Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

POLITICS: GOP and the economy

Letter by Duane Petersen, Fircrest on Aug. 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm with 33 Comments »
August 18, 2010 12:58 pm

When the GOP talks about economics, they harken to the Reagan years and tax cuts. Methinks they should look long and hard about history that goes further back.

While the Great Depression was in effect, President Hoover (GOP) believed cutting the taxes and spending was necessary to save money. Meanwhile, the depression grew to monumental proportions. It wasn’t until FDR began a spending spree with the CCC and WWII which created millions of jobs that the economy pulled itself out of the depths.

While George Bush (GOP) followed Ronald Reagan, the cut taxes mentality was in full force and the economy worsened to the largest recession the US had seen since the depression – and the deficit grew to monumental proportions. Then Clinton became president and spending increased. As it did, the economy flourished and, by the end of his term, the economy had a surplus and Wall Street was soaring.

GW Bush (GOP) followed with tax cuts again – only increased spending to pay for two wars. The economy tanked into what is now the largest recession since the Great Depression.

Obama is attempting to increase spending and taxes to fix the economy again. The GOP is fighting to cut more taxes – again. They somehow believe 8 years of tanking an economy should be fixed in two.

Perhaps they’ll never learn.

Leave a comment Comments → 33
  1. slasmith says:

    The economy never had a surplus under Clinton. A surplus only can exist in an enviornment where you have zero debt. The national debt was never zero when Clinton was president so there was never a surplus.

  2. Sumner401 says:

    It’s clear that the right, whatever name they call themselves, can not manage the economy.
    Every single time they are in control we end up in a depression or a recession. why people still vote for them is a total mystery.

    The down fall of this nation and it’s middle class has been the conservatives and their economic policies.
    History is all the proof one need of that.

  3. truthbusterguy says:

    Obama and the democrats want to increase taxes and spending because they are all socialist and want an entitlement society and wealth redistribution. Can’t you see it? They are destroying the country with their agenda.

  4. Even Greenspan (who supported the Bush cuts) says that we can not afford to keep them.

  5. The people cannot be taxed into a collective prosperity.

  6. readingthelatest says:

    So, how many of ya’ll were in that 47% that didn’t pay taxes for 2009?

    Just curious. Can you really complain about taxes if you didn’t pay any?

  7. aislander says:

    Read some history. Hoover did NOT cut taxes and spending, but increased both. Roosevelt simply continued and doubled down on those Hoover policies. The result (according to a UCLA study, et al): the depression was extended a decade beyond its natural extent…

  8. aislander says:

    I regret my earlier rather harsh comment, but for this glittering jewel of colossal ignorance to advise US to “look long and hard about (sic) history that goes further (sic) back,” when he obviously gets his history from his…er…vestibule, well it kind of ticked me off. There was a depression at the beginning of the Twenties that was sharper than the one at their end, but Harding and Coolidge DID cut taxes and spending and kept them low until Hoover took office. Result: economic contractions that endured for months instead of years, and then the boom that gave the decade its title, the Roaring Twenties…

  9. One question, if FDR’s policies of stimulating the economy made the depression worse. Then why is it that when the US government maxed out spending at the beginning of WWII did we finally fully emerge from the depression. My point here is I believe FDRs policies were too timid and that is why the depression lingered but with reduced affects.

  10. aislander says:

    And religious people are mocked for expressing their faith in the unproven and unprovable….

  11. aislander says:

    …at least with religion, the faithful are not adhering to a dogma that has been proved WRONG!

  12. aislander – the idea that you would mock someone else for being dogmatic on economic policy is laughable as you are one of the most rigid ideologues who posts here.

    Your claim that it has been “proven” that FDR’s policies didn’t work or worsened the Depression is as equally false as the statement that it has been proven that his policies worked. This is clear by the almost 50/50 split amongst historians and economists on this issue. Evidence and theories can be cited on either side of the argument – but their is absolutely no “proof”.

  13. hansgruber says:

    We had recessions after the last two DEM Presidents Sumner401,(Carter & Clinton) even the DEM have a hand in it.

    As to spending, as the economy shrunk last year, Government spending continued at record levels ($3.1 Trillion for 2009) as did borrowing. ($1.42 Trillion)

    This year, as the spending ($3.55 Trillion for 2010 & 3.834 Trillion for 2011) & borrowing ($1.47 Trillion for 2010 & $1.4 Trillion for 2011) continue at record levels unemployment continues to rise, just read about the unemployment claims in today’s paper.

