Lion of the Blogosphere

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.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 15, 2015 at EST pm

Posted in Politics

30 Responses

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  1. So sick of re-writing history for Reagan worship. The hardliners excoriated Reagan for making deals with the “Evil Empire,” but now his brilliant military Keynesianism is credited with bankrupting the Soviets. The tax cuts stuff is even more ridiculous. The pre-Tea Partiers said Reaganism ended in 1990 when Bush agreed to raise taxes. People seem to forget about the recession we had before Clinton took over. I guess it was just “lag” from the Carter-era…

    Anyway, Clinton pushed to raise the highest marginal bracket (Gore cast the deciding vote in the Senate). Naturally, Republicans at the time condemned the whole thing as “socialism” and “the biggest tax increase in history,” declaring it would “ruin” the economy.

    Then another Bush would come into office and cut taxes. That worked out well.

    Now with Obama we heard predictions about how the ACA would single-handedly destroy the economy. He also let the Bush tax cuts expire, which would plunge us into a recession. Ugh. Enough of the craziness.

    Vince

    November 15, 2015 at EST pm

    • You’re the one “re-writing history”. Reagan had a very successful presidency. Obama, Carter and LBJ, however, pushed everything you want. And they sucked balls.

      destructure

      November 17, 2015 at EST am

      • Are you kidding? That fucking imbecile armed the mujahideen in Afghanistan and set in motion a chain of events that created hordes of backward sheepherding terrorists whom we’re still trying to get a handle on today. Welcome back to Planet Earth.

        Viscount Douchenozzlé

        November 17, 2015 at EST pm

      • It was a strategy for winning the Cold War, and a successful strategy at that. A nuclear-armed Soviet Union was a much greater threat than the Taliban is today.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 17, 2015 at EST pm

      • Yet you failed to rebut anything I said. We can deal in assertions all day.

        I’m not exactly thrilled with Obama, Carter or LBJ. Leaving aside the current president, Carter rarely gets tagged as a deregulator. In terms of foreign policy, not one in a hundred people can tell me what the Carter Doctrine says (the truth would probably shock the typical conservative). The peanut farmer was also the first to send arms to the Mujahadeen.

        Conservative outrage at LBJ is almost invariably misplaced: he created programs to help (“help”) poor people, which makes him an awful, awful piece of human scum. Never mind all of the murder and destruction in Vietnam.

        Vince

        November 17, 2015 at EST pm

      • @ Ross — Afghanistan provided Bin Laden a cave to hide in. Other than that, they grow opium. Hardly an international threat.

        ******
        @ Vince — The assertions were yours. You suggested that if taxes are raised and the economy improves and taxes are cut and the economy declines that it must be cause and affect. Correlation doesn’t imply causation. There are other forces at work besides simply tweaking the tax rate a few percent. One can debate the optimum tax rates for revenue and productivity (not necessarily the same) but the theory behind the Laffer Curve is indisputable. As a socialist, you’ll claim it should be higher and never be happy as long as some have more than others.

        destructure

        November 18, 2015 at EST am

      • So what? The Soviet Union in many ways kept the world from going up in flames like it is now. At peak the USSR had a nuclear arms stockpile that was what, 65% the size of the USA’s? I just find contemporary attitudes on this hilarious. The USSR lost an enormous chunk of its population in WWII and for decades wasn’t in any way capable of fighting another major war against any Western power.

        Viscount Douchenozzlé

        November 18, 2015 at EST pm

      • Vince — The assertions were yours. You suggested that if taxes are raised and the economy improves and taxes are cut and the economy declines that it must be cause and affect.

        No, I didn’t. That’s just your bullshit inference, which is why I asked to quote me saying such a thing.

        I’m saying the right-wing predictions were false. You want to invert that and then pretend I’m saying something I’m not. My actual belief is that the highest marginal rates do not have nearly the effect supply-siders claim on the economy. These rates *do*, however, significantly impact the deficit.

        Vince

        November 20, 2015 at EST pm

      • @Ross — “The Soviet Union in many ways kept the world from going up in flames like it is now.”

