Thursday, April 14, 2011

Continuing to Tell The Big Lie - The Republi-con Marches On

Well Gentle Readers:

On the Republican side, the con goes on. Both John Boehner and Eric Cantor (not to forget Congressman Paul Ryan) continue to rail about the job destroying effects of President Obama's stated policy (in his speech last nite) to NOT extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Supply side economists of course (usually found only in the employ of the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute) continue to insist that such "tax increases" are highly stimulative. Regrettably, "big-lie" statements appear to be the preferred truffles of the Republican party these days (but then, if you consistently advocate for the wealthiest among us, while consistently eschewing any need for safety nets for the poorest among us - while insisting on treating your empoverishing policies toward low-income earners as a sign of your greater Christian morality - it's clear that your interest is in truffle eaters..not those who eat cabbage and beans.

Such statements however ignore some interesting facts. For example, the highly respected CBO analyzed a wide variety of economic stimulus options and found that the tax cuts for the wealthy (see ) were in fact minimally stimulative (in terms of Gross Domestic Product). That is, for each dollar in budgetary cost incurred, this policy would have returned 40 cents on the dollar (while the extension of unemployment benefits would have returned about $1.90). Still, the Republicans preferred the truffles.

Instead of hewing to a theoretical (or if you prefer, an ideological argument), lets look at the actual growth in jobs and income after the Clinton tax increases and the Bush tax cuts respectively. As the Center for American Progress points out clearly in their discussion of tax cuts (see ) the empirical evidence is strong. Real GDP growth was 26% under Clinton's increased tax rates, and 16% under Bush's tax cuts for the rich. The changes in median income were profoundly different. Under Clinton, median household income went from $45,839 in 1993 to $ 52,587 in 1999 - a 14.7 percent increase. Under Bush's tax cuts, real income went from $51,356 in 2001 to $52,163 - an increase of 1.6%. In short, the actual evidence here is damning.

The good news is that for the first time in office Obama actually availed himself of the "bully pulpit." Amazing!!! I was beginning to believe that certain bodily organs had permanently left for warmer climes....

Will Van Horne

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