The Laffer Curve in real life

Ever since the Reagan administration, supply-side economics has been at the core of Republican economic philosophy. Every GOP candidate, at every level of politics, has to swear allegiance to the theory if he or she hopes to retain credibility with the party base.

In a post yesterday, we took a look at the theory as it illustrated in the Laffer Curve. Now it’s time to look at how the theory has worked in practice, focusing on the two separate experiments with supply-side economics that we’ve run in the past 30 years.

The first began with the Reagan tax cuts in 1981 and ran to 1993. The second began in 2001, with passage of the Bush tax cuts. And in between of course, we had the Clinton administration, which took a very different approach. In 1993, President Clinton pushed a major tax hike into law in order to close the deficit, the very antithesis of supply-side theory. And by the end of his term, the deficit had indeed been eliminated, if only temporarily?

So how do we gauge the effectiveness of supply-side theory in practice? I propose we look at three specific measures:

  • The core claim of supply-siders is that tax cuts spur investment, so we’ll look at growth in private investment;
  • Supply-side theory also claims that tax cuts increase government revenue, so we’ll look at whether that actually occurred;
  • And since growth in gross domestic product is the ultimate aim of any economic policy, we’ll include that in the analysis as well.
  • (Note: All data below have been adjusted to account for inflation.)

    Private investment:

    After the ‘81 Reagan tax cuts, private nonresidential investment over the next seven years grew at an annual rate of 2.8 percent.
    After the ‘93 Clinton tax hike, private investment over the next seven years grew annually at 10.2 percent.
    After the 2001 Bush tax cut, private investment grew annually at 2.7 percent.
    (Data source: CAP/EPI study, Sept. 2008,, based on Bureau of Economic Analysis data.)

    Federal revenue:

    From 1981-1993, federal revenue increased by 20.7 percent over 12 years.
    From 1993-2001, federal revenue grew by 46.6 percent over 8 years.
    From 2001-2009, federal revenue decreased by 13.9 percent. (Even if you don’t include the deep recession year of 2009 — you might say we’re invoking the mercy rule — revenue increased just 3.3 percent over the eight years of Bush’s presidency.

    (Source: OMB Historical Table 1.2)

    GDP growth

    From 1981-1993, real GDP grew by an annual average of 2.97 percent.
    From 1993-2001, real GDP grew by an annual average of 3.56 percent.
    From 2001-2009, real GDP grew by an annual average of 1.56 percent.
    (Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)

    In conclusion, in all three categories central to the claim of supply-side proponents, the economy performed significantly better in the wake of tax increases than it did in the wake of major tax cuts.

    Confronted with such data, the first word out of a supply-sider’s mouth is usually “But ….,” followed by a series of rationalizations for why the economy didn’t perform in real life as supply-side theory dictates it should have. Some of those excuses, such as the fact that the economy under Clinton benefited by the high-tech boom, are legitimate. Others, such as the claim that Bush had to deal with the economic fallout of Sept. 11, are not. There was no major economic fallout in the wake of the terror attacks.

    And the excuses themselves, whether lame or legitimate, further undercut the lofty claims of supply-side advocates. If the economic benefit of major tax cuts is so weak that it can be washed away by larger trends, to the point that you can find no real evidence of it in the data, and if the economic damage of tax increases is so minor that it too can’t be found in the data, then what exactly is this supply-side theory about in the first place?

    I mean, other than to serve as a handy rationalization for perpetual tax cuts.

    367 comments Add your comment

    Guy Incognito

    September 15th, 2010
    1:32 pm

    Paul

    September 15th, 2010
    1:34 pm

    Theory as applied to reality. I love it.

    Time for a shift from emphasizing tax cuts to reduce the deficit to spending cuts to reduce the deficit.

    Wait…. that’d cost lots more votes than lofty generalizations on tax cuts.

    Nevermind.

    ty webb

    September 15th, 2010
    1:35 pm

    oh alright, you’ve conviced me. Here… let me pay for your healthcare.

    Gale

    September 15th, 2010
    1:38 pm

    My grandmother was right. Don’t buy what you cannot pay for. I can’t wait to hear from the Clinton haters on this. To borrow a line from USinUK, they can have their own opinions, but not their own facts.

    Keep up the good fight!

