May 22, 2013
Republican Economic Policies Don’t Add Up
Posted on Oct 6, 2008
Claims of being a maverick aside, McCain has emerged as nothing more than a supply-sider in the mold of George W. and Reagan. Since George W. took office, corporate profits have soared, while workers’ wages and benefits have been flat. That shows just who is the object of Bush’s conservative compassion. The Bush administration, supported by Republicans on Capitol Hill, pushed through a sweeping tax cut in 2001, under which the wealthiest one percent of Americans reaped 43 percent of the gain. In less than a year and a half, the federal government’s 10-year projected budget surplus of $1.6 trillion had vanished. In 2000, we had a surplus of $236 billion. In 2004, we had a deficit of $413 billion. This dramatic reversal is the direct consequence of Bush’s tax cuts. Since then, the Bush/McCain answer for the nation’s economic woes has been deregulation and more tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations, who by no coincidence contribute heavily to the McCain campaign. It’s “trickle-down” economics with a vengeance.
Since the conventions, McCain and his surrogates have been pounding away at the Democrats, labeling them as the “tax and spend” party. Yet recent research has shown that more than 70% of our national debt was created by just three Republican presidents. There’s an old expression in Las Vegas: “Figures don’t lie but liars figure.” Moreover, according to research from professor Larry Bartels of Princeton, real middle-class wage growth is double when a Democrat is president, contrasted to a Republican president.
So, while McCain and Sarah Palin compose hymns to patriotism, rugged individualism, “trickle-down” economics, “staying the course” on Bush’s tax cuts and family values, they are also embracing the very economic policies that undermine both the middle class and subvert the security of American family life.
American families need less pious rhetoric, and more policies geared toward a healthy economy, secure jobs, decent health care, affordable housing, quality public education, renewable energy and a sustainable environment. McCain seems unable, or unwilling, to grasp that the government has an important leadership role in this. In fact, providing tax giveaways for the rich and for corporate America is the only policy that seems to energize McCain and the Republicans in Congress, while Obama has pledged to repeal those very same giveaways. And, contrary to the GOP rhetoric, 90 percent of Americans—people making under $112,000 a year in individual income—would pay less taxes under Obama’s plan.
Barack Obama has demonstrated a willingness to confront these painful realities. On overall economic policy, he offers qualities indispensable to genuine leadership for America—patience, fairness, candor and vision. We need an administration that understands and believes in coherent, comprehensive and equitable policies that promote sustainable economic growth— and, on that count, Democrats have a winning record.
Previous item: Weapons of Mass Distraction
Next item: Investigating John McCain’s Tragedy at Sea
New and Improved Comments