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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • America has always like to conflate circus freak shows and politicians. Although I don't have examples ready, eighteenth century American politics are full of dubious candidates. I'll wait to see what kind of governator Arnie is. Who knows? Perhaps he'll do an ok job. I'll be amazed if the Republican war on taxes (while spending gobs of money on the military and spook projects) has any positive long-term benefit for the country as a whole. Somehow, it just seems petty and self-serving.
    • The concept is simple: cutting taxes puts more money in the hands of people which helps businesses grow which creates more tax revenue. You can end up with the same amount of increased revenue and help taxpayers at the same time.

      It has worked in the past. It worked under JFK, and it worked under Reagan. Will it work again? Time will tell, but to imply it doesn't make sense is to ignore cases where it's actually worked as planned.
      • by jjohn (22) on 2003.10.09 19:49 (#24793) Homepage Journal
        I know that I shouldn't reply to this, but I have to -- ears burning.

        [cutting taxes to spur the economy] has worked in the past. It worked under JFK, and it worked under Reagan.

        There were two recession under Reagans 8 years in office. Crime increased in 7 of his eight years in office (I'm excluding crimes that happen inside the White House, like Iran-Contra) and the crime continued to increase under Bush Sr. The crime dropped dramatically during the Clinton years (again, I'm excluding activities in the White House). The deregulation of the banking industry lead to the multi-billion dollar Savings & Loan crisis of the late eighties/nineties. By 1989, the Reagan/Bush tax cuts indeed gave 15% break -- to the richest 1% of US tax payers. During the same time (1980-1989), payroll taxes increased, disproprotionately affected the poorest 20% of the US and increasing their burden. (The payroll situation was somewhat addressed by Bush Sr's Earned Tax Credit, IIRC). Although the Reagan administration oversaw some job creation (certainly, there were a lot of new air traffic controllers thanks to Ronnie), there was none under Bush, Sr.

        Reagan's economic policies were a disaster. Full stop. Bush's are also: no job creation (just like Dad) and tax breaks for the wealthy. Trickle down hasn't worked. Giving huge government orders to the industrial-military complex does seem to spur a certain amount of economic activity though. You know, if you destroy material goods, you have to spend money to replace them.

        This economic downturn doesn't appear to be caused by a lack of investory money, but a lack of investor interest. During the 80's, there was substantially less VC money around (401K and mutual funds were just beginning to get popular). What is it going to take to get investors to back new ventures again (to start the wheel of capitalism)? I dunno. I don't think lowering taxes is quite the way to do it. Sure a lower capital gains tax is nice. I have to admit my ignorance of finanace here. This sluggish economy will certainly be studied by future economists, I'd wager.

        The trickle-down theory does seem to seem to apply well to small babies and earnest beer-drinkers though.

        However, your call for a smaller government does ring true with me. Let's take a budgetary ax to the military/spook projects, foreign aid and corporate welfare. Then we call all pay a lot less in taxes. :-)

          • There were two recession under Reagans 8 years in office.

          One of those recessions (January 1980 to July 1980) was inhereted from Carter and responded almost immediately to Reagan's tax breaks. It was the briefest recession in the history of this country. If it wasn't tax policy that cured this recession what was it?

          • Crime increased in 7 of his eight years in office...

          Continuing a trend that had been going on since the 50's. This was due to Reagan's economic policies?

          • Reagan's economic policies were a
        • You're missing the point. Even if I conceded most of what you claim, you did not and cannot claim that the economy did not grow significantly under Reagan, and it is perfectly reasonable to give much of the credit to "trickle down."

          As to the specifics, some of what you say is true but uninteresting. Yes, the "top 1%" got a big tax cut, because their taxes were disproportionately high. You disagree? Wow, surprise, coming from a Masshole! :-) But JFK cut the tax rate of the top 1% more than any Presiden