When Donald Trump presented his team of economic advisors to the world, one thing stood out immediately to observers — it was very white and very male. Exclusively white and male in fact. In response to criticism that the team looked like an affirmative action plan for middle-aged male caucasians, Trump decided to expand it, adding eight women to the mix.
One of those eight women is Betsy McCaughey. McCaughey was one of the reasons Hillary Clinton’s health care plan was torpedoed in 1993. But her real fame came from her opposition to the Affordable Care Act, being credited as the person who along with Sarah Palin popularized the term “death panels.” Her statements about death panels earned her a “Pants On Fire” rating from Politifact. The fact-checking website later gave the claim their award for “Lie Of The Year.”
McCaughey, now a columnist for the New York Post, has made a career of attacking the health care law in right-wing media. Thanks to her many lies and distortions about the law, Media Matters has given her the title of “serial misinformer.” And in 2014, she resigned her position on the board of a medical device company after being confronted with her lies by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. The company claims she submitted her resignation voluntarily.
What are McCaughey’s qualifications to be an economic advisor? That’s a good question. Her own web page describes her as a “constitutional scholar” and a “public policy expert.” There is nothing in her education or prior experience that suggests she is qualified to provide advice on economic issues. But she is already weighing in on behalf of her new boss.
On August 9, McCaughey penned an editorial that appeared on Investors Business Daily, in which she offered no new ideas. Instead, she chose to repeat the tired and misleading claim that the U.S. corporate tax rate needs to be cut to spur business growth. While it is true the U.S. nominal tax rate is high compared to much of the world, the actual rate paid by most corporations is much lower. To support her claim that our tax rate is hampering growth, McCaughey points to a Wikipedia article on the GDP of various countries. Yes, Trump’s newest economic advisor seriously just used Wikipedia as a reference.
It just gets scarier by the day, doesn’t it?
Here’s a look back at Betsy McCaughey’s appearance with Jon Stewart from August 2009 (in two parts):
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images