        You’re delusional. There were plenty of flames during the cold war. Not that the cold war ever really ended. It merely took a brief intermission.
        ******
        @Vince — “No, I didn’t. That’s just your bullshit inference, which is why I asked to quote me saying such a thing. “

        You asserted what you believed conservatives think. Then denounced those assertions. Can you say straw man? When people do that it’s pretty obvious they’re making a counter assertion. Save yourself the embarrassment of denying it.

        ” These rates *do*, however, significantly impact the deficit.”

        So does spending. But I don’t see you arguing to cut that.

        destructure

        November 21, 2015 at EST am

  2. H. L. Mencken called American elections “sort of an advanced auction of stolen goods.” Tax loopholes, exemptions, subsidies, special deals – both parties are happy to reward their donors and constituents by passing out these goodies. How is possible for them to rack up so much money from wealthy donors? Is anyone naive enough to believe that the donors are just supporting “good government?” Hah! So where exactly did all this stuff originate? Prior to 1994, the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for about fifty years, and the Senate as well for most of that time. Both parties do it, because both are part of the same corrupt system. They love to point fingers at each other, but it’s the pot calling the kettle black.

    Black Death

    November 15, 2015 at EST pm

  3. I’m not convinced most Republicans particularly like the idea of tax loopholes. I’ll compare it to a government programs to make the point why both continue to grow. Polls show that a majority of voters would like to cut government programs. But the only government program that a majority of Americans say they want to cut is foreign aid which is an insignificant percentage of the budget.

    destructure

    November 15, 2015 at EST pm

  4. “In the 1970s, the tax code was riddled with loopholes and some very rich people avoided paying any taxes at all.”

    Therein is the problem we still have: when the system is complex and contains lots of loopholes, it invites logrolling, corruption, trading of favors, etc. etc. We would be better off with a system where everything was simpler and more transparent, and the 1986 tax reforms went a long way towards that aim. At times I think the real objection to a flat tax is not so much the fear of insufficient revenue to fund government operations so much as it is fear that the public will understand what really goes on and put a stop to it.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    November 15, 2015 at EST pm

    • “Flat tax” is a buzzword that doesn’t tell you how to tax depreciation, shares of partnership income, and other complexities you aren’t aware of because you are just thinking of your simple 1040 form.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 16, 2015 at EST am

      • Leon — That may be but it wasn’t Friday’s point. His point was that a simpler system is better. And that the motives of those against a simpler system were likely dishonest. Of course, there are always at least two groups on both sides of any issue — the “clever” special interests and the “enlightened” true believers.

        destructure

        November 16, 2015 at EST am

      • The progressiveness of the tax code represents a totally trivial part of its overall complexity. If a flat tax still involved looking up taxes owed in a table the way the current system does it would have no effect whatsoever for the taxpayer. The flat tax is just a trick that’s played on ignorant people who earnestly desire a simpler tax system to get them to support giving more money to the wealthy and bankrupting the government.

        Lloyd Llewellyn

        November 16, 2015 at EST pm

      • Exactly..I am convinced all the complexities reflect the complexities of everyday business, and attempts to goose the economy through accelerated depreciation. God almighty, did it work? There have been some busy bees at work on the IRC.

        Mrs Stitch

        November 16, 2015 at EST pm

      • Lloyd – What tax rates do you recommend?

        destructure

        November 16, 2015 at EST pm

  5. “So sick of re-writing history for Reagan worship. The hardliners excoriated Reagan for making deals with the “Evil Empire,” but now his brilliant military Keynesianism is credited with bankrupting the Soviets. …”

    What’s your point here? That the hardliners are trying to take credit for the success of policies that they opposed at the time?

    James B. Shearer

    November 15, 2015 at EST pm

  6. This is part of the importance of Trump. Not only is he good on immigration but he gets away from the standard Republican idiocy of being anti abortion, anti tax and pro war.

    Honestly, Trump’s proposed policies are what 70%+ percent of Americans want. Not that elections are about policy, but still. A Trump/Clinton election would be the first US presidential election since 88 where the Republican platform was more aligned with the what Americans wanted than the Democratic one was. It would also be the first time since I don’t even know when that there would actually be meaningful policy differences between the 2 tickets.

