Republicans Forget 2000-2010 And Order More Of The Same.

I call it the ‘double down’ strategy.  During the Bush presidency we cut tax rates for the wealthy and for investors and what regulations we had were not enforced, particularly for financial institutions.  And look what we got:  The most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression and the first decade  since the Depression where the average working class family income was lower at the end than at the beginning.

Anyway, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein spells out why Republicans may be insisting on a ‘double down’ strategy and why we should stop listening to them. 

Academic books pack about 600 words to a page. Normal books clock in around 400. Large-print books — you know, the ones for kids or the visually impaired — fit about 250. The House GOP’s jobs plan, however, gets about 200 words to a page. The typeface is fit for giants, and the document’s 10 pages are mostly taken up by pictures. It looks like the staffer in charge forgot the assignment was due on Thursday rather than Friday, and so cranked the font up to 24 and began dumping clip art to pad out the plan.

Which is odd, because there’s nothing in this plan that hasn’t been in a thousand other plans. When I asked David Autor, an economist at MIT and a specialist on labor markets, to take a look at the substance, he pronounced it a classic case of “what Larry Summers would call ‘now-more-than-everism.’”

“Here’s how it works,” Autor wrote in am e-mail. “1. You have a set of policies that you favor at all times and under all circumstances, e.g., cut taxes, remove regulations, drill-baby-drill, etc. 2. You see a problem that needs fixing (e.g., the economy stinks). 3. You say, ‘We need to enact my favored policies now more than ever.’ I believe that every item in the GOP list that you sent derives from this three step procedure.

“That’s not to say that there are no reasonable ideas on this list. But there is certainly no original thinking here directed at addressing the employment problem. Or, put it differently, is there any set of economic circumstances under which the GOP would not actually want to enact every item on this agenda? If the answer is no, then this is clearly now-more-than-everism.”

If you just read Autor’s answer and then guessed at what’s included in the plan, you’d probably get it about right. The GOP wants a separate congressional vote on every significant regulation. They want to cut taxes for corporations and small-businesses headed by individuals. They want a tax break for profits that corporations earn overseas. They want to pass pending trade agreements, increase domestic production of oil and enact spending cuts. The only two proposals that you couldn’t have guessed sight unseen are patent reform and visas for the highly skilled.

But even if you think every item on that agenda is a grand idea, this isn’t exactly fast-acting medicine. “At best, an agenda like this is meant to improve long-term growth by a couple of tenths of a percentage point,” says Larry Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute. “It takes a really long time to move the dial. It’s not a response to a cyclical downturn.”

That’s okay, because the document doesn’t believe in cyclical downturns. It only believes in deviations from the Republican agenda. The first page sets out the GOP’s narrative of the country’s current unemployment crisis. See if you recognize what’s missing here: “For the past four years, Democrats in Washington have enacted policies that undermine these basic concepts which have historically placed America at the forefront of the global marketplace. As a result, most Americans know someone who has recently lost a job, and small businesses and entrepreneurs lack the confidence needed to invest in our economy. Not since the Great Depression has our nation’s unemployment rate been this high this long.”

Four years ago, of course, George W. Bush was president. And he was, as you might remember, a Republican, not a Democrat. As for Wall Street, well, Wall Street who?

But it’s not just that you could read this jobs plan without knowing the financial crisis ever happened. You could read it without knowing the past decade ever happened. As Mishel says, “if lower taxes and less regulation was such good policy, then George W. Bush’s economy would have been a lot better. But under Bush, Republicans cut taxes on business and on investors and high-income people and they didn’t add many regulations and that business cycle was the first one in the post-war period where the income for a typical working class family was lower at the end than at the beginning.”

That, however, is the agenda the House GOP thinks we need. And now more than ever.

Beezer here.  Having a serious discussion about getting our economy back on track means honestly looking at what didn’t work before.   The Republicans simply cannot do that–even after confronted by the dismal failure of their policy prescriptions when they were implemented.

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14 Responses to “Republicans Forget 2000-2010 And Order More Of The Same.”

  1. captaal Says:

    None of the policies that repubs have put forth have been implemented, yet you blame repubs for the economy. You like most liberals bury your head in the sand and scream out at those who can solve the problems the over spending dems created.

  2. captaal Says:

    Goldman Sachs stated that gas will go above five dollar/gal this summer. The liberals don’t seem to care. We can’t drill so we will pay for it and we can thank the dems for it.

  3. Chris Herbert Says:

    Gas is going higher even if we drilled every drop of oil and gas we have. The world’s economy is very thirsty and that thirst is far from being quenched.

    At some point, and I think it’s not that far into the future, something’s going to give, big time. Our only adult response is to prepare for that day. We absolutely need to have energy sources that are not totally dependent on fossil fuels.

  4. Chris Herbert Says:

    And I do understand we need to produce more fossil based energy in the meantime. I’ve been saying this from the very beginning of this blog.

  5. captaal Says:

    Maybe if Clinton had not prevented drilling in Anwar which he claimed would have taken 8 years to produce we would have that oil available to us now. They only have to add 75 miles to the existing pipeline now if they drilled there but the libs say it will hurt the envinorment. Bull. Sure, there is a great demand but if we drill here we will have our own oil and create jobs also. The libs don’t give a damn, they’re just interested in taxing those who earn and protecting moose and spotted owls.

  6. captaal Says:

    Extention of the debt will go down. This is the only way the libs will stop their excessive spending of other peoples money.Already 50% of the workers in the US supply all the money to the treasury and the libs want to take more. I’m sick of their greed.

  7. Chris Herbert Says:

    If the debt isn’t raised, considering our current slow to no recovery, then we will immediately plunge back into a recession that will make the last one look tame by comparison. No responsible person would do such a thing.

    The article isn’t about ‘drill baby drill’ vs ‘spill baby spill,’ it’s about Republican instransegience in the face of data that obviously contradicts their politically driven economic theories. That’s not going to help matters.

    Putting tax increases on the elderly, in the form of an inadequate medical voucher, or raising the SS retirement age for people who worked with their hands and often while standing up (another tax hike effectively) while giving the wealthy tax cuts, is deeply unpopular and deservedly so.

  8. captaal Says:

    What a bunch of crap. Tax increases on the elderly? Ryan suggests vouchers for those under 55 years old and doesn’t affect anyone older.SS should be raised, we are living longer and can continue to work. You like your liberal friends who want a free ride from the govt, demagogue everything and those dems who pay little or nothing to support our govt wave your flag. The top 50% pay all the taxes while the bottom sit on their asses and scream for more. We are going down and its because of the greed shown by your party.

  9. Beezer Says:

    By your own definition of Democrats we don’t have any money. If anyone is greedy, I’d think it’s the folks who have all the money. Isn’t that the definition of greed?

    If you reduce health care premium support, then you have effectively added a tax to those needing health care. That would usually be someone who is elderly. Just like if you take away the big five oil company subsidies, you’ve effectively put on a tax increase.

