It has long been the case among the political punditry that when Republicans are trusted with the reigns of government that economic prosperity is sure to follow. Well it’s true that the greatest economic boom in American history began under the Eisenhower administration, nobody would ever accuse modern Republicans of being the party of Eisenhower.
Another popular myth among Republicans is that Ronald Reagan was responsible for some kind of economic prosperity during the 1980s and it is iterated with a frequency that induces nausea to those of us who remember the Reagan years and are not oblivious to the consequences of Reagan’s economic policy. During the 1980 campaign George HW Bush committed an almost unforgivable sin in republican circles by telling the truth about Reagan’s economic plan when he said, “this is voodoo economics.”
The economics he was talking about are the same tried and failed supply-side economic policies where the taxpayers give more money to rich people and eventually they get so much money that it trickles down to everyone else. But as we all know, that never happens. Reagan began his disastrous administration by giving the largest tax cut in American history until that point. Then he began spending money on space lasers and space platforms that he got from taking the Social Security trust fund cash and sticking it in the general fund.
Republicans have long hated the new deal economic policies that created the social security administration and they have steadfastly done everything imaginable to kill social security because it has been an overwhelming socialistic success. Nobody has ever done more to hurt the American people and destroy the Social Security Administration than Ronald Reagan. Social security has always been well funded, well run and an example of the government doing something very well and effective. Even St. Ronnie told republicans that Social Security did not add one cent to the deficit. Because Republicans hate government and prove it every time they get elected, they have a relentlessly used the tactics employed by Joseph Goebbels which is to tell a lie and repeat it so many times until the people believe it. That only works on Republican incidentally.
The lie that they keep repeating is that Social Security is bankrupting this country. It isn’t now and never did but what is telling is that Republicans stole 1.2 trillion dollars that was in the Social Security trust fund and used it to spend on space lasers and they never paid it back! A new book out on Amazon by Bob Deitrick and Lew Goldfard called Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box examines the presidential administrations in the 20th Century with an in-depth statistical analysis of the economic prosperity between republican and democratic administrations and guess what they found?
It’s no secret that George W. Bush took the philosophies of Milton Friedman’s supply side economics to the extreme and failed miserably. Sam Brownback has touted Kansas as the example for supply side economics which has made the Koch brothers very grateful but now schools in Kansas are having to close early from a lack of funds, their budget deficits are nearly $700 million and Sam is hovering around 18% with his approval ratings among ardent Republicans. It does not matter to Republicans how many times they try to cut taxes for the rich which results in exploding deficits and credit downgrades, they don’t care how much damage they do, they have a pathological devotion to the supply-side sophistry that cannot be cured with any amount of facts. They believe it with a religious devotion that keeps them from ever telling the truth about it.
Imagine if you can, having a House of Representatives that was actually fiscally responsible and did not play political brinksmanship with the nation full faith and credit! Paul Ryan has already indicated he intends to shut the government down. He’s yet another disciple of the Republican economic school of sophistry. Former presidential candidate and Sen. Gary Hart wrote in the Huffington Post recently,
Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth.”
This new book not only demonstrates the incompetence of Republican economic theory but it also turned up some other scintillating facts and figures that will surely cause any republican to have a fit of apoplexy. This from the famous Liberal bastion Forbes:
- Personal disposable income has grown nearly 6 times more under Democratic presidents
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown 7 times more under Democratic presidents
- Corporate profits have grown over 16% more per year under Democratic presidents (they actually declined under Republicans by an average of 4.53%/year)
- Average annual compound return on the stock market has been 18 times greater under Democratic presidents (If you invested $100k for 40 years of Republican administrations you had $126k at the end, if you invested $100k for 40 years of Democrat administrations you had $3.9M at the end)
- Republican presidents added 2.5 times more to the national debt than Democratic presidents
- The two times the economy steered into the ditch (Great Depression and Great Recession) were during Republican, laissez faire administrations
The book is great at looking past today’s economic myths by using long forgotten facts to set the record straight. For example, in explaining President Reagan‘s great economic recovery of the 1980s it is often attributed to the stimulative impact of major tax cuts (ERTA.) But in reality the 1981 tax cuts backfired, leading to massive deficits and a weaker economy with a double dip recession as unemployment soared. So in 1982 Reagan signed (TEFRA) the largest peacetime tax increase in our nation’s history. In his tenure Reagan signed 9 tax bills – 7 of which raised taxes!”
Since the evangelicals and anti-tea party insurgents have taken over the Republican Party, it’s no secret the Republicans have become impermeable to logic and allergic to facts. What Ronald Reagan did was to stab the middle-class right in the gut and they have been bleeding ever since. Dick Cheney famously said, “deficits don’t matter, Reagan proved that.” That is the heart of republican economic philosophy that will have our great-grandchildren shackled with the debt of the Bush/Cheney administration. George Bush took the sophistry a step further by telling the president of Mexico, “war is good for the economy.”
That is the sickness among Republicans that cannot be cured with any tonic. It’s worse than any cancer because this belief is impossible to overcome among the ignorant hoards of rubes that are convinced that they are just premature millionaires waiting on their lottery numbers to hit.
It’s poison that Republican politicians sell like their ancestral snake-oil. The Mountebanks have never forgiven the FDA for shutting down the family business, so they raised their children and grandchildren to be suspicious of government and to hate it. Worst of all that crook Nixon taught them that it was okay to lie, so long as it was for ‘the greater good’ which ‘greater good’ has proven to be unimaginable horror.
A fiscally responsible Republican is as unthinkable as an honest burglar but that’s what they are selling again. The coming election is the most important election in two generations because of Republicans win, our Republic will cease to exist. Our democracy will have morphed into an oligarchy where the 1% siphon what’s left of the resources of this nation while leaving the people with all the debt that they shackled future generations with.