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Friday, December 17, 2010

Reich Reviles Rotten Reaganomics Rehash -- Congress Passes Stimulus II

Senator Tim Johnson was on SDPB Dakota Midday Tuesday insisting that he had no choice but to vote for the $858 billion Stimulus II that the Republican leadership and President Obama worked out. Funny: Senator Tom Harkin from Iowa thought he had a choice. So did twelve other Senate Democrats, six Senate Republicans, and one Senate Indy-Socialist (roll call vote #276 here).

South Dakota's last Democrat in Washington needs to read more Robert Reich. America's best darn former Secretary of Labor critiques exactly this false "have no choice" excuse. Reich says we ought to have the courage to choose something other than a rehash of failed Reaganomics:

Supply siders are also fond of claiming that Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts caused the 1980s economic boom. There is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, that boom followed Reagan’s 1982 tax increase. The 1990s boom likewise was not the result of a tax cut; most of it followed Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax increase.

Nor did George W. Bush’s tax cuts trickle down. Between 2002 and 2007 the median wage actually dropped. And Bush’s record of job creation was pathetic relative to Bill Clinton’s, when taxes were higher. Under Clinton, America added 22 million net new jobs. Under Bush, barely 8 million [Robert Reich, "The New Tax Deal: Reaganomics Redux," blog, 2010.12.16].

Holy cow: our gal Stephanie and my man Dennis both voted aye! Michele Bachmann and Anthony Weiner voted nay. We should have more votes with alignments like that.
Wow: two empirical examples of significant tax increases followed by better economic growth than we got after the Bush tax cuts... ineffective cuts that we are now extending.

I know, it's all over but the shouting. But there are economic lessons we aren't learning... and I intend to keep shouting them.

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