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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Repetition Does Not Make It So

Oct 26th, 2010

by F. Grey Parker

For months, it has seemed apt for those of us grounded in the reality of our nation's debt to borrow that great Reaganism, "there you go again," when dealing with the extend-the-W-tax-cuts crowd. It's the only achievable proposal the Right has, after all. Really. What else have they got?

Repealing "Obamacare" isn't just foolish; it's undoable. Cutting spending without touching the defense budget is a non-starter when grappling with this deficit. Even the few really bright republicans who are genuinely committed to bettering the nation have come up with, at best, a patchwork of unrealistic suggestions. Think, the Paul Ryan "Roadmap."

Americans, having had their every fiscal fear exploited by each party, are desperate for something to get done. Thus, the right's message has coalesced around extending the W era "tax cuts." The thing is, the argument has not been that raising taxes in a time of economic fragility is counter productive to job creation. Proponents of the extension are actually saying the cuts will spur growth. They have not one other proposal to do so.

There is only one problem with this. It didn't work for the past nine years. In fact, long before the recession of 2008, the job creation machine broke down and has never bounced back. There is a difference between simply blaming Bush for the sorry state of the economy and actually analyzing the year to year economic facts on the ground during the period when we had these "guaranteed growth" policies in place. We have already seen their influence on the broader economy. It's all negative.

Here's proof:

"The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under PresidentBill Clinton’s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office."

Ahem... the American economy added more than 3 times as many jobs under Carter as it did under W. And that was with a population of 80,000,000 fewer citizens.

But then, of course, there are these guys. I have taken to calling them "the Repeaters."

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