In 1981 the Atlantic published a profile of the White House budget director, David Stockman, in which Stockman said all kinds of impolitic things. About the most impolitic was his admission that the Reagan tax cuts had been "a Trojan horse to bring down the top tax rate." The article's author, William Greider, could barely contain his delight:
"A Trojan horse? This seemed a cynical concession for Stockman to make in private conversation while the Reagan Administration was still selling the supply-side doctrine to Congress. Yet he was conceding what the liberal Keynesian critics had argued from the outset—the supply-side theory was not a new economic theory at all but only new language and argument to conceal a hoary old Republican doctrine: give the tax cuts to the top brackets, the wealthiest individuals and largest enterprises, and let the good effects 'trickle down' through the economy to reach everyone else. Yes, Stockman conceded, when one stripped away the new rhetoric emphasizing across-the-board cuts, the supply-side theory was really new clothes for the unpopular doctrine of the old Republican orthodoxy. 'It's kind of hard to sell "trickle down,"' he explained, 'so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really "trickle down." Supply-side is "trickle-down" theory.'"
I mean, Kemp-Roth [Reagan's 1981 tax cut] was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate.... It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down.' So the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down.' Supply-side is 'trickle-down' theory.
Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.
They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want:
They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests.
Carlin was mostly right.
The question is, are you going to sit there and take it, or are you going to educate yourself and fight back? I'm afraid Carlin fell for an old trick: a tiny minority of powerful people telling the vast majority that they don't have any power. The term that has been coined for this is "antipolitics." Yes it is pervasive, and the message contained in the media and the whole platform of right wing anti-government and left-wing anarchist philosophies.
The truth is that we have (compared with the rest of the world) relatively free and fair elections, relatively uncorrupted government, and the capability to change our government however we want to if we are willing to sacrifice some time and money to make the change happen. The truth is that most Americans have the government they deserve. We have achieved the technical definition of democracy, but we are letting new forms of aristocracy corrupt it.
"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
"Hence, necessity and a penalty must be there in addition for them, if they are going to be willing to rule - it is likely that this is the source of its being held to be shameful to seek to rule and not to await necessity - and the greatest of penalties is being ruled by a worse man if one is not willing to rule oneself."
"If the decent are not willing to rule, they are punished by being ruled by worse men."
Does anyone have any good citations for going more in depth around the failure of trickledown? and negative impacts on cutting taxes for the wealthy.
Under traditional formulations, lower capital income tax rates reduce the user cost of capital and stimulate investment. The traditional approach, however, implicitly or explicitly considers a revenue-neutral reduction in capital income taxation. We extend the traditional approach by considering a reduction in taxes that generates an increase in the budget deficit; the expanded budget deficit may raise interest rates and the opportunity cost of investment. This provides a mechanism through which tax cuts can raise the cost of capital. Representative calculations show that, even with relatively modest interest rate effects, the net effect of making the administration’s recent tax cuts permanent or a 10 percent reduction in individual income tax rates would be to raise the user cost of capital. Thus, sustained tax cuts can raise the cost of capital and reduce investment.
Pastabagel: If members of that generation couldn't be bothered to spawn enough progeny to care for them in their old age, too bad for them. Now there are no jobs for young people and the government that the Baby Boomers ran since the 90's is totally broke. Maybe if you had gotten a job at Philco or American Motors instead of dancing high and naked in the rain at Woodstock, you might have saved some money for your retirement.
So it isn't so much Woodstock itself, but the fact that Boomers everywhere (not just in Vermont (I thought it was NY???)
It's so much easier to call republicans tools of the rich and democrats socialists than to do any actual thinking. But that's what you have to do. It's your responsibility as the educated in society to do it, because if you don't, the idiots who read the New York Times and watch Fox News or the Daily Show sure aren't going to do it.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:15 PM on January 27 [+] [!]
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