    September 15th, 2010
    1:38 pm

    Jay…you are making the mistake of assuming their claims and defenses make some sort of logical sense. You really said it all here, with one minor correction: Confronted with such data, the first word out of a supply-sider’s mouth is usually “But ….,” followed by a series of rationalizationsnonsense and wild assertions

    For the logical, its been a great 2-day post and makes complete sense….And now I return you to your But..But…but and other attacks

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    1:39 pm

    The topic of this blog will force the so-called conservatives to defend their position(s) with real data.
    The silent approach will be employed.

    Keep up the good fight!

    September 15th, 2010
    1:40 pm

    Oh dang..rationalizations was suppose to be struck out…if only I could type today.

    Guy Incognito

    September 15th, 2010
    1:40 pm

    “Some of those excuses, such as the fact that the economy under Clinton benefited by the high-tech boom, are legitimate.”

    Wow, I’m not sure if I ever heard a lib admit that.

    Matti

    September 15th, 2010
    1:45 pm

    You don’t have to validate your economic theories with facts if you have an (R) by your name. The faithful will believe you no matter what you tell them. Wooooo! The Magic R! “It’s good. It’s honest.” Even when it’s not.

    Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

    September 15th, 2010
    1:47 pm

    Well, you forgot one thing and it’s the most important supply side argument. See, the reason federal income never grew much after My President’s tax cuts is because the Revenue Fairy got in a big car crash and was in the hospitle in a coma for 8 years.

    But I sure did like that tax cut. It saved me right near 100 bucks a year.

    The Boner's Tan Line

    September 15th, 2010
    1:47 pm

    The Boner knows all of this is lies, pure lies! The Boner will have you investigated thoroughly. You’ll not get away with this, Jay Bookman. Interrupting valuable tanning and touching time for such drivel!

    DebbieDoRight

    September 15th, 2010
    1:48 pm

    I mean, other than to serve as a handy rationalization for perpetual tax cuts.

    You’ve answered your own question……..

    TaxPayer

    September 15th, 2010
    1:49 pm

    Just to show the cons a little more mercy, I would conclude that you did not prove or dis-prove supply-side economics with your analysis. What you did is provide sufficient reason to believe that the ever-sought-after and ever-so-elusive “Point A”, from your prior post on the laffer curve, is farther to the right than we have yet ventured, in at least the last 30-plus years.

    Guy Incognito

    September 15th, 2010
    1:50 pm

    Ok, if not tax (and SPENDING CUTS) to spur foriegn investment, what is the key?

    Independent

    September 15th, 2010
    1:51 pm

    Jay you forgot a required statistic along with the tax rates that will impact GDP growth. How about a federal spending amount overlapped with those same years?

    DebbieDoRight

    September 15th, 2010
    1:51 pm

    Redneck – I have it on good authority that the Revenue Fairy was NOT in a coma at any hospital! He was in the bathroom stall next to [insert Republican name here]; practising his “wide stance” on economic policy. :wink:

    TaxPayer

    September 15th, 2010
    1:54 pm

    Ok, if not tax (and SPENDING CUTS) to spur foriegn investment, what is the key?

    Simple. We must import cheap Chinese workers. For some reason, the cons are opposed to letting the cheap labor simply walk here from Mexico. Only imports from overseas will do.

    EL

    September 15th, 2010
    1:54 pm

    I feel many insults, because that’s all the Repubs have, coming on…Get ready!

    paleo-neo-Carlinist

    September 15th, 2010
    1:55 pm

    only one issue, the “but” uttered by neo-cons might also be followed with the words; illegal immigrant, birth certificate, socialist, or stimulus package. as I said yesterday, the housing bubble itself was based on the very same “principles” as the Laffer Curver, basically that if one borrows money (assumes debt), the debt will likely show up on somebody else’s balance sheet as an asset (income or revenue). in addition, the “mythical money” being borrowed and spent in the form of home equity loans was what was inflating the bubble, as opposed to the actual appreciation of assets (homes). the only difference (hence the infamous “deficits don’t matter”) is; the folks in DC don’t acknowledge the prospect of foreclosure, and are not beholden to credit scores or credit limits when they need to borrow additional funds. did not Bush 41 refer to this as “Voodoo Economics”?

    TaxPayer

    September 15th, 2010
    1:57 pm

    How about a federal spending amount overlapped with those same years?

    We spent more than we collected during Republican administrations and less during Democrat administrations.

    Paul

    September 15th, 2010
    1:57 pm

    Any idea how this fits in to all that?

