Monday, March 9, 2015

Abject Failure or Proven Success . . . . .Hmmmm . . . . . Decisions, Decisions...

Conservative politicians have been peddling the snake oil of trickle-down economics for the better part of 35 years now, or precisely since the appearance on the national political stage of a former Hollywood "B" actor by the name of  Ronald Reagan.  Reagan, who has since been elevated to sainthood status by American conservatives, proffered the trickle-down theory as the showcase piece of his conservative economic platform to the country during his 1980 presidential race.  And unfortunately, as one anonymous con-man and admirer of the infamous showman PT Barnum, once studiously observed, "there's a sucker born every minute."  However, if The Gadfly had his druthers, he would amend that notorious phrase to instead say, "there's a sucker born every minute, and conservatives sure do loves them some suckers."  And in 1980, a sufficient number of American suckers voted Reagan in to office and in the process triggered the death spiral of the middle class, along with any hopes for millions of decent, hard working Americans of ever achieving anything remotely resembling "The American Dream."

So - the whole premise of trickle-down economic theory was that if you put more money in to the hands of the corporations and big business owners and the wealthy elites by slashing their tax rates, giving them more tax loopholes, subsidizing their businesses through no interest, taxpayer funded loans, and lax business regulation then they all in turn, out the goodness of their virtuous hearts, would trickle a fair portion of their enhanced earnings down to the middle class and the working poor in the form of more jobs, better paying jobs, better benefits, strengthened pensions, etc...

Well ..there's no sense in beating around the proverbial bush here.  Not only has trickle-down economics failed miserably to live up to it's pie-in-the-sky promises of shared prosperity between big corporations and the wealthy elites and we the commoners, it in fact has had the exact opposite effect - namely the wholesale destruction of a once thriving middle class, compounded wage stagnation and poverty of the working poor, slashed benefits and vanishing pensions, all occurring while simultaneously seeing the income and profits of the big corporations and the moneyed elites soar to meteoric, record levels, even after the 2008 world-wide financial crisis which decimated the wealth of millions of Americans, but not for those at the top of the wealth ladder.

Corporations are reporting record profits and cash reserves, Wall Street's stock market is at all-time highs, and more insidiously, the nation's wealthiest 1% have seen their share of the American economic pie grow to an ever larger and more fruitful portion.

Here are a few visuals to help you dear reader understand this malevolent issue a bit clearer:

[ click on any pic to enlarge ]

The Gadfly is broaching this subject with you dear readers, because yet more evidence has come to light demonstrating incontrovertibly just how big of a crock of shit that trickle-down economics is, always has been and always will be -- in addition to showing just how fucking dishonest and deceitful that conservatives have been on the subject of economic growth as it relates to taxation of the wealthy and corporations.

Observe this contemporary story:
Wisconsin and Minnesota: A One-Sided Political Competition
03/05/15 01:59 PM—UPDATED 03/06/15 09:36 AM
By Steve Benen
Wisconsin and Minnesota have long made fascinating bookends. As longtime readers may recall, the two neighboring states have similar sizes, similar populations, similar demographics, and even similar climates. But they don’t necessarily have similar politics, at least not lately.
In the 2010 elections, the Badger State elected Scott Walker (R) governor and gave control of the legislature to Republicans, while the Gopher State made Mark Dayton (D) governor and, in 2012, elected a Democratic legislature*. The former got to work targeting collective bargaining and approving tax cuts, while the latter raised taxes on the wealthy and boosted in-state investments.
Nearly five years later, one of these two states is doing quite well. Policy.mic had an interesting report this week:
Since 2011, Minnesota has been doing quite well for itself. The state has created more than 170,000 jobs, according to the Huffington Post. Its unemployment rate stands at 3.6% – the fifth-lowest in the country, and far below the nationwide rate of 5.7% – and the state government boasts a budget surplus of $1 billion. Forbes considers Minnesota one of the top 10 in the country for business.
As Patrick Caldwell recently explained very well, Minnesota’s gains come on the heels of tax increases on Minnesota’s top 2% and higher corporate taxes, both of which state Republicans said would crush Minnesota’s economy. As for their neighbors to the east:
By a number of measures, Wisconsin hasn’t fared as well as Minnesota. As the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reports, Wisconsin’s job growth has been among the worst in the region, and income growth is one of the worst in the country. It has a higher unemployment rate than Minnesota. And the budget is in bad shape.
Back in January, the editorial board of LaCrosse Tribune wrote, “The governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota each presented their versions of new year’s resolutions in various media interviews last week….Which approach is better? As we enter the new year, Minnesota is clearly winning by a long shot.”

And lest anyone attempt to claim that Wisconsin's trickle-down economic woes are just an anomaly, don't look now, but the exact same events are occurring in another Tea Party governor run state - Kansas:
In 2012, when Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback first pitched his plan to drastically slash the state's income taxes, he promised "a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy." Brownback brought in Arthur Laffer, Ronald Reagan's trickle-down economics guru, to help sell the idea that the cuts—which zeroed out taxes for 200,000 businesses and slashed rates for top earners—were guaranteed to boost the state's fortunes, prop up the economy, and bring in countless new jobs as businesses and individuals flocked to Kansas to escape the tyrannies of higher-tax states.
Two years later, those rosy predictions have turned to doom and gloom. Next week, when the state legislature kicks off its new session, lawmakers will face a daunting budget deficit that will require either overturning Brownback's tax cuts or shaving hundreds of millions from the state's budget.

So in a nutshell - these trickle-down economics conservatives have been devastatingly wrong on economic policies for 35 years.  They have no accomplishments borne of their trickle-down theories for which they can point to and say, "see - we were right!"  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  Nothing but an unprecedented, 35 year track record of failure - and that failure has directly contributed to a great amount of economic misery for many Americans and unflagging, stifled economic growth opportunity for just as many millions more.

All of which prompts The Gadfly to sigh heavily and ask for the umpteenth fucking time the question -- how often do we dirty fucking hippie liberals have to be right about shit like this before enough of the American people catch on to the reality that they are nothing more than marks for the grifting, con-artist, PT Barnum conservative political movement and their sugar daddy oligarchs and plutocrats?  Will it take another 35 years of these people being wrong and failing the country miserably before people realize that by continuously voting these Koch Brothers funded, Teabagging jackals in to office they are plainly voting against their own, and their family's own best economic interests and by virtue of such, taking on the role of useful idiots for the oligarchs in their endeavor to widen ever further the wealth/income gap in America, and by proxy relegate the economic status of average working Americans and their children to that of permanent indentured servants?

Wake up before it's too late folks.  There is still time and opportunities to set this shit straight but it requires national and unified resolve to do so -- and it all starts with getting involved, speaking out and making your voice heard at the ballot box.


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