Monday, January 21, 2008

The Truth vs. Reaganomics

It's a political strategy.... ".... people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it."

This is a part of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services description of Adolf Hitler's psychological profile. His methods were very effective, his repetitive-propaganda machine always in high gear.... people will believe that which is continually advocated if it isn't vigorously challenged.

There can be little doubt that the American public is being propagandized on all sides about Reaganomics and the joys of cutting taxes as a way to grow the economy.

Just listen to the GOP presidential candidates jostling to claim the Reagan mantle.... even Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama recently praised Reagan's presidency.

How about a reality check. Paul Krugman tries in his opinion piece, "Debunking the Reagan Myth." (NY Times)

Krugman points out that the GOP's rewriting of history never ends.... "That's why conservatives are still writing books denouncing F.D.R. and the New Deal; they understand that the way Americans perceive bygone eras, even eras from the seeming distant past, affects politics today."

Reaganomics failed.... just as the Reagan "trickle down" economics of the current Bush administration have failed, unless you are a CEO or belong to the country club set. With Reagan's credit-card economy in the early 1980s there was an initial boom, but then the bills came due.

"By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before - and the poverty rate had actually risen," Krugman points out. And the national debt had ballooned. This Reaganomics recession was the reason Bill Clinton captured the White House, and why he was reelected.

Understanding the fallacy of Reaganomics, Clinton declared in 1991 that.... "The Reagan-Bush years have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect."

Clinton turned the floundering economy around. Even the Bush administration's own Council of Economic Advisers dates the beginning of the economic boom to 1995, during Clinton's first term.

Yet, Republicans anxious to take credit for this resurgence will tell you ad nauseam that it was Reagan's 1981 tax cut that fueled these positive economic developments 14 years later.

They have repeated this economic lie so often that they seem to believe it themselves, even as we are again experiencing the economic nightmare of Reaganomics from the Bush White House and Congress.... cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations and forget about balancing the budget.

Credit-card Reaganomics, thy name is RECESSION!

Obama shouldn't be opining that Reagan's ideas were dynamic, he should be pointing out the GOP's "big lie" that Reagan's ideas led to prosperity when in fact they failed!

Hopefully Obama isn't so bent on defeating Hillary Clinton at any cost that he allows, even seems to buy into, the Reagan myth rather than give Bill Clinton his due.

The overwhelming majority of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.... if Obama misses that train he won't get out of the station.... "It's the economy, stupid."


Anonymous said...

Lets not fail to mention that reagan destroyed the air-traffic controllers union and that all unions became timid impotent factors since his reign. this country was at its economic best when we made steel. The decline of the steel industry is what created this mess. to bad it took 30 years for the rest of the country to feel it.

Anonymous said...

Credit cards are the worst!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but just because nobody proves you wrong, it doesn't necessarily mean you're right. It could mean that your ideas are so ridiculous that nobody really cares to bother.

The idea of Reaganomics, in theory, works. However, Reagan failed to cut government spending as originally planned. We had the Cold War - an arms race. He increased defense spending when he was supposed to lower it. This ultimately led to debt. You cannot say supply-side economics doesn't work until you try it, as intended.

Please let me remind you that Republicans took over Congress in 1994. This could have also lead to the economic boom of 1995. Your views are so narrow-minded. Try to be a little less biased.

Furthermore, to comment on "Anonymous'" comment, Air Traffic Controllers work for the government. Reagan is their boss. Any boss can/should be able to fire their workers. ESPECIALLY when they go on strike. He has to have someone to do the work - why pay the people who wont work?

- Economics Major in College and Future Air Traffic Controller

Truth Hunter said...

Dear Economics Major.... You say that Reaganomics works in theory, but "supply-side economics" didn't work because it wasn't tried as intended.

Well, Bush put that theory into practice and nearly destroyed our economy. He cut taxes, big time. He didn't fund the wars (they were off-budget) that "supply-sided" the military-industrical complex. He put into place the budget-busting boondoggle that "supply-sided" the drug and insurance industries.

If anything is "narrow minded" it is the GOP/Tea Party's obsession with making Obama a one-termer by obstructing all progress on the economy.

Obama's biggest failing, IMHO, is that he failed to recognize that compromise wasn't possible with the current GOP spoilers bent on taking him down at any cost.

I'll be interested to hear your opinion after you graduate and get some real-world experience as an Air Traffic Controller. It's a tough job and you may find you need some organized help to give you decent working conditions.