    “Call them “the Obama tax cuts for the middle class.”

    Top Democratic leaders in the House are discussing using that phrase to rebrand President Obama’s proposed extension of the Bush tax cuts”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/the_obama_tax_cuts_for_the_mid.html

    Keep up the good fight!

    September 15th, 2010
    2:01 pm

    Debbie…the Revenue Fairy denies any term or connotation that might even suggest something other than complete Dudley DooRight Canadian Mounty Lumberjack manliness……until such time that the Revenue Fairy is no longer a member of Republican iconic fiction…..

    DebbieDoRight

    September 15th, 2010
    2:04 pm

    Keep up the good fight – too funny!!!

    Guy Incognito

    September 15th, 2010
    2:04 pm

    “Simple. We must import cheap Chinese workers.”

    Awesome…..I LOVE Chinese food!

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    2:05 pm

    This reminds me of the playground basketball challenge called H-O-R-S-E.
    If you make a shot, your competitors must make the same shot or get a letter up to E with E being the explusion letter. Those that lose are considered the horse’s rear.

    The so-called conservatives have run out of excuses.

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    2:07 pm

    !993-2001…Clinton was coasting on Reagen’s successful administration. We had the peace dividend and a long period of stability.

    2001-2009…we needed to get out of the recession which began in 2000. This country in 09-11-01 experienced its worst attack in our history that shut the economy down and came close to producing a major prolonged crises. Hurricane Kattrina in 05 was the costliest natural disaster in our nations history. All of this within 5 years. To trivialize these events and their impact would be an attempt to re-write history.

    stands for decibels

    September 15th, 2010
    2:08 pm

    Any idea how this fits in to all that?

    Beyond mere political messaging, it doesn’t, really. However, given that Atrios has been complaining about this tone-deaf messaging for at least the better part of a month, I’m glad to see that the Dem establishment are finally at least getting this much right.

    stands for decibels

    September 15th, 2010
    2:08 pm

    Clinton was coasting on Reagen’s successful administration.

    …AND Bush’s? really?

    Paul

    September 15th, 2010
    2:09 pm

    Jackie

    So why do Democrats support keeping tax cuts in place during a time of recession, high unemployment and high deficits?

    andygrd

    September 15th, 2010
    2:09 pm

    Off topic, buttttttttttttttttttttt

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he wants to attach an amendment to a defense policy bill that would help young people in the United States illegally become legal U.S. residents.

    The Nevada Democrat said at a Capitol news conference
    that the legislation known as the DREAM Act is long overdue. He would not say whether he has the votes for the amendment. The act would allow young people who attend college or join the military to become legal U.S. residents.

    Of course attach it to a defense bill,,,, and you guys talk about Repubs pandering for votes……..

    Paul

    September 15th, 2010
    2:10 pm

    Hi there, sfd

    Ain’t politics grand?

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    2:11 pm

    @Paul

    The Dems that support tax cuts for lower and middle-class taxpayers are doing what is right. Those that support tax cuts for the top 2% wage earners are mere political cowards!

    stands for decibels

    September 15th, 2010
    2:13 pm

    Ain’t politics grand?

    Well, it’s always there, even if you’re away from it for a few days, as I’ve been. I’ll say that much for it.

    Deep Throat, Part Deux

    September 15th, 2010
    2:14 pm

    I think Obama could buy a lot more votes with an offering of a tax cut for 97 to 98 percent of US households than he could if he offered only a tax cut for the top 2 to 3 percent of money hoarders. Then again, that 2 to 3 percent could also buy all those other votes too, if they were not so greedy. So, in the end, there can only be one. Will it be the generous Obama or the greedy few who win control over our fair nation’s true wealth. Are the Kochs willing to part with enough cash to have their way with us. It would take a miracle. Something shocking… awesome. It would take something like turning Hillary to the dark side and giving her a deep raspy voice emanating from a black helmet. That would do it. Hillary/Palin 2012. Stay tuned.

    B. Morris

    September 15th, 2010
    2:15 pm

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    2:16 pm

    David Stockman, Budget Director of the Reagan Administration has publicly stated the trickle-down economic concept was flawed.

    http://www.creators.com/opinion/pat-buchanan/another-failed-president.html

    RW-(the original)

    September 15th, 2010
    2:17 pm

    What this really proves is that the point on the Laffer curve is correct, but since economic conditions change constantly the tax rates need to as well. God help us if politicians ever start trying that little bit of tea leaf reading.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Since we have a two-track problem with comments here I did a little poking around. It appears Wordpress employees two sets of filters. One that places comments in moderation and another that blacklists the comment. It sure would be nice if they would share the blacklist file with us so we’d know when a comment was just going to vanish into oblivion, never to be seen or heard from again.

