One story jumped out at me today. The Hill reported that as soon as a Democrat is back in the White House, Republicans intend to retrench and be careful about how the country spends money, although during Trump’s term, even before the pandemic, they spent huge sums without worrying about it.
Thank you, HCR! Do I understand economic history? No. But, I was born in 1950 and have seen and felt the slow, then ever-increasing erosion of middle class life (with too many examples to write). “Bombarding” Congress with calls has been suggested to me by Michael Moore and David Plouffe in their podcasts as a path that gets attention. So, that’s one of my activist goals for 2021. BidenHarris are not stupid on this score. So, we achieved change in the Executive Branch. Now, it’s truly “all hands on deck” in GEORGIA. I plan to donate more small amounts right now for ad buys and registration efforts. (Yesterday, artists in the Pen and ink Brigade NYC raised over $30,000 selling art at $200 a pop for Stacey Abrams.) Today, I turn from writing 200 postcards (done) to letters and texts. Forget about the polls. Democrats are going to lose unless there is a huge turnout with everyone who can possibly vote voting. Please do what you can to help achieve a victory for GA Democrats and Democracy. Boy, would I love to see Mitch McConnell at the back of the Senate bus. ❤️🧡💙
I wish the Democrats could hammer this message home in a sound bite, over and over.
Ahh, good ole Reaganomics. I remember them well, unfortunately. To this day, when someone mentions him as a great leader and the best orator, I want to throw up. I do recall interest rates for CD’s were upwards to 13%...absolutely unheard of! When Reagan sliced welfare benefits, homelessness became rampant which is the residual effect that we see today. Indecency and inhumane practices by the Repubs, is something they have mastered.
The Democrats have a real problem with messaging and that infuriates me. As someone said previously, key Dems must hammer the public and the media of all of the evil things that Republicans have done and are still doing, over and over and over again.
You know how they say in advertising someone needs to see and ad 7 times before it sinks into their heads? Instead of Schumer & Pelosi talking at the mic in these long big technical big words, how about they repeat a very simple version of this over and over that explains to people how their personal taxes went up, social services went down, and the rich pay less. They need to start doing Congresswoman Katie Porter White Board speeches and "dumb it down".
If you have not seen Porter in actions, this is what I am taking about. She's the Rep from Orange County in California. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0L0XbnvJ6I
One thing that's wonderful about today's thread is the sub-text: it's not about Trump! It's about understanding history, crafting policy, communicating effectively -- and ultimately, about hammering out deals in Congress to change key laws. If Democrats have better ideas to offer, now's the time. The party is no longer simply "running against Trump."
Supply side “Reaganomics” - cutting taxes on the rich and starving social services, while boosting spending on the military industrial complex, concentrates wealth in the hands of a few, slowing out consumer-based economy. As working families have less disposable income, business investment turns to privatizing public functions, like schools and prisons, to make profit from government spending instead of consumer demand. After the Great Recession of 2008 we bailed out the banks, but not so much the homeowners. (Granted, it was a fiscal crisis, brought on by deregulation and corruption, and the banks needed rescuing, but it still shifted wealth upwards.) Sending money to millionaires, or trickle-down economics, is a very inefficient way to boost the economy.
Demand side, Keynesian tax and spending programs shift buying power back to working families, and stimulate the economy. Food stamps, increased minimum wages, protecting families from unaffordable medical and insurance payments, reducing college debt, expanding workforce housing, all increase the spending power of working families, the great engine of the American economy.
It might help if we called Keynesian spending “economic stimulus” instead of welfare.
I really appreciated the economics lesson from FDR to the present. I will read over a couple of more times to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Through this wonderful ‘lesson’, I have one fundamental point which I feel needs to be stressed. Prof Richardson writes:
'This is a pattern. Since President Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s, Republicans have insisted that tax cuts will pay for themselves by stimulating economic growth, thus increasing tax revenues as everyone gets richer.’
‘everyone gets richer’ is a lie that needs refuted at every turn. Only people with EXCESS WEALTH benefit from a tax cut - to reduce their 1) income tax tax rate, and/or 2) capital gains tax rate (on investment wealth).
Salaried and hourly employees most likely do not have the income or the 'passive wealth’ from wall street assets in order to benefit from a tax cut. Our corporate capitalism in America demands less government (taxation), in order for the wealth to accumulate in private hands (and not be taxed).
Lets’ not be conned by the conservative notion of less government. Progress is advocated by progressives - and that is a more just distribution of wealth, in order progress is available to all Americans, not just the wealthy.
In fact, the state with the highest average income also has the highest avg tax rate, and also the highest education levels. That is Massachusetts.
We really need those Senate votes from Georgia. And the Democrats also need to find a “sound bite” to hammer home as it seems many Americans only listen in sound bites.
Your outlining of our economic history is timely. President-Elect Biden will be presenting his Economic team this week.
It reminded me that when we bought our first home in 1981, interest rates for a mortgage were over 15% and a house would cost $50-60,000!
