Cutting Through The Crap

Monday, September 29, 2008

If I Had A Ham.....


Barack Obama has said the current economic collapse is the "final verdict" on the Bush/McCain economic policies. Republicans are saying it's not the policies, it's the execution. Lowering taxes raises revenues, lowering taxes raises revenues, lowering taxes raises revenues. The only reason it's never worked is because spending was never under control. And the only reason deregulation hasn't worked is because people got greedy.

My mom used to say "If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs."

I'll stipulate: taxing at 100% would stifle the economy. You stipulate: taxing at 0% would stifle the government. Clearly, there's a range, a taxonomic sweet spot. Reagan never found it, Bush and Bush never found it. Clinton seems to have. During his presidency, the economy soared, revenues leapt, the budget was balanced. Over the objections of the Newtonian congress, with only Democrats favoring, taxes were increased. It's been argued that it was only after certain tax cuts were forced, in 1997, by the Republican congress, that the economy really took off. Well, maybe. It's interesting, though, that as soon as things started falling apart under Bush, Republicans immediately started blaming it all on Clinton. So which is it? 1997 was the reason for everything wonderful, or the 1993 plan was so evil it caused problems even after it was Reaganized?

Here's the thing: let's assume it was the 1997 Republicans that saved the economy. Maybe that was, in fact, the sweet spot. What, then, about the increased tax cuts of George Bush? Might we not all agree that he missed the zone? That a return to the tax status of 1997 might, in fact, make sense? And isn't that, after all, what Obama and the Democrats have been proposing? Get back to the tax levels which were, in fact, a compromise between Clinton's 1993 plan and the Republican push-back; and which the Republicans are touting as the real reason for Clinton's success? Seems like an easy agreement. We already made it once.

If we cut taxes, we'll balance a budget, if we cut spending. 

If we had ham, we'd have ham and eggs, if we had eggs.

4 comments:

Christopher said...

I like that expression! What did your mom say that in reference to?

I had actually heard that republican administrations set up the prosperity in the Clinton years because these things don't change over night. I didn't know about 1997 as being concerned pivotal.

Republicans have not been happy with excessive spending during these Bush years.

Also... the hits we took from the Islamic terrorists was the catalyst for the financial downturn. They hurt us tremendously. So...I think this current president gets a bum rap for being blamed for the entire deficit. Those attacks seriously hurt our economy. And I don't think it is an even playing field when you compare the Bush financial years to the Clinton years. By you...I mean general opinions. Obviously war costs thrown in the mix significantly added to that. We know the arguments for and against the war, so I am not discussing that. He added to that by going in to Iraq.

I don't know what his other expenditures were...just that I know his party has not been happy about it.

Balance. I understand the need to raise revenue and people needing to sacrifice. The problem is then they don't have the money to spend that supports local businesses, etc., they fold and so on.

Christopher said...

Dr S. - using son's laptop -didn't realize his name would pop up.

SeaSpray :)

Sid Schwab said...

I had actually heard that republican administrations set up the prosperity in the Clinton years because these things don't change over night.

Really? You heard politicians taking credit for someone else's success, and avoiding blame for their failure? I've never heard of such a thing!

Republicans have not been happy with excessive spending during these Bush years.

Except for the past couple of years, Republicans were in charge in Congress, when all of Bush's tax/spend policies were put in place. Unhappy? Where were they?

Also... the hits we took from the Islamic terrorists was the catalyst for the financial downturn.

Apologists have been saying this for years. The Dow had more than recovered, until recently (it's still well above 9/11 levels.) The point is that Bush and his enablers are the first EVER to lower taxes in wartime. He had options.

SeaSpray said...

"I had actually heard that republican administrations set up the prosperity in the Clinton years because these things don't change over night."

"Really? You heard politicians taking credit for someone else's success, and avoiding blame for their failure? I've never heard of such a thing!"

I heard it from talking heads on the radio back in either late 90s or early 2000...sorry I don't recall. But... it does make sense that it takes a while for a trend to reverse and improve.

But I don't know this for fact.

There is much I do not understand about economics and the proposed health care plans by both candidates. Two different topics...but that is where most of my questions lie.

"Except for the past couple of years, Republicans were in charge in Congress, when all of Bush's tax/spend policies were put in place. Unhappy? Where were they?"

I WILL have to read up on this.

Now I DO want to know EXACTLY who spent what and signed off on what that has added to our deficit.

**It is an area I admittedly have not paid attention to and given the DIRE state of financial affairs in our country... APPARENTLY neither has either political party in our government.

"Apologists have been saying this for years. The Dow had more than recovered, until recently (it's still well above 9/11 levels.) The point is that Bush and his enablers are the first EVER to lower taxes in wartime. He had options."

tax cuts may have helped the Dow recover. The deficit became massive.

Here is an interesting article...seemingly unbiased, but older from March. Mentions all the candidates.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/27/AR2008032703145.html

What I glean from it is that analysts are split on these things.

And none of the candidates wanted to change much... and maybe add on although at that time McCain was for the most cuts.

Look...I hear you about needing revenue to help fill the piggy bank back up.

I also appreciate the idea of cuts generating growth.

I am sure there are more relevant /current articles but just thought it explained intent with conflicting opinions regarding ultimate outcomes.