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Settings_Discussion_SubPanel

    Keep up the good fight!

    September 15th, 2010
    2:17 pm

    Sure Del…and of course in 2009 is all was right as of January 20. AND then Obama went and screwed up everything. ….. Be sure that no one re-writes that history! Enjoy a slurpee!

    Paul

    September 15th, 2010
    2:22 pm

    Jackie

    I wasn’t aware the Laffer Curve theory differentiated between income classes when it came to tax cuts. I thought it was, a tax cut is a tax cut.

    So, are you putting forth the idea the Laffer Curve has merit when applied to certain income groups?

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    2:23 pm

    Smart money says that the extension will ultimately apply for every tax payer. The administration is on the losing end and are glad they’re on the losing end. This way they can save face with their base, blaming Republicans and renegade Democrats, while protecting their rear from the potential economic impact on small business job creators through increased taxes.

    Paul

    September 15th, 2010
    2:24 pm

    Jackie 2:16

    If you’ve never read it, Stockman’s book is a good read.

    If my memory’s correct, he asserted what got us into trouble was not just the tax cuts, but not following them with spending cuts.

    Soothsayer

    September 15th, 2010
    2:34 pm

    TaxPayer

    September 15th, 2010
    2:35 pm

    Headline: The new GOP makes Bush look liberal.

    Well, duh! The cons on here have been telling us for some time now that Bush was a liberal once he went and asked for that 700 billion just for a TARP. I mean, Really! That also explains why the cons on here are so quick to tell us that Obama is just like Bush. They’re both liberals.

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    2:41 pm

    Soothsayer,

    Are you truther?

    jconservative

    September 15th, 2010
    2:50 pm

    Good two day point Jay.

    As I said yesterday and will repeat, when government is forced to borrow money it takes money out of the market place that could be used in investing in true capitalism. In a more vernacular phrase, government just sucks the cash out of the marketplace when it is on a big borrowing binge.

    And government has been on a big borrowing binge since this experiment began in January 1981.

    And credit does need to be given to Clinton(D)for signing the 3 “balanced budgets” and for the John Kasich(R) led congress for passing the bills. Kasich showed us how to do this sanely, but when he left we “forgot?”.

    Since Eisenhower no Republican president has signed a balanced budget.
    That statement in itself should be a sobering thought to all who claim to be Republican.

    But I am not here just to bash Republicans. Lets give credit to George H W Bush for his 1990 tax increase for also helping to lessen the ravages of deficit spending started by Reagan.

    And lastly, VP Cheney in 11/02 to Bush Treas. Sec. Paul O’Neill – “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter…”

    Obviously Obama overheard every word Cheney said about deficits.

    Anyhow, the legacy of 30 years of “voodoo economics”, per Bush 41, is a national debt of $13.4 Trillion as of 9/13/2010.

    And Mitch McConnell(R)yesterday introduced the “Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010″ which would extend all the Bush tax cuts through FY 2011.

    McConnell did NOT introduce a bill to reduced any spending to replace the loss of revenue from his bill. I guess McConnell also heard every word VP Cheney said about deficits. Apparently he thinks they are great as he is planning to enlarge the one we now planning for FY 2011.

    As Yogi said “Its ‘1981′ all over again!”

    Sorry.

    paleo-neo-Carlinist

    September 15th, 2010
    2:55 pm

    Del, “successful administration”? Reagan left office (actually left us) with a record national debt. Sure we “felt good” (bombed Libya, conquered Grenada, and of course he dodged a bullet with the Iran -Contra mess). so, if you want to argue Reagan succeeded in bosting America’s emotional well-being (”pride cometh before the fall”), but financially speaking we were not “better off than we were in 1980″.

    jconservative

    September 15th, 2010
    2:56 pm

    Paul at 2:24 – “If you’ve never read it, Stockman’s book is a good read.
    If my memory’s correct, he asserted what got us into trouble was not just the tax cuts, but not following them with spending cuts.”

    That is my memory of his remarks also.

