I can remember a time when the Republican Party presented actual detailed economic plans in which the numbers added up, but it was a long time ago. The Nixon administration would lie about how many U.S. soldiers were being killed every day in Vietnam, and whether he was secretly recording Oval Office conversations, but by golly his budgets added up.
I was VP of Finance for the largest plaintiff’s law firm in the country as well as a Controller, then VP of Finance for two national chain-restaurant, wholesale, publicly-traded, food distribution/warehousing corporations. I was also a Controller for a Gulf + Western Manufacturing company until they divested themselves from the “dirty steel” business. And among all those businesses, that are operated as differently as businesses can be, the only motive any of them EVER had for hiring additional people was that the current local workforce simply could no longer handle their volume of business. Never, was extra cash or profit from a tax break a reason for ANY employer to hire additional employees or expand business territory. To entertain the notion that businesses will take extra tax money and hire more employees or pay their employees more , or expand their business with the extra cash, is ludicrous, lies, or ignorance.
But Republicans have been selling this pseudo-economic plan dreamed up by Arthur Laffer (and his infamous “Laffer Curve“) ever since he first presented it to Gerald Ford, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in December, 1974. It was Reagan that fell for it hook, line and sinker and GOP administrations have been having wet dreams over “supply-side” or “trickle-down” economics ever since. It’s pure crap. And Republicans either know it’s crap and are lying to voters on behalf of corporations, lobbyists,or wealthy donors, or are clueless and don’t need to be making laws about economics that they do not understand.
Tax cuts and business spending/hiring are correlations but one does not does not show causality for the other. For instance, during hot weather, skateboarding accidents go up and Popsicles sales go up, but skateboarding doesn’t cause sales of Popsicles to rise, nor vice versa. Yes, they both happen at the same time, but there’s no statistical evidence that implies skateboarding nor Popsicle sales have a causative effect on one or the other. There are more variables involved than only these two. Unfortunately:
A simple answer that is clear and precise, even if pure bullshit, will always have more power to persuade than a complex answer that is true.
The same is true of tax cuts and employment; correlated, possibly stretching to effectual, but not causative. And despite what Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell or any other Republican says, they no longer care about voters, or jobs, or any average American’s plight anyway, except for one day out of every two to six years…the second Tuesday in November. That’s the day that determines if Ryan, McConnell, etc., get to keep their 120-work-days-per-year-jobs, that include perks from Cadillac healthcare to paychecks for life…all of which they give themselves but do their dead-level best to deprive to voters. And they depend on voters believing them and their Laffer, tax-cut, trash bin economics in order to keep those jobs.
Governmental examples of how fully-implemented Laffer economics will tank an otherwise healthy economy have never been easier to find. Several Republican Governors, with Republican-controlled legislatures, have tanked state economies implementing supply side economics. Each state that has tried it has experienced the same result, no matter in which part of the county the state sits. Specifically, Louisiana, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma tried and are failing badly. Louisiana and Kansas have suffered the most disastrous results because they went full-bore. And Republicans in those states prove every day how Party is more important than doing what is right.
Let’s take Louisiana. In every sense of the words, it’s suffering from political malfeasance.
Louisiana-(R) Governor Jindal : Self-described supply-side proponent with GOP legislature inherited a budget surplus from (D) Kathleen Blanco. After eight years under Jindal and supply-side implementation?
- State budget reserves and federal payments for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita–gone.
- BP Horizon oil spill payout–gone.
- “Free” Medicaid expansion dollars from federal government–refused.
- Privatized Medicaid-disastrously managed and $190 billion over previous years’ state-run Medicaid due to “improprieties”.
And let’s don’t forget, they now have a $2 billion dollar budget shortfall for 2016 in one of the poorest states in the country attributable to tax reductions of $9 billion to corporations and wealthy individuals. Good economic plan, huh? That’s not all…
- Louisiana State University on the verge of bankruptcy, possible Med School closure, pending loss of accredited Law School and Engineering School. College campus closures across the state. 3,000+ Professors-gone. 12,000 students will have to change major or transfer.
- 30,000 middle-class state jobs and 5,000 private contractors-gone.
- Louisiana’s credit ranking as of Dec.31, 2015 was 43rd worst out of 50 states.
- Jindal leaves office in 2016 and moves into an $800,000 house (which would cost upwards of $2 million anywhere else) in Baton Rouge…on his Governor’s salary of $127K per year.