    Remember….The DEM have controlled both houses of Congress since 2007, spending has increased from $2.7 Trillion in 2006 to $3.834 Trillion in 2011 up 42% and borrowing increased increasing the national debt 53% since Jan of 2007 ($8.7 Trillion to $13.364 Trillion)

    And DEM want to give all the credit to the GOP?

  14. I suppose calling someone a “glittering jewel of colossal ignorance” might be considered by some to be much less harsh than “dumbass,” aislander, but the preferred method is to not refer to the person at all, lest you enjoy being referred to in harsh terms.

    BTW, Dogma, by it’s own authoritative nature is not to be disputed, therefore, cannot be wrong in the eyes of the faithful.

  15. the3rdpigshouse says:

    The minor detail was omitted that the surplus under Clinton was created by reducing our military by 50%!!!

  16. the3rdpigshouse says:

    beerBoy – complete your analysis!

    “Even Greenspan (who supported the Bush cuts) says that we can not afford to keep them. ”

    Just maybe because “OH-Bummer” has implemented his socialist plan of creating dependency through massive spending and increases in unemployment ??!

  17. Sumner401 says:

    Hans, I’m a bit surprised you would try to engage in another discussion about the economy after the drubbing you have received in the past.
    You don’t learn very well do you?

  18. iamjimbo says:

    Beerboy’s claim that someone else is one of “the most rigid ideologues who posts here” is… well… consistent at least.

  19. aislander says:

    I think the fact that the depression was “Great” only in the United States and of much shorter duration everywhere else speaks for itself: we were doing everything wrong. Combine that with two previous presidents (not Hoover!) doing the opposite and getting out of what were arguably sharper declines in a matter of months, well that kind of says it all, don’t you think?

  20. aislander says:

    By the way, beerBoy, why the quote marks surrounding “proven” and “proof?” I just reread my posts, and those words appear nowhere in them. And, I wasn’t directly addressing the question of dogma, but the idea that someone would wax so dogmatic over an idea that has been tested and has never worked, save for the in legends of the left, which are always untouched by grim reality.

  21. hansgruber says:

    Sumner401 doesn’t understand much. I’m suprised your not on vacation with President Obama being his # 1 sycophant

  22. aislander says:

    Ah, found those quoted words, bB. Sorry! But my exposition on “dogma” still stands…

    Also, in Sumner401’s gloating over his previous “drubbing” of hansgruber, I experienced a strong sense of deja vu. Crafty! Pseudonym much?

  23. Roncella says:

    Duane turn off MSNBC, CNN, Mr. Ed, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and all t he rest. Get your information from more reliable sources.

    President Reagan got America moving following the President Carters 4 years in office. I lived through the Carter years. I remember clearly what that was like.

    1. Gas Lines
    2. Gas Shortages
    3. High unemployment
    3. Interest rates over 20%
    4. Americans being held hostage by Iran
    5. Real Estate Market at a stand still
    Reagan got America moving again. He restored our faith and hope in what Americans were capable of accomplishing. He outsmarted the Great Soviet Union, Helped to Tear Down the Berlin Wall, so many other positive things.

    President Obama needs to stop with all the vacations and flying all over the Country raising money for Democrats this November.

    Its time he gets to work at the White House for a change. Its time he stops blaming President Bush and Republicians for all the problems he is facing

    He ran for President, He won, its time he accept the responsibilities of Being President Of the United States.

  24. aislander says:

    Roncella, you are absolutely right about the Reagan years, and the ironic thing is that Democrats in Congress KNEW that tax cuts would work to save the economy. Why do you think they insisted that their implementation be delayed until AFTER the next elections?

  25. OK, lets get some real facts in this discussion instead of the hazy and fond memories of the Reagan years. By the time Reagan was elected, unemployment had fallen to 5.6% after the business fallout from the oil crisis. Immediately upon Reagan’s inauguration it started to rise again and reached a stubborn 7.5% which lasted many years. After 18 months in office for Reagan, inflation went from the 9%-10% it had been under Carter to 13.5%.

