Saturday, March 10, 2018

The failure(s) of the Republican economic vision

On the federal level there is no evidence that "tax cuts pay for themselves" -- even Republicans like Bush Sr. know that it is "voodoo" economics. The "Reagan tax-cuts" were a result of some compromise and came when tax rates were considerably higher. There is, conversely, no evidence that higher tax rates dampen the economy; in fact, Clinton presided over a modest budget surplus in spite of somewhat higher tax rates.

There are, however, two notable examples where taxes have been drastically cut  at the state level. In both cases the result has been a disaster for the state's economy. 

I have discussed the case of Gov. Sam Brownback in a previous blog about Kansas: http://thatmansscope.blogspot.com/2017/06/an-important-story-in-kansas.html

The situation in Kansas was so bad that the conservative Republican legislature passed tax increases over Brownback's veto in order to keep the state from bankruptcy and preserve its basic transportation and education services.

Just recently, the New York Times featured an article on a similar disaster in Louisiana: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/opinion/louisiana-tax-cuts.html 

 This has not been resolved yet. The disaster of voodoo economics has been compounded by the usual Republican contempt for the environment, which has lead to terrible contamination throughout the state, especially chemicals along its bayous and oil along its Gulf coast.

The national Republican party tries to pretend that the tax cuts which it advocates are important to keep the federal government "under control". But even that is a phony since the same Republican party, at the state and local level, is constantly attacking any and all taxes. It would seem that their goal is to privatize everything: the schools, with the best ones for the rich; the roads on which the wealthy will pay for the best lanes; the water supplies and beaches and parks (the RMP -- the Rich Man's Party -- wants to use our national parklands for mining). They probably think that they can have private clean air and a private climate: if Scott Pruitt has his way.

The Republicans (not just their President), if left to their own devices, will make this country unlivable for all but their rich masters (the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson e.g.). We have the evidence in Kansas and Louisiana (above) and (Flint) Michigan and lots of other places. 

It is up to us to do the necessary job of alerting people to these "devices" and their failures. So far, the national Democrats have failed to publicize these well-documented results -- all they seem to do is attack Trump and his administration and ask for more money. That's why I don't contribute to their national "committees" but to individual candidates and groups such as Swing Left, ActionNetwork or MoveOn (there are other good ones -- especially on the local level).

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