in gun accidents every year. Of course that’s horrible, and I understand why demonstrators say we need more gun control.

But guess what? The Centers for Disease Control recently completed a review of studies of various types of gun control: background checks, waiting periods, bans on certain guns and ammunition. It could not document that these rules have reduced violent crime.

I haven’t read it, but Stossel’s book sounds like its worth reading.