    The way Reagan dealt with inflation was to cut off money supply, making interest rates rise to 21.5% (prime rate). Reagan deregulated the banks causing the highest rate of bank failures since the depression because of out of control, unregulated speculation on the money markets. The National debt grew to the highest since WWII because of the borrowing the federal government had to do to keep afloat.

    Reagan’s popularity fell to 35%, the lowest since Nixon and Watergate. Dems gained 26 seats, the most ever gain for a party out of power except the Watergate year.

    The only reason the economy was put back into some sort of order was the Reagan sponsored and Republican-passed largest tax increase since WWII. The $100 billiion tax increase stabilized the economy, started a lowering of the national debt, calmed the money markets and allowed government-backed housing loans to restart reversing the worst housing market since WWII.

    Dream all you want about the myth of Reagan’s policies. The unregulated free-market , lower tax experiment did not work. He had to go back to a regulated economy with a reasonable tax rate. That’s what worked then and what we must do now to stabilize our economy.

  26. aislander says:

    For an ACCURATE history of the Reagan years, I suggest “The Seven Fat Years,” by Bartley…

  27. aislander says:

    …and there hasn’t been an “unregulated free market” since at least the Garfield administration…

  28. aislander says:

    Oh, and Carter initiated deregulation (such as it was), the one thing he did right. And Reagan could NOT have “cut off” the money supply, that being the purview of the Fed…

  29. aislander, when anyone says “Reagan did this, or Reagan did that”, we all know he was a mouthpiece, an effective one, but just a mouthpiece. He rarely took any interest in specific policy or laws or running of government. He made us all feel good about being Americans and superior to the rest of the world, and we liked that.

    The author of the vaunted (and ridiculed as one-sided and inaccurate) book “The Seven Fat Years” makes the argument that prosperity came because the US allowed the Federal deficit to grow as large as it needed to grow to keep taxes low and prosperity for large corporations high. He espouses the corporate philosophy of allowing China and other countries to take our jobs and lend us money, because that helps keep labor costs low and return on investment in corporations high. Why do people who tout his work attack Obama for increasing the national debt and for low job growth?

    The biggest fallacy he makes in the book, (besides the misleading and sometimes false statistics he provides) is that the US will always be the dominant economy and can dictate economic policy to the rest of the world on its own terms. If we did have that power (and I think we did through the Clinton years and that is why we had “8 fat years” then), we lost it when we squandered our resources and our economy to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq.

  30. iamjimbo says:

    “The biggest fallacy he makes in the book, is that the US will always be the dominant economy”

    Hindsight is 20/20… you don’t REALLY expect him to have known Obama would become president … AND have the majority in both houses???

    Do You?

  31. aislander says:

    Reagan rebuilt the military and tried to “starve” Washington. His budgets were “DOA” on Capitol Hill, and he never got promised spending cuts (thus the deficits), but did effect some slowing in the rate of growth of government. Harding and, especially, Coolidge DID reduce government spending AND taxes with salutary results. I have no doubt that if government had remained within its constitutional boundaries, we would be a solvent nation today, with much greater private wealth than we now have. The idea of China or anyone else surpassing us would be ludicrous. Government is a millstone around our neck and a parasite sucking us dry: quite a combo…

  32. And we would be a solvent nation today also, had president Nixon not untied the dollar from gold, had president Reagan not began this nations deficit spending death spiral, and had the Pay-go system not been discarded in 2002.., All grave mistakes made by the party of fiscal austerity.

    Reagan failed to “starve” Washington, Aislander, but he did succeed in starving the poor by reducing domestic spending and raising taxes on the bottom 40% of households. Under Reagans infamous tax cuts, these households paid more federal taxes in 1988 than they did in 1980, yet the wealthy prospered from their tax cuts, and so the federal budget suffered.

    It was the 1981 tax cuts for the wealthy and the recession in 1982 that busted Reagans budget , and created to that point, the largest peacetime deficits in history. The deficit was reduced slightly after the tax increases which took effect in 1983 kicked in.

    The economy and tax revenues grew more slowly under Reagan than they did in either the 1960’s or 1990’s, and since Reaganomics , economic growth gains have gone overwhelmingly to the wealthy and economic inequality has increased.

  33. aislander says:

    I really can’t find a record of Reagan’s asking for and receiving a law increasing taxes c. 1982. I HAVE found a record of a revenue increase after the cuts that were passed earlier took effect after the elections of 1982. I would be grateful for citations that would help increase my knowledge of the period…

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0