Archive for the ‘ronald reagan’ tag
In true-to-form fashion, FOX News in the below clip summons a Republican talking head, of the Ronald Reagon variety — Art Laffer was a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board — to skewer President Obama’s 2011 budget plan. Here’s the video:
As Laffer claims, and as mediamatters.org disputes,
Laffer claimed that in fiscal 2011, “all of the Bush tax cuts expire,” ignoring that President Obama’s budget plan allows those cuts to expire only for those making more than $250,000 per year
How many times does Obama have to cite the $250,000 figure?? He’s only been using it since the campaign and still states that it is the mark someone has to reach to be denied tax cuts. Has this sunk in at all?
Regardless, I thought one commenter to this post got it right when he said Reagan’s famed tax cuts for the top 1 percent of earners didn’t “trickle down” at all, and indeed, it was a full two years before the unemployment rate in the early 1980s approached anywhere near where Reagan said it would — 6.9 percent — after the savior-esque tax cuts for the rich.
Here’s that telling information (Thanks jarossiter):
Reagan was sworn into office in 1981 – and 22 months LATER the unemployment rate was 10.4%
How long did it take Reagan to reduce the unemployment rate to below 8%?
1/1981 – unemployment rate 7.5% …. Reagan sworn in.
1/1981 – 7.4%
3/1981 – 7.4%
4/1981 – 7.2%
5/1981 – 7.5%
6/1981 – 7.5%
7/1981 – 7.2%
8/1981 – 7.4% * Reagan CUTS taxes for top 1% & said unemployment would DROP to 6.9%
9/1981 – 7.6%
10/1981 – 7.9%
11/1981 – 8.3%
12/1981 – 8.5%
1/1982 – 8.6%
2/1982 – 8.9%
3/1982 – 9.0%
4/1982 – 9.3%
5/1982 – 9.4%
6/1982 – 9.6%
7/1982 – 9.8%
8/1982 – 9.8%
9/1982 – 10.1%
10/1982 – 10.4%
11/1982 – 10.8%
12/1982 – 10.8%
1/1983 – 10.4%
2/1983 – 10.4%
3/1983 – 10.3%
4/1983 – 10.3%
5/1983 – 10.1%
6/1983 – 10.1%
7/1983 – 9.4%
6/1983 – 9.5%
7/1983 – 9.4%
8/1983 – 9.5%
9/1983 – 9.2%
10/1983 – 8.8%
11/1983 – 8.5%
12/1983 – 8.3%
1/1984 – 8.0%
2/1984 – 7.8%
Took Reagan 28 MONTHS to get unemployment rate back down below 8%.
***Stock Market C R A S H E D in 1987.
Thomas Friedman’s Feb. 24 New York Times column from South Korea read thusly:
For all the talk in recent years about America’s inevitable decline, all eyes are not now on Tokyo, Beijing, Brussels or Moscow — nor on any other pretenders to the world heavyweight crown. All eyes are on Washington to pull the world out of its economic tailspin. At no time in the last 50 years have we ever felt weaker, and at no time in the last 50 years has the world ever seen us as more important.
It seems there comes a price with all those years spent touting America as the world leader in well … everything, from economics to military might to democratic freedoms. Many of our leaders (i.e. Carter, Reagan, Bush version 1 and 2, Clinton) have led the charge in spreading democracy abroad, regardless of whether the people of the receiving countries desired it or not. Since the years following the Great Depression, our country’s pendulum has swung upward economically and in world influence. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing (OK, taking over a country and by brute force leading that country toward democracy when no one asked for our help probably is a bad thing, but I digress …) as long as we are willing and able to meet the challenges that come with such responsibility.
Or as Friedman poignantly quoted in his column a “senior Korean official:”
“No other country can substitute for the U.S. The U.S. is still No. 1 in military, No. 1 in economy, No. 1 in promoting human rights and No. 1 in idealism. Only the U.S. can lead the world. No other country can. China can’t. The E.U. is too divided, and Europe is militarily far behind the U.S. So it is only the United States … We have never had a more unipolar world than we have today.”
Is this a scary thing or a positive? At face value, it’s a touch scary. We aren’t exactly the most progressive country (though we seem to be increasingly headed that way, paragraph 6) in the world if you think about some of our present or past ideals. Some among us, about 49 percent, according to a recent poll, favor a “comprehensive government health care system,” and 10 percent would like to see such a system with “limited” government. The Obama administration, perhaps and finally, may be able to get this done, but what of the last few decades?
Just yesterday, I spoke with a man whose wife was diagnosed about a year ago with ALS. He has liver cancer and chemo was ineffective (and actually made his condition worse). He is waiting on a transplant. He can’t work, can’t pay the bills and he’s taking care of his wife by himself, when someone should be taking care of him. He’s behind on his mortgage and is near foreclosure. Universal health care could help these folks at least be able to not worry about the medical stuff and focus on making the house payment, buying food and the like. Or, perhaps, Obama’s housing plan could provide similar relief. But our love affair with big business, pharmaceutical companies and their lobbying efforts have proven our idealisms are, or at least have been, ill-conceived.
We were one of the last to jump off the “slavery” ship (Most developed European nations abolished it before us, including Russia, France, Denmark, Sweden, the British Empire [except in some colonies], etc.) After that, the country limped through Reconstruction, the Black Codes, Jim Crow, lynchings and segregation before finally deciding that our black fellow-countrymen were actually, and not just in writing, our equals. Further, it’s well documented that we aren’t exactly trailblazers when it comes to education either.
So, I think there’s many areas in which, in fact, we aren’t leading and have lagged behind ideologically. Militarily, of course, we are leading, and maybe this is the area that matters most. Or, perhaps our one-month sojourn under a new administration has made folks forget about the last eight years of failed policies. Lest we forget, with the exception of George Bush and his administration, many of those folks who supported those ideologies (Sanford, Perdue, Palin, Jindal and the like) are still in Congress; they just don’t hold the majority.
Make no mistake, today, this is a great nation, regardless of our previous moral lapses. But if one measures greatness by the average life span of the populous or by quality of living or by educational achievement, etc., we simply have a long way to go. Because of our military might and our insistence on carrying the world banner, folks look to us. And that’s fine. Obama seems to be up to the task. I just think it’s peculiar that given our many shortfalls, the eyes are still all on us. And perhaps that speaks even more to our standing, and in turn, our immense responsibility.