Monday, December 1, 2008

Reagan, The Lies Conservatives Tell Us and a Generation of Greed

In his Presidental campaign against President Carter in 1980, Ronald Reagan was very critical of President Carter because the United States Government was running deficits of $60 Billion a year. He promised to cut taxes by $60 Billion/year and to raise defense spending by another $60 Billion/year.

Think about that. He knew he was going to inherit a $60B deficit. And then he was going to cut taxes by about $60B. And on top of that, he was going to increase spending by $60B dollars.

That adds up to a deficit of about $180Billion.

He also promised to balance the budget.

I guess 2 out of 3 isn't bad.

Reagan got elected by telling America a lie. George HW Bush refered to it as Voodo Economics. He was telling the truth then.

America chose to believe the lie. And Republicans have been repeating the lie ever since.

George HW Bush saw the light and told the same lie and got himself elected.

And the idiot in Chief who currently occupies the White House got himself elected by telling the lie over and over and over again.

Here's the truth.

Tax Cuts, that are NOT by matching Spending Cuts, stimulate the economy in the short term. they don't seem to stimulate the economy anywhere close to as much as Republican's claim, but they do stimulate the economy. Its a what liberal economists have been proposing since the New Deal. Create Budget Deficits and those deficits will spur economic growth.

As the economy grows, partially as a response to the added impact of the budget deficits, tax revenues eventually return to where they were before the tax cuts. Unfortunately government spending has continued to grow with the economy and we are left with continuing deficits that are a direct result of the tax cuts.

The accumulated Budget Deficits, called the National Debt, place a lot of pressure on credit markets, driving up interest rates and slowing economic growth.

In recent years, much of the new National Debt (which has literally doubled under the idiot in chief) has been sold to foriegn banks and governments, particularly China and Japan. Selling that much debt to competitors/advesaries creates a significant strategic risk.

In the long term, the tax cuts and their resulting deficits, have little or no stimulative effect because of the resulting increased interest rates. Some studies indicate that tax cuts and their resulting deficits actually retard economic growth in the long term.

Despite all this. Despite all the studies that show that they are not telling the truth, Republican's keep telling the same lie

And as a nation we believed them.

Despite the absolutely nonsensical aspect of the lie, we believed it. Despite the balloning deficits, we believed it.

Because we wanted to.

I blame my generation. We heard the lie. We saw all the evidence that it was a lie. We watched the deficits grow to almost 100% of the Gross Domestic Product. But we were getting the benefits of the deficits and knew that we woulnd't have to pay the debt. Unconsionably, Immorally we have chosen to believe something that we have to know is a lie so that we dont' have to take responsibility for our own debts.

Principally for this reason, I view the Reagan Presidency as a disaster. He taught his party the lie and our kids and their kids will be paying and paying and paying.

And my generation chose to believe the lie.

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