The right's answer to solving the nation's economic woes has for the last thirty years been the dictum that cutting taxes creates jobs which, in turn, increases revenue, thus decreasing the deficit. Maybe sometime when I have all day to get way into economics I'll do an extended blog post about the Laffer Curve, and it's misapplication by opportunists, but today let's keep it pretty basic.
Check the trajectory of our debt and job growth: The above theory has been empirically proven wrong again and again over the same thirty year period.
A few of the facts (not ideological theories, but observable, measurable events):
- The Federal tax burden is at its lowest point in 60 years.
- The debt exploded the most under Presidents Reagan and Bush (Jr.), the Presidents most closely associated with the above economic theory.
- Job growth under George W. Bush, perhaps the strongest believer in "tax cuts create jobs" - even more so than Reagan - was the worst in 75 years, since Herbert Hoover and the start of the Great Depression.
Now, let's say I run a widget company. No amount of tax cuts will ever convince me to hire a new widget salesperson. The only thing that would convince me to hire a new salesperson is demand for more widgets.
The best thing for increasing demand is a growing economy that inspires consumer confidence. And, as we've seen, the economic answers of modern conservatives have repeatedly failed to do that.
We currently have a President who is at least nominally "progressive" in many areas, but held hostage to a conservative Congress, and all too willing to go along with them far too often.
What he seems prepared to go along with now is cutting Social Security benefits to appease the right. Do you believe that cutting the spending power of a large group of Americans is going to increase or decrease consumer demand? Cutting Social Security to "balance" a cut in taxes will be a double hit to the economy.
The Republican lies about economic growth have been repeated so many times that it seems the majority of the public believes them, despite the facts. Well, it's time for us to wake up and say enough is enough. It's time for the President and the remaining Democrats to stand up and tell the public the hard truth: we can't afford another tax cut today.
No, you don't create jobs by cutting taxes or benefits, and - listen carefully - you can't save the economy by defaulting on the national debt.
Read more here - and here.