Let’s ignore the social issues for a second. Yes, I know, I know, that’s the real juicy stuff everyone wants to hear about so they can tweet about how Mr. Politician was wrong on such-and-such issue and that they’ll bring about the moral decay of the country–just slow down for a second, and let’s look at what is probably the primary issue in the upcoming presidential election.
Recently I’ve been addicted to the documentary section of Netflix. It’s true that most of the documentaries listed are about old dead people and History channel specials, but there are a lot of really great political documentaries as well. there are also some which are primarily about the economy. ‘the Flaw’, released in 2007, which explained the reasons behind the economic collapse of the housing market and the subsequent recession. Although it isn’t incredibly recent, it’s recent enough to be relevant. the film argues that unlike the capitalism that America is entrenched in today, true capitalism isn’t meant to be a ‘trickle-down’ system.
In order to understand how supply-side economics, which is what the republican and far right-wing politicians are advocating, we must understand that this is not a new concept, and indeed is a tried-and-failed one. Reagan implemented supply-side economics in his presidency, which republicans are apt to cite as a reason (apparently, Ron is their main man on basically any issue ever) to implement it now.
However, according to CNN ¹ taxes actually rose during Reagan’s presidency–albeit not in the conventional way. Reagan tightened laws and loopholes that permitted people to dodge taxes. Of course, I don’t think anyone would contest that this is a bad thing, since, y’know, people are supposed to pay taxes. Fair enough; but the problem doesn’t lie within that law reform itself. Republicans and right-wing politicians want to reduce federal spending, and when they cite Reagan as a model, they are looking up to a president that actually raised federal spending, thanks to the tightening of tax laws. So while the income tax might have dropped to 28 percent, government spending was 22.4 percent of the gross domestic product on average on his presidency. Revenue from taxes, on the other hand, was only 18.2 percent of the gross domestic product, on average. Reagan’s spending exceeded his direct tax revenue.
And of course, how does this all tie in to our
beloved presidential candidate? Well, under Romney’s economic plan, he’s depending on the rich to create job. And, well, it just ain’t true.² And when your entire economic policy is based on myth, you’re probably not going to do to well when it comes to bringing a struggling economy back to life.
Not to mention the cuts proposed in medicare and the cuts proposed by incredibly far-right wing politicians who would like to cut programs like social security, the education division (which is there for public primary and secondary education). And, I’m ashamed to admit, one of my state senators who recently got famous for some ill-informed opinions on rape and his extremely misogynistic potential policies, also wants to get rid of (not lower, get rid of) minimum wage laws and student loans. It’s not going to happen, seeing as the Republicans are trying desperately to get him to shut up, but still–this is the party that breeds that kind of thinking. Out-of-touch Romney, when asked about education, said that potential students shouldn’t be afraid to ask their parents for money. Obviously the possibility that their parents can’t pay for it either never crossed his mind. Rich people generally aren’t very good with connecting to people who make in a year what he might consider pocket change.