    And as I stated in an earlier post, the last Republican president to sign a balanced budget was Eisenhower.

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    2:57 pm

    @Paul

    The Lafler curve was an economic concept that was designed to show the relationship of government revenue raised by taxes and all other revenue sources.

    If you think about it, the concept was used to demonstrate that governent should lower taxes because more revenue was generated by the growth of disposable income, of which poor and middle-income people had very little of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve

    RJ

    September 15th, 2010
    3:00 pm

    Sorry, Jay but this entire post is based on a false premise. The Laffer Curve is not part of supply-side theory. It’s a completely seperate factual thing that illustrates the relationship between marginal tax rates and tax revenue.

    (Meanwhile, I’ll save the supply siders the effort. Supply side economics explains the GDP boost in the Clinton administration with the effect of higher productivity.)

    paleo-neo-Carlinist

    September 15th, 2010
    3:02 pm

    the Laffer Curve was a political card trick, which played on the belief that Republicans were fiscally responsible (and as jcon points out, they WERE – from 1953 – 1961).

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    3:04 pm

    Paleo, Sorry you can’t rewrite presidential history to suit your political ideology. The left, however, attempts to do so all the time with Ronald Reagan’s precisely because his was successful and in stark contrast to Jimmy Carter’s failed presidency.

    Wahoo

    September 15th, 2010
    3:04 pm

    Since the economy was so much better for all of us under Bill Clinton than it was under Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, I vote we raise taxes on everyone to Clinton-era levels. Who’s with me?

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    3:10 pm

    @Wahoo

    Along with restoring Clinton-era tax rates, if you would restore Clinton era budget policies and PAYGO rules, that would be something I could support.

    stands for decibels

    September 15th, 2010
    3:14 pm

    Since the economy was so much better for all of us under Bill Clinton than it was under Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, I vote we raise taxes on everyone to Clinton-era levels. Who’s with me?

    I’ve no problem with that, actually, given that the marginal tax rates on middle and low incomes weren’t onerous.

    Ron

    September 15th, 2010
    3:17 pm

    We should not forget that Clinton cut taxes for the sale of a primary residence, required people on unemployment to look for a job amoung, cut government spending (military) and several other items which reduced taxes even as the marginal rates was increased.

    paleo-neo-Carlinist

    September 15th, 2010
    3:19 pm

    Del, this what happens when you use words like “successful administration” and “failed presidency” (your biased, ideological opinion). the national debt at the end of the Carter administration was $1.7 trillion and change. Eight years later, when Reagan flipped the keyes to GHW Bush the national debt was in excess of $3.7 trillion. ergo, tax cuts or not (Laffer curve or not), the national debt more than doubled as a result of the “conservative” fiscal policies of St. Ronald the Actor. you would do well to learn to distinguish between words and numbers (words are the foundation of lies, and numbers NEVER lie). for example, the national debt to GDP ratio actually decreased 3.3% during the “failed” Carter years. By the time “Dutch” left office the national debt had increased 9.3%. I have given St. Ronnie credit for his successes (ridding the island of Grenada of Cuban construction workers, trading arms for hostages and using the funds in his failed attempt to overthrow the democratically elected Sandinista government, which itself was voted out of office in the 90’s). no my friend, I am not of the left, nor am I beholden to any partisan ideology. this isn’t a left/right issue it is a red/black issue.

    Fly-on-the-wall

    September 15th, 2010
    3:22 pm

    Del, I thought when Clinton came into office there was an election phrase “It’s the economy stupid”. That’s because we were in the middle of yet another Republican induced recession (8 years of Ray-gun & 4 years of GHW Bush).

    Wahoo

    September 15th, 2010
    3:22 pm

    Of course, Jackie. Who, in this political and economic climate, wouldn’t support a balanced budget? I mean, aside from the President? Raising taxes is one thing – frankly that’s the easy part. Balancing the budget is an entirely different thing, and I see no indication from DC (either party, really) that they have any itching to balance the budget and pay as you go. That would take far more political will than what I believe is contained in Washington. As someone with a very high income, if you told me you were going to raise my taxes but cut the spending and balance the budget, and actually provided me the slightest inclination to you were serious about cutting spending, I’d support raising taxes. But personally, I won’t support raising taxes of any kind on anyone until there is some degree of fiscal discipline restored within the ranks of our “leadership”.

    barking frog

    September 15th, 2010
    3:23 pm

    Supply side economics is based on the belief that if

    build it they will buy it. This is fundamental to the auto

    industry. How has that worked for them.