    Otis the Sweaty

    November 15, 2015 at EST pm

    • How is the tax policy on his website all different from that of every other republican candidate?

      Lloyd Llewellyn

      November 16, 2015 at EST pm

      • It’s not, but he never really talks about taxes. He doesn’t rant about “big government” or deficits or any of that nonsense. The same way he doesn’t talk about foreign policy or abortion. He only talks about stuff that Americans actually care about.

        Otis the Sweaty

        November 17, 2015 at EST pm

  7. One of the things that’s rarely brought up when people mention Clinton and his “great economy” is that the Clinton years were when American industry was shipped lock, stock and barrel out of the United States, millions of jobs went away forever, China began to receive vast amounts of technology knowledge (they still are receiving it, what’s left of it) and America lost its ability to manufacture and compete in a host of industries. While this was happening, corporations were growing fat on the short term profits, the stock market boomed (remember when everyone and their brother quit their jobs to become “day traders”?), and numerous people got new jobs in the FIRE economy. There was also a technology boom at the same time, driven by the Internet, cell phones, vast fiber optic build outs, and other technologies. When it began all the hardware was “made in America.” But by the time the stock bubble burst, almost none of it was made in America any more. These were also the years when other forms of labor began to shift over seas, like call centers.

    Bill Clinton presided over that “giant sucking sound,” precisely as Perot had predicted. We’ve never really come back since to the same kind of nation where white, high school graduate males could find good, steady work in their home towns.

    This was also the beginning of the American Oligarch economy, as wealth began the vast concentration process. Look at this chart and notice what happens right about 1993 when Clinton showed up.

    The rise began under Reagan, but it shot up like a rocket under Clinton. And of course this trend has continued ever since. It’s the new normal.

    peterike

    November 15, 2015 at EST pm

    • Some of that has to do with demographics. Millions of immigrants from 3rd world countries are dragging down incomes in the lower brackets. Not only because they’re driving down wages but also because they’re incapable of higher wages.

      destructure

      November 16, 2015 at EST pm

    • The graph is of households.

      The average number of workers in the bottom fifth of households is zero.

      The average number of workers in the top fifth of households is two.

      not too late

      November 17, 2015 at EST am

  8. daily kos is such a dreary place for this kind of information. I’ve went down the rat hole over there a couple times, and it is like unwinding Chinese hackers.

    Just shooting from the hip, I’d say:

    Obama benefited from a low start after the ’08 crash under Bush.

    We better look at the changing definition of a job under Barry H. They suspiciously quote private sector job growth; I suspect some shifting of gov’t jobs to the private category via contracting, etc.

    Lots of job growth under Lolo Soetoro’s stepson via energy and fracking; things the Dems don’t particularly like and gladly regulate out of existence; so for them to crow about job growth including those areas is a bit duplicitous.

    B. Hussein spent like 8 trillion dollars propping up the economy, so how much per job did we pay so that his daily kos lackey’s could crow about “job growth”? And how much do those jobs pay, compared to historically created jobs? How many went to immigrants and thus not to the cohort of voters Barack Hussein allegedly represents? GDP performance has been pretty dismal, so I suspect these are mainly crappy jobs.

    bomag

    November 15, 2015 at EST pm

    • “Obama benefited from a low start after the ’08 crash under Bush.”

      Benefited. That can’t be stressed enough when talking about the stock market. BO took over at the very bottom of a financial crisis that cut the market in half. The market would have come back up even if he’d slept the last 7 years. In fact, it would have probably gone higher if he had.

      destructure

      November 16, 2015 at EST pm

  9. This is a good quick overview of the current economy.

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-leviathan/

    peterike

    November 16, 2015 at EST am

  10. 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.

    And, as I noted here a few years back ( http://seekingalpha.com/article/263077-did-9-11-delay-an-economic-day-of-reckoning ), the fiscal and monetary response to 9/11 helped delay that hangover until the end of 2007.

    Dave Pinsen

    November 17, 2015 at EST am

  11. Robert

    November 18, 2015 at EST am


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