- Just in the past month, Louisiana has suffered through the worst flooding from rain in 500 – 1,000 years. But with Louisiana’s “Rainy Day Fund” (I know, ironic name) obliterated in a failed attempt at Laffer economics, the 40,000 families and homes destroyed by the flooding will have to rely on that bad old Federal Government to save them from starvation, disease, illness, or some other slow, painful death because the Party that believes that states don’t need the Federal Government is in charge.
So how did Jindal blow all that money? Here are just a few of the ways:
- Louisiana loses $300,000 every time the A&E network films a Duck Dynasty episode.
- Jindal once gave an oil refiner $10 million to create 43 jobs and those jobs no longer exist.
- Louisiana directs over $1.1 billion in taxpayer money to business for incentives that haven’t created a single job.
- Louisiana has cut funding for higher education by 43.2 percent per student since Jindal took office, or $5k per student per year, the most in all 50 states.
- 250,000 Louisiana residents don’t have any healthcare because Jindal refused FEDERAL MONEY for Medicaid just to prove a point.
Same conditions in Kansas where Governor Sam Brownback and the Republican-controlled state houses have gone full-bore on the voodoo economics. Nationally, Paul Ryan and Republicans have proposed the same type of plan. But for a Democratic President’s veto pen it would have been implemented.
Not one Republican spoke up when George W. Bush spent $3 trillion dollars from Social Security/Medicare and left it off the financial reports each year, which, if reported correctly, increases what we call the “national debt”. When Obama took office, he ordered the reports to reflect the actual debt. So the Republican spin doctors have always included Bush’s part of the cooked books in their representation of Obama running up the debt, when actually, all he did was report it correctly. And those Republicans are the Party of “fiscal responsibility”? Iraq was the only full scale war in U.S. history that was not financed with separate, publicly sold war bonds…including the Revolutionary War.
Sounds a lot like fraud doesn’t it? Well, it is fraud. Bernie Madoff has nothing on Republicans and he’s serving a 150 year sentence for his fraud.
Obama got stuck with $3 trillion of Bush’s Iraq War debt by simply reporting it correctly, plus the Bush/Paulson/Bernanke $700 billion Bank Bailout signed Oct. 3rd, 2008, and the worst economic crash since the Great Depression, but yeah, Obama ruined the economy by not fixing it fast enough while the GOP obstructed everything Obama wanted to do.
Trump-ish snake oil comes from all the GOP. Sure they endorse him. Here’s another typical GOP con about who creates the biggest part of our National debt. As of fiscal YE 2014 :
And what about that “National Debt”? Government bonds had to be issued to Social Security from the Department of Defense for the money Bush used from the Social Security Trust Fund to fight his illegal war. Those bonds, like 80% of the U.S. debt, are issued from one government entity to another government entity, mostly for pension funds and to pay U.S. Senators and U.S. House Representatives after serving only six years (one term as U.S. Senator or three terms as a Representative in the House), not yearly spending. The U.S. doesn’t borrow money to cover spending. And the Federal Reserve can only issue bonds when a member bank or foreign entity requests them. And the Fed doesn’t print money anyway, that’s the Treasury’s responsibility…hence the Secretary of Treasury signature on dollars bills, not the Fed Chairman.
So, when Trump says he’ll re-negotiate the National Debt what exactly does Donald intend to renegotiate? The 20% that other countries or U.S. citizens bought as investments? Because other than agency to agency swaps, that’s all there is. Or is he going to stiff one government agency on behalf of another? Admittedly, what Trump calls “re-negotiating” with creditors, contractors, vendors of his business, etc., involves them agreeing to take cents-on-the-dollar after the work is done, or he’ll file bankruptcy and they’ll get nothing. But that’s NOT what legitimate governments do.
To top it all off, the GOP uses the debt fear card to try to justify things like privatizing Social Security, which doesn’t effect the “debt” unless some other agency uses their liquidity. And the GOP wants Social Security/Medicare funded by Wall St. gambling, which retirees have no control over, so that GOP big donors can benefit all those millions of new transactions. They also want to exempt employers from paying their half of Social Security and Medicare for political expediency.
These are all cons that Republicans spin every day. Their only problem with Trump is that he spins things in such a way as to only benefit himself. He could care less about the Republican’ cons unless they fatten his own haul of other peoples’ money.
Regardless, Republicans obviously know that Trump is a loose canon, finally, but are too chicken to do anything about it. The fly in the ointment is that he won’t shut his mouth and keeps giving away the dirty little secrets that all the GOP con men know to keep in back rooms and fund-raisers.