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    3:25 pm

    Reagan had to get the country out of the Carter mess. Brought Soviet Russia down and produced the peace dividend that allowed Bubba to coast through two terms In the tranquill 90’s. Of course Bubba and wife Hillary tried to screw it up during their first term, however, it brought in a Republican congress and forced Bubba to shift center. Afterwords Bubba contented himself chasing Monica, while the country purred along very nicely without him, thankfully, having much to do.

    @@

    September 15th, 2010
    3:28 pm

    AmVet:

    B the good news was that it a godsend for the blossoming oligarchy and the plutocrats who now control most facets of American lives.

    B???

    Got Bruno on your mind? Have a deep, down yearning, do ‘ya?

    schnirt

    Abrazos

    September 15th, 2010
    3:28 pm

    “Sorry you can’t rewrite presidential history to suit your political ideology.”

    This, after the same poster wrote “1993-2001…Clinton was coasting on Reagen’s [sic]successful administration. We had the peace dividend and a long period of stability.” I’m pretty sure there was somebody in between the two, say GW Bush, 1988-1992.

    Wow, THAT’S some SERIOUS rewriting of presidential history to suit your political ideology. Vaporizing 4 years is quite a feat!

    paleo-neo-Carlinist

    September 15th, 2010
    3:29 pm

    Del, and if you click the ruby slippers three times and chant “there’s no place like home” you’ll be in Kansas in no time. OK, “uncle” – Carter left the US in a “mess”. Reagan left a bigger mess; that’s all I am saying. of course, through WORDS Reagan called it prosperity, but debt is debt.

    Fly-on-the-wall

    September 15th, 2010
    3:29 pm

    Del, sorry but you’re just trying to change the subject. My feelings about Clinton is that he was a terrible person for not keeping his zipper closed but a good President because he knew how to negotiate and compromise which is something that has been lost on the republican side.

    barking frog

    September 15th, 2010
    3:29 pm

    Del 3:25 Are you saying that Monica was good for the economy?

    Wahoo

    September 15th, 2010
    3:31 pm

    stands for decibels,

    In fairness to you, my earlier comment was somewhat tongue in cheek. To be clear, I don’t think that Washington has even the political will to raise taxes on everyone to Clinton-era rates, despite our current budgetary situation.

    Soothsayer

    September 15th, 2010
    3:31 pm

    “Are you truther?”

    1) I do not believe that the World Trade Center Towers were struck by terrorists

    2) I do not believe that the World Trade Center Towers and Building 7 collapsed as a result of being struck by airplanes or any other object

    3) I believe that both World Trade Center Towers and Building 7 collapsed due to controlled demolitions placed in these buildings in advance of September 11

    4) I believe that these controlled demolitions were conducted by the federal government to provide a “Pearl Harbor” to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

    5) I believe in the fact that, in all of recorded history prior to, and after, September 11, 2001, no steel building has ever collapsed due to fire

    6) And, finally, I believe that thousands of innocent civilians and fire department personnel were murdered by our federal government for effect

    Can I make it any plainer than that?

    AmVet

    September 15th, 2010
    3:31 pm

    What the hell is that on the back of my leg???

    Must be one of the Albatross Sisters.

    Reagan left a bigger mess…

    No doubt. Ronnie

    Fly-on-the-wall

    September 15th, 2010
    3:32 pm

    Barking Frog – of course it was great for the economy. Look at how much tax money the Republican Congress spend on chasing down every possible story about Clinton.

    stands for decibels

    September 15th, 2010
    3:32 pm

    Lets give credit to George H W Bush for his 1990 tax increase for also helping to lessen the ravages of deficit spending started by Reagan.

    Also fine with me. In case anyone’s forgotten just what those tax increases entailed, here’s the wiki version:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnibus_Budget_Reconciliation_Act_of_1990

    AmVet

    September 15th, 2010
    3:32 pm

    EXPLODED the size, scope, interference and COST of government all the while blubbering out of the other side of his mouth about small government.

    And the rubes fell for it all, hook, line an disnker…

    stands for decibels

    September 15th, 2010
    3:33 pm

    To be clear, I don’t think that Washington has even the political will to raise taxes on everyone to Clinton-era rates, despite our current budgetary situation.

