Amanpour and Goodwin Cheer Higher Taxes and Increased 'Welfare State'

May 14th, 2020 5:30 PM

On Friday's Amanpour & Co. on PBS and CNN International, host Christiane Amanpour and former NBC presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin spoke favorably of higher taxes on the wealthy in the U.S. and the increased welfare state in Britain that came about post-World War II.

In spite of the problems with the UK's National Health Service which was one of the big programs that came after World War II, Amanpour alluded to the British "welfare state" that came from the war as if it were a positive accomplishment:



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Can I ask because I think another thing that's so important about World War II and what happened afterwards was that it did lead to massive social, political, economic change on both sides of the Atlantic.  Doris, you've written a lot and spoken a lot about the GI bill. Here in Britain it was the welfare state. Can I just ask you about the opportunities that came out of this crisis if you could just sort of tell us about that and whether you think the same might be true of coronavirus, Doris?

In her response, Goodwin spoke favorably of raising taxes on the wealthy:

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN: Well, my great hope is that when a country has been through something so damaging, so destructive, so changing in everyday habits together that they'll think about the changes that should have been made even before this. I mean, what the GI bill did, as you suggested, bought an entire generation of American working class people who would not have had the chance of a privilege of college. It gave first home loans to these people people so they became middle class. We had a progressive tax structure -- tax cuts-- tax increases on the wealthy so that the change of the country's middle class was able to not be a pyramidal structure.

Ironically, on her next show on Monday, Amanpour admitted that the coronavirus death rate is higher in the UK than in other European countries, but she did not implicate the state-run health system's handling of the crisis. Amanpour: "The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, is trying to ease the lockdown while mindful that the nation's infection and death rates are the highest in Europe."

As of Tuesday, May 12, the death toll in the United Kingdom stands at more than 40,000, or, in a country of about 67 million, a rate of about 60 deaths per 100,000 residents. By contrast, in the U.S., the death toll stands at about 82,000 in a country of 330 million, or 25 per 100,000 residents.