Trickle-Down Economics and Other B.S.

[You’ve probably seen the photograph. It shows Ronald Reagan with a group of his associates in their Armani suits, holding drinks in their hands and doubled over in laughter. The word “Reaganomics” appears below the photo and below that the caption “We told them the wealth would trickle down.”]

Candidate Romney has proposed a tax plan that would continue and even expand the current tax breaks for the infamous 1% and increase taxes on the rest of us. The plan, which is phase two of Reaganomics and the equally infamous “trickle-down” theory, is designed to encourage the wealthy to invest their money and thereby create more jobs for those currently unemployed, thus enabling them to carry the tax burden which the wealthy prefer to transfer to others. In case we didn’t know that this is bogus economics, a recent story reveals that

The 2012 Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, from American Express Publishing and Harrison Group, finds that One Percenters are hoarding three times as much cash as they were two years ago. Their savings rate soared to 34 percent in the second quarter of 2012, up from 12 percent in 2007.

I couldn’t possibly improve on the careful and detailed analysis my blog-buddy did on the idiocy of Mitt Romney’s tax plan which pleases no one this side of the Tea Party (which may help explain Romney’s recent choice of a running mate).  But unless I am mistaken what this means is that the poor will get poorer and the rich will be more careful to protect their already obscene amounts of spare cash. We have already seen the gap between the rich and the poor widen annually since the Reagan presidency as the rich continue to hide behind their tax breaks and subsidies and the poor continue to struggle to put food on the table. The notion that the rich will expand their companies, invest, and create jobs is tissue paper-thin: it is a myth exploded by downsizing and outsourcing — and information like that in the article quoted above. Indeed, there are a number of myths out there in this election year — some coming at us from the right and others coming at us from the left. We must be on guard. But above all, we must think through all the empty promises and vapid bromides to the real truth that lies hidden beneath — if there is any.

Anyone who tells us that he has a “secret plan” to restore health to the economy should be suspect. We should want to know the details; we should demand to know the details. Otherwise we are buying a pig in a poke. And anyone who tells us that the current tax breaks for the wealthy are a good thing, that the very rich should not pay their fair share of the tax burden, is shooting the bull. I have written about the need to rethink our take on taxes, how they do a great deal of good and should not be seen as simply a burden. But however we perceive taxes, we should all be asked to pay them, the rich as well as the not-so-rich.

In the end, the unperceived problem here is that the middle class, on whom this country has come to depend for its economic stability, is rapidly disappearing in the widening gap between the very rich and the growing number of poor. So more than ever before, we need to be aware of the wind-eggs that are afloat, especially in this election year. That is to say, we should read what is printed and listen to what is spoken with a considerable amount of skepticism: the people running for public office are coached to tell us what their marketing experts have told them we want to hear. It’s not about telling us the truth; it’s about getting elected — that’s pretty much all they know how to do.

12 thoughts on “Trickle-Down Economics and Other B.S.

  1. Great post! Trickle down has been a cruel joke played on the working stiffs of this country for over 100 years. Reagan and the Laffer curve were just one iteration of this folly.

    And I like your comment on the secret plan. This has been bugging me for a long time. Do we remember the last Presidential Candidate who had a “secret plan?” He also was a Republican. His secret plan, which he couldn’t share until we foolishly elected him, was how to get out of Viet Nam. Took him two administrations to implement his “plan.”

    I keep trying to come up with a rational explanation for these positions, for the soak the poor to send more to the rich mentality. I’m having difficulty believing in my heart that we as a nation have created these souls who can stand on a stage advocating what in the end is sheer, unmitigated greed. Is that whats really driving these guys? Do they truly believe that they did it solely themselves? That their success was only a result of their work, their smarts, their belief system, and no one else was involved? Not one other soul contributed? So therefor, its ok not only to be greedy, not only to not share, not only to not contribute to the well being of others, or to extend a helping hand occasionally, but it is ok to reach out and steal from others, because they are already poor, and whats a few less crumbs on their dinner table.

    And they claim to be humble christians. And they don’t see themselves as the money lenders in the temple. And the part of christianity that demands care for thy brother, applies only to their fellow 1 percenter brothers?

    Sorry for the rant, but these guys are more frightening by the day.

    • Rant any time you want! I tend to agree with you entirely. I continually wonder where on earth these people come from — and how they multiply! Thank for the visit!


  2. A wind-egg…I’ve never heard that one! Great post. I can’t help but believe that this is the only thing that is going to bring about change. The 99 percenters have to stand up at some point and do something about the inequality. I know there are a lot of road blocks in the way, but it seems like the only hope!!!

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