    Probably not any time soon, no.

    barking frog

    September 15th, 2010
    3:35 pm

    Wahoo 3:31 In fairness to you, my earlier comment was somewhat tongue in cheek. To be clear, I don’t think that Washington has even the political will to raise taxes on everyone to Clinton-era rates, despite our current budgetary situation.
    ————————————————————–
    You are aware that when the tax cuts expire this will happen.

    @@

    September 15th, 2010
    3:35 pm

    AmVet:

    Like I told Midori….What the hell is that on the back of my leg???

    That ^^^ phrase is overused and, quite frankly…..just plain silly.

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    3:35 pm

    Barking Frog, Monica may have been good for the country indirectly. Kept Bill occupied so he couldn’t do anything other than what the Republican Congress told him to do.

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    3:37 pm

    @Wahoo

    If we take your premise to the next level, how does the Congress balance the budget? What is it you would cut to achieve this objective?

    It is getting to the point that our GDP will consist of Health Care, Social Security and Defense spending in as few as 10 years. Secondly, to use an example of how our budgets are structured, how many of us have a personal budget that is without debt?

    Wahoo

    September 15th, 2010
    3:38 pm

    You are aware that when the tax cuts expire this will happen.

    Of course, barking frog. But that isn’t the debate that’s raging in Washington right now. I am sure you are aware that almost the entire discussion on taxes relates to whether we extend the tax cuts for 98% of income earners, or everyone. If our leaders really had the courage of their convictions, we wouldn’t be talking about extending the tax cuts for anyone.

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    3:39 pm

    Soothsayer,

    Ah! so you are a truther. Thank you for your admission. Do we have any other truthers with us here this afternoon?

    barking frog

    September 15th, 2010
    3:41 pm

    Fly(lunch)
    Del, You think maybe an intern or two might help now?

    AmVet

    September 15th, 2010
    3:43 pm

    What the hell is that on the back of my leg? Again!

    Trickle-down was a colossal failure. Anybody who still believes it was not voodoo economics is certifiable. The middle class has gotten damn near destroyed by it. The gap between the haves and have nots in America exceeds that of even the Great Depression. CEO pay went up hundreds of percent in one decade while the working American’s “grew” by a mind-boggling 4%. Not even enough to keep up with inflation for one year, much less ten.

    The answer is there is too much power and too much wealth in too few hands and the few control our government and the few create the problems and the injustices for the many and have less and less interest in doing anything about it because they can get away with it. Ralph Nader 1996

    And not ONE of you trickle-downers or Reagan/Newt/Bush apologoists will dare try to countermand this claim with any factual information…

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    3:43 pm

    Wahoo,

    Do you think we will extend tax cuts for only the 98% or do think the tax cuts will end up being extended for everyone?

    Midori

    September 15th, 2010
    3:46 pm

    Man,

    I want some of what Del’s smoking.

    you have to be on embalming fluid just to TYPE that nonsense……

    barking frog

    September 15th, 2010
    3:46 pm

    Wahoo 3:38 The tax cuts will likely expire. The debate is

    about who will take the blame.

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    3:48 pm

    Barking Frog, Nah…you’d have to round up too many, some up for Polosi, Reid, Biden and many others in Congress. Probably even for Joe Gibbs to ease his job anxiety.

    Fly-on-the-wall

    September 15th, 2010
    3:48 pm

    SFD – that’s what is sad. One on is willing to step up and be a true LEADER in Congress anymore. They get shot down too quickly in the media before they even have a chance to discuss the merits of a change. I feel the Dems have a few that want to try but the fear of losing is greater than the fear of success while the Repubs cannot move away from the hard line stance their party has on everything. I’m afraid that nothing will get done because no Repub can reach out to the Dems without being cast out.

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    3:50 pm

    @Del

    If nothing else, I must give you enormous credit for showing up for this discussion. It seems your other cohorts do not have enough nerve to take their pounding. You have gained my respect for your ability to continue to the end. Maybe that is some of that USMC training that is coming out. Is it true that Marines never retreat just make strategic withdrawls?

    Wahoo

    September 15th, 2010
    3:50 pm

    Jackie:

    “What is it you would cut to achieve this objective?”

    Lots of things, ranging from defense to entitlement programs. IMO the government does a lot of things that it has no business doing or is ill-equipped to do. Your question deserves a far more lengthy response than I am willing to invest at the moment since I have previously posted my thoughts on these blogs before.

    “It is getting to the point that our GDP will consist of Health Care, Social Security and Defense spending in as few as 10 years.”

    I think you mean government outlays, not GDP. As I’ve stated before, our entitlement programs require significant expenditures, and are only expected to increase in the future. Unless you are willing to assume wildly optimsitic GDP growth in the future, the tens of trilions of unfunded liabilities associated with SS and Medicare must be dealt with and it will be a sobering exercise to do so.

    Secondly, to use an example of how our budgets are structured, how many of us have a personal budget that is without debt?

    Most of us utilize debt in some form. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing money if you have the means to pay it back, with interest, over time. Our Federal government continues to run deficits and increase its borrowings each year. No individual can do this forever, and as we saw with Europe this spring, eventually the bond market sours on even sovereign nations.

    Midori

    September 15th, 2010
    3:52 pm

    oops – forgot to add: Alrighty din!!!

    Fly-on-the-wall

    September 15th, 2010
    3:52 pm

    Here’s what is so sad. We’re right back where we were 100 years ago with the big corporations (families 100 yrs ago) controlling everything including the news channels. The big corps have done their best to get us back to that environment again.

    TaxPayer

    September 15th, 2010
    3:53 pm

    How come the little Bush, GeeWhiz, did not learn anything from his daddy about voodoo economics.

    @@

    September 15th, 2010
    3:54 pm

    You only exist to irritate.

    May as well.

    In all the years I’ve been here no one’s mind has been changed. I’ve decided that having fun is more important.

    And your purpose….?

    Wahoo

    September 15th, 2010
    3:55 pm

    Wahoo 3:38 The tax cuts will likely expire.

    You might be right, barking frog. But I doubt it.

    Del, my bet is extending the tax cuts for 98%. I think the Dems are coming to the conclusion that they should put forth a proposal for extending the tax cuts for all but the top 2%, and force the GOP to go along with it or else paint themselves as holding middle class tax cuts hostage for the benefit of the evil, wealthy 2%. Obviously this just my guess.

    Del

    September 15th, 2010
    3:56 pm

    Hey Jackie,

    Semper Fi. Thanks but I’ve been hit with worse. You too probably. Retreats verses strategic withdrawals, don’t know about that, it was before my time, you’d have to ask the survivors of the Cho Son Reservoir about that. If Chesty was still around I’m sure he would have been glad to fill you in.

    JohnnyReb

    September 15th, 2010
    3:57 pm

    Jay, you obviously have done research on this; I have not. And, someone may have posted this already, but Clinton and the Republican controlled Congress also cut government spending. That is a big piece you failed to mention. Plus, the economy is like a supertanker; the response lags the input. I suppose there is no chance Clinton benefited from what Reagan put in place? Lastly, the Obama agenda has scared the hell out of anyone in business. That alone, even excluding the trillion he spent with no return, has choked the economy.

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    3:57 pm

    @Wahoo

    You are correct as I should have stated budgetary items will consist of those items instead of GDP.
    Now, you indicated there are lots of things that you would cut from the Federal budget; could you name your top 3?

    As for our personal budgets, many folks get into economic difficulties because of diminished employment.

    paleo-neo-Carlinist

    September 15th, 2010
    3:58 pm

    Del,

    Joe Gibbs – NFL Hall of Fame Coach and NASCAR team owner
    Robert Gibbs – Obama Press Secretary

    Jackie

    September 15th, 2010
    3:59 pm

    @Del

    Salute!!!

    Jefferson

    September 15th, 2010
    4:00 pm

    If the duckheads won’t vote, let them expire. People need to quit acting stupid.

    AmVet

    September 15th, 2010
    4:00 pm

    Fly-on-the-wall, regarding your correct observation that “the big corporations (families 100 yrs ago) controlling everything including the news channels.”

    It is called the corporatization of America.

    I’m fairly certain that the modern day oracles like Rush, Sean and Ann must daily extol their listeners about the mooches in American society.

    Yet they are mooching off Uncle Sam by using the airwaves that belong to *we the people* without even paying rent for doing so.

    A nice racket they have…

    Oh and for you liberal loathers, a salient quote from a well-known right-winger:

    Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and economic sphere. ~Benito Mussolini

    JohnnyReb

    September 15th, 2010
    4:01 pm

    paleo-neo-Carlinist – that’s Robert Fibbs – Obama Press Secretary.