Friday, July 16, 2010

Elephant always forgets

Is it senility or willful forgetting?

Ronald Reagan said that his tax cuts would reduce deficits, then presided over a near-tripling of federal debt. When Bill Clinton raised taxes on top incomes, conservatives predicted economic disaster; what actually followed was an economic boom and a remarkable swing from budget deficit to surplus. Then the Bush tax cuts came along, helping turn that surplus into a persistent deficit, even before the crash.
The evidence suggests that Republicans don't care about the size of the economy. They care about income inequality. Unlike Democrats, Republicans favor more inequality.

That way, their wealthy friends can feel yet greater self-esteem than already oozes out of their pores.


daniel noe said...

It's not senility; it's just a selective use of facts when giving a historical narrative. Both major parties do it.

According to republicans, Reagan's policies actually increased revenue to the gov, but the Democrats in the house started spending even more, raising the deficit. Then, Bush broke his "no new taxes" pledge and later Clinton was elected. Along with the Democrats in the house, spending, taxation, and the deficit rose. The public reacted by electing Republicans to the congress who aggressively opposed Clinton and kept spending down. Clinton, being smarter than your average politician, adapted and even took partial credit for the surplus at the end of his presidency. The second Bush, along with the Republicans in the house, raised spending yet again, leading to an even larger deficit. Some of this was because of the war and perhaps justified for some. Now the Democrats seem to be trying to outdo the Republicans on every front.

See, everyone has a selective reading of history.

lovable liberal said...

According to republicans, Reagan's policies actually increased revenue to the gov

Government revenue is steadily and consistently measured; the Republicans are simply wrong about this, but it's an article of faith for them, so they won't give it up. So they pretend their version of history happened, when it didn't.

The huge deficits Duhbya gave us came from the wars and the tax cuts. Again, the tax cuts measurably did not increase revenue, despite the GOP's have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too claims.

The clear verdict of the past century is that Democrats are better stewards of the economic health of the country. And, even more counter to the prevailing narrative, Democrats, not Republicans, pursue responsible fiscal policies. Don't ever trust a Republican to manage your government's finances. They refuse to do it.

daniel noe said...

That history shows Democrats are better with finances is far from clear.

lovable liberal said...

It's certainly true since 1980.