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An Indictment by the Indicted
August 12, 2010 5:39 PM   Subscribe

IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. Remember David Stockman? Reagan's budget director, recently indicted for fraud? It is he who is the author of this searing NYT op ed piece about the GOP's responsibility for disastrous U.S. economic policy decisions.
posted by bearwife (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
No, I think it's more of a Chapter 7: Liquidation.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:43 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you'd like to cut back on war, cutting back on taxes is a nice place to start.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:49 PM on August 12, 2010


At this point I'd settle for cutting back on pundits.
posted by GuyZero at 5:50 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Presumably the authors of Right-wing blogs are composing entries proclaiming that Stockman is a RINO and never was a true conservative as we speak.
posted by octothorpe at 5:50 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


McNamara, Dean, now this guy. Why can't these guys ever discover their conscience *while* they're in the midst of committing the crime, instead of decades later?
posted by toodleydoodley at 5:53 PM on August 12, 2010 [12 favorites]


Reagan's budget director is calling the Bush tax cuts financially irresponsible? Is there any word on what pots think of kettles?
posted by DU at 5:55 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


To be fair, Reagan did raise taxes several times during his term. (Although they only accounted for half of his initial tax cuts.)
posted by thewittyname at 6:04 PM on August 12, 2010


If you'd like to cut back on war, cutting back on taxes is a nice place to start.


I'm glad you backed up this point with a comparison of relative tax rates by country and military expenditures, with a cross tab on wars-of-choice imitated, and unnecessary wars joined. Such a blanket assertion with no data would just look silly - it's a good thing you didn't fall for that trap.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:16 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm glad you backed up this point with a comparison of relative tax rates by country and military expenditures, with a cross tab on wars-of-choice imitated, and unnecessary wars joined. Such a blanket assertion with no data would just look silly - it's a good thing you didn't fall for that trap.

Everyone knows that facts are for nerds and democrats.
posted by Talez at 6:18 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you'd like to cut back on war, cutting back on taxes is a nice place to start.

Not when deficits don't matter and the wars pay for themselves.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:50 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm glad someone cuts back on taxes from time to time. Now if only they'd cut back on spending to match...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:51 PM on August 12, 2010


Another problem is tax cuts are typically in percentage points and spending increases are in dollars.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:52 PM on August 12, 2010


If you'd like to cut back on war, cutting back on taxes is a nice place to start.

Oh, yeah? Reagan cut taxes and then started all sorts of minor wars in South and Central America, the Caribbean and that sort of thing - oh, and then George W. cut taxes a huge amount and started not one but two full-on wars.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:26 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


But the trillion-dollar conglomerates that inhabit this new financial world are not free enterprises. They are rather wards of the state, extracting billions from the economy with a lot of pointless speculation in stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives.

Is it too late to exhume Milton Friedman so he can more properly be hung upside down by his heels as a public lesson?
posted by ecourbanist at 7:30 PM on August 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'll take tax-and-spend over spend-and-spend any day.
posted by The White Hat at 8:42 PM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


So... I should learn Mandarin, then? And then Hindi as a backup?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:37 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stockman was in the Reagan Administration for its first term (more or less). He left and promptly wrote a book in which he made a point he made in this article: Tax cuts without spending cuts would cause problems and he stated plan had been to have cuts in taxes and spending and the latter didn't happen.

He said in the book that had that position while he served, made the arguments. It was not a book of love for the tax-and-spend policies of that time.
posted by ambient2 at 11:39 PM on August 12, 2010


"Everyone knows that facts are for nerds and democrats."

Truer words have never been written.

The Laffer curve is real, and it works. But it only increases revenue IF THE TAX RATES ARE TO THE RIGHT OF t! Revenue will grow if tax rates are higher than their natural "comfort level". Unfortunately, this isn't measurable before the fact. And it is irrelevant if the growth in revenue is outpaced by spending. In our economy, t is probably something like 50%. And it probably isn't quite shaped like that in real life. The top is probably flatter to the right of t, with a steeper dropoff as the rate approaches 100%.

Supply-side can be "proven" to work only in the negative- if there is less money to go around, the poor are disproportionally affected. If there is more money to go around, it *might* help the poor, if human nature weren't involved. If I double my income, I'm probably not going to double my spending. Even if I do, it won't be on the same things. I'll live the good life, and the poor might see more money, but certainly not enough to make them any measurably less poor.

What this guy writes makes a lot of sense.
posted by gjc at 4:51 AM on August 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would think the best measure of a great failure in the economic system is when it produces increased wealth and nearly 100% of that increase goes to the top 2%. By that measure, boy has our system bombed over the last couple of decades!
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:33 PM on August 13, 2010


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