Can this pattern of Republican tax cuts leading to huge deficits and Democrat tax increases bringing down debt continue? The vote in Georgia will be a huge factor in, literally, healing the country and saving our economy.
It will be imperative that the Democrats lead the Senate otherwise we’re going to witness Mitch block everything the Biden-Harris administration puts forward.
Come on Georgia! 🍑❤️😊
Thank you, Heather. This economic/history lesson cannot be repeated loud enough or often enough. Paul Krugman has been pounding the table on this for years, as have others. Grover Norquist needs his own special place in Hell. In a cell next to Gingrich, if I had my way.
As long as the working class keeps seeing their wages cut and their lives stagnating, and keep buying the GOP swill that it's the welfare queens and illegal immigrants that are the problem, I don't know how we square this circle. They are so programmed to resent 'their money going to 'those people'. And yet the people who are truly robbing them blind, the 1% and the pols doing their bidding, are seen as upstanding citizens and straight shooters!
At least 10 years back an old school chum started in about the welfare hammock and how cushy it is, and I asked him if he had ever looked at the Welfare to Work Act, and told him what Clinton had agreed to with 'welfare reform' and he was astounded. He thought there were still women (certain women, of course) who were dropping babies like litters of puppies just to get more welfare money. He had no clue as to how the system really worked - and this was long before the disinformation on Facebook and Twitter, etc.
Yep. The Grasping Out-for-Themselves Pols are not just hypocrites. They are criminal hypocrites. In her book Eloquent Rage, Brittney Cooper discusses the fact that the majority of Black women have a financial cushion of . . . 5 dollars. That's right: 5 bucks. Not even enough to get a combo meal at a fast food joint. This is the "welfare queen" Reagan cynically used as his target in order to sweep up the white men who want to preserve their complete dominance over the economy.
A story that jumped out at me this morning is that the SCOTUS is hearing arguments about the inclusion of undocumented people in the census figures for redistricting in Congress. https://www.npr.org/2020/11/30/939655182/can-trump-change-a-key-census-count-supreme-court-hears-his-claim The only states that are supporting the Trump Administration's push to fascism and the re-enslavement of people of color represent just 52 Congressional seats and includes Alabama. The solicitor general of Alabama, apparently without a hint of irony, claimed that people who were "voluntarily resident" in his state should be counted but no one else. This is the same Alabama that in the 19th century insisted that enslaved people be counted in the census because otherwise they would lose 40% of their congressional representation.
When reality is so surreal it beggars belief you know we are in Trumplandia.
In our house, we are watching “The Reagans” with a mixture of dread and something like PTSD. As Heather has been demonstrating to us, the Southern Strategy was started in a cynical (and successful, sadly) effort to divide Americans from each other. Forty years later, we are reaping the terrible crop, and the Republicans’ cynicism continues. Georgia matters.
The naked truth of all this economic history makes me furious but at the same time feeling victimized and impotent to effect change when I know I have been voting against exactly this for my entire adult life. What else can we do?
Having seen this scenario play out the same way since Reagan....the Rethuglicans create an economic mess, the Democrats clean it up and bear the brunt of the criticism when people and businesses perceive from propaganda that they are going to suffer, and yes some will, but it will be the 1%. The problem is that there is no way yet found to make economics a sexy or interesting topic to most of the population. Before we can even begin to achieve any of the needed changes we have to be rid of the control of the Senate by McConnell and his supporters as well as change leadership at the DNC. The DNC failed to get any type of coherent strategy together as well as any messaging that worked and hence we lost down ballot races. The DNC was too focused on the presidential race and neglected the fact that you have to have support down ballot to make any programs that Biden might want a reality.
Quoting Darth Vader, er, I mean Dick Cheney in 2001: "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."
They only matter when Republicans want to use fear of them to harm Democrats. If high indebtedness is bad, then the average American family is composed of bad people.
If we don't get Mitch McConnell out of power, the middle class will be gone. IMO he has done more damage to the average American than anyone in history other than maybe Cheney. He will do exactly the same thing to Biden that he did to Obama. The GOP can not allow the Senate to turn blue because they are funding their re-elections on the back of the dwindling middle-class and if they don't get re-elected they can't get wealthy while in office. Two of the most corrupt politicians in the Senate are Purdue and Loeffler, they got caught doing what they all do, use their position to buy them wealth. The Rep. in my district hasn't done a single thing, not one thing in her position but she needs the good insurance because of issue in her nuclear family...you and I are paying for her sick child and we can't get decent coverage for ours? It's really hard now days for me to contain my rage at these people and the lazy Americans that can't be bothered to do even the slightest research to do their civic duty. They voted in this election but they will go back to sleep again...probably....just like always and leave the considerable responsibility to others. Where do we even start when a pandemic doesn't challenge the GOP to become real human beings and give a shit about their neighbors. I'm at a loss and as depressed as I've ever been at the situation we find ourselves in....