Besides being inherently cruel, Republicans are intrinsically lazy sots in more ways than one. It is true they revel in being legislators; a job that in their view just entails repealing existing laws and screaming no to anything new. Republicans are incapable of coming up with any new ideas whatsoever to help the American people, at least over the past thirty years. It is particularly true when it comes to the economy where, for the thirty years since Ronald Reagan was president, their only policy proposal to grow the economy or create jobs is either deregulation or giving more tax cuts to the rich. What Americans should finally have worked out for themselves is that the only thing that does not create jobs more than deregulation is tax cuts for the rich. If the Republicans’ assertion over the past thirty years was even semi-valid, the Bush administration’s eight year folly with unfunded tax cuts for the rich should have created an entire population of millionaires and economic growth the entire world envied. Instead the economy crashed and tens-of-millions of Americans lost their jobs; the rich came out wealthier than ever.
Despite the epic income inequality that is killing Americans’ financial status that began with Reagan and grew uncontrollably during the Bush era, several Republican states decided that Bush-Republicans did not go far enough with trickle down and are now experiencing historic economic woes that are leading to state-level catastrophes. What is stunning, really, is that Republicans like Kansas Governor Sam Brownback have witnessed national economic growth and job creation under President Obama, and still went in the opposite direction and enacted monumental unfunded tax cuts for the rich he promised would make Kansas the national model to follow because of brilliant conservative governance.
Many Americans were shocked that Sam Brownback won re-election and earned another four years to completely destroy the economy. The reason anyone was surprised Brownback won re-election was the disaster he created for Kansas’ economy that prompted many hardcore Republicans in Kansas to decry Brownback’s tax cut folly and came out in support of his opponent. What they failed to comprehend was that Brownback had a secret weapon to distract Kansas voters from the state’s financial disaster; the fetus. However, even the fetus could not fix the state’s finances and instead of revisiting the abject failure trickle down wrought on the state after winning re-election, Brownback stood firm, blew off calls to rescind some of the tax cuts, and promised more were on the near horizon.
As was predicted by even Kansas Republicans a few months ago, the Kansas economy is on pace to fall short of revenue by $600 million that is a whopping $200 million more than even trickle down Sam expected. Now, Kansas’ Republican legislators are all but admitting their precious trickle down experiment was not only a failure, it is a scam. In fact, although not quite stating “our only economic policy is a scam to enrich corporations and the wealthy,” just admitting they have to raise taxes to plug gaping revenue holes and more recently, that income inequality is a problem in America, is just as good.
Now that Republicans are starting to bemoan income inequality in America, the people should understand it is not that they care about the plight of the poor or vanishing middle class, but because they have no choice due to the Obama economic recovery that most Americans know has enriched all sectors except the general population. Income inequality is nothing new, and it did not start with the Obama economic recovery; it began with Reagan and has continued unabated. It is a fact that should incite any thinking American to finally wonder; just how much of the nation’s wealth does the population have to give the rich before the people or the government benefit? It is a question Kansas residents were likely asking before trickle down Sam brought out the sacred fetus. It is also a question Republicans are finding difficult to answer now that every American alive knows the economic recovery has been ongoing for six years and everyone but the rich are getting poorer and poorer with no end in sight.
Over the past few months when a Republican talks about income inequality, and admits that it is a real problem in this country, they are unwittingly admitting that they know their cherished trickle-down economic policy is a riotous scam. Whether he will ever admit it in public or to his wealthy backers, or acknowledge what every American not in the richest one percent already knows, presidential candidate Jeb Bush admitted the Republicans’ only economic policy since Reagan has been a glaring failure for Americans. It has been a money-making bonanza for the filthy rich, their corporations, and Wall Street, but no other American in the bottom 98 percent of income earners. When Jeb Bush made the mistake of noting “that wages in America were not keeping pace with the growing wealth among the richest one percent of Americans,” he was admitting that it is due trickle-down economics. It is noteworthy that the majority of the Bush tax cuts are still in effect, and the minute tax hike two years ago amounted to a pittance for the rich; particularly when they hide the majority of their substantial income offshore where they are not taxed.
In an interview Bush said, “If we grew at a far faster rate, the middle would no longer be as squeezed as they are. We are in the sixth year of recovery, and median income is below what it was at the start of the recovery.” Notice that Bush threw in a qualifier; “if we grew at a far faster rate” to give himself cover amongst his funders who still demand greater tax cuts in spite of the growing awareness trickle down is a monumental scam. The fact that Kansas Republicans acknowledge, for the third time in a little under a year, that the state’s economy cannot survive the Republican trickle down scam and that they now have to revisit Brownback’s tax cut mania does not mean Republicans will abandon the only economic ideology they know. Even their demigod Ronald Reagan had to raise taxes several times after trickle down failed, and yet for thirty years Republicans have never wavered or faltered from their plan of imposing the only economic policy they adhere to; more tax cuts for the rich and hope the population will fall for the fetus trick like they do as a matter of course.
Even though some Kansas Republicans, some Republicans in Congress, and Republican presidential aspirants like Bush point out that over the last six years of the Obama economic recovery income has declined regardless the wealthy are getting richer, they are admitting that everything about the Republicans’ only economic policy is a farce. If what has been happening over the past six years in America, lower taxes and wealth at the top, was all that was required to host a robust middle class and declining poverty, all Americans would be financially secure. As has been noted by many non-conservative economists, the only reason wages are flat or have declined during the six year wealth-creating recovery is not, as Republicans claim, due to higher tax burdens on the job creators, regulations, or a depressed economy. It is because greedy businesses, large and small, reveled in the devastating effects of Bush-Republicans Great Recession that forced tens-of-millions of out-of-work Americans to take jobs for slave wages.
The only economic policy that is a proven failure on the level of Republicans’ cherished “harsh austerity during economic depression” is trickle-down economics at any time. The ridiculous failings of trickle down were first manifest thirty years and drove Republican man-god Ronald Reagan to raise taxes eleven times to prevent the revenue shortfalls from driving the economy into bankruptcy. Still, that lesson was lost on George W. Bush who repeated Reagan’s unfunded tax-cutting folly that failed to teach Republican governors like Kansas’ Sam Brownback who pledged that his trickle down tax cuts would prove that the only Republican economic policy would spur a job creating bonanza and fill the state coffers with mounds of money trickling down from the rich.
Now that national Republicans are talking about income inequality, and Kansas Republicans are putting tax hikes on the table to save their state’s dying economy, one would like to say Republicans admit their only economic policy is a failure, and a scam. But these are lazy devious Republicans and it is important to remember that they are not going to come up with a different economic policy, ever. Not when they can wave around a fetus and fool all the people again. It worked for Sam Brownback’s Kansas disaster and if any American thinks it will not work again on the national level they have not been paying attention over the past thirty years.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.