Carly Fiorina is no Ronald Reagan
There’s a DailyKos article about Carly Fiornia’s reponse to that question at the debate. The spin at DailyKos is that it’s impossible to defend Republicans.
Of course that’s not true. This is what I live-blogged during the debate:
9:22 Carly is telling a story to make her sound more human and less like a sociopathic robot. But she does NOT answer the question about why there is more job growth under Democrats than under Republicans. And it’s such an easy question to answer too. Clinton took credit for the Reagan/Bush policies that caused the economic growth. That’s the answer if you’re a Republican.
I think it’s obvious that Carly had this story prepared to, as I previously said, make her sound more human and less like a sociopathic robot. And she intended to use the story regardless of whether it was in response to any question. Which was really a softball question that could have easily been answered, and should have been answered.
When I was a libertarian, I used to believe completely that the Reagan/Bush tax cuts caused all of the good stuff to happen in the 1990s. These days I no longer believe that there is such an obvious link between Republican-promoted policies and good results. However, there is no doubt that Clinton benefited from great timing. He became president at the end of an economic boom that began when Reagan was president, but really took off at warp speed around the time that Clinton took office. And the boom (or bubble as you might call it) conveniently collapsed just as Clinton was leaving office. The 1990s was the type of boom that only occurs every 70 years. The last one, known as the Roaring Twenties, also ended in a disastrous Great Depression. George W. Bush got stuck with the hangover from the 1990s party.
That said, a lot of good changes happened when Reagan was president. There was significant tax reform. In the 1970s, the tax code was riddled with loopholes and some very rich people avoided paying any taxes at all. Under Reagan, corporate taxes were increased, the individual capital gains rate was made the same as the rate on ordinary income, a lot of tax breaks were eliminated; this is all stuff the modern-day Republicans are opposed to. As I’ve stated many times, Republicans today view tax loopholes as fast ones that they’ve pulled on the Democrats and not as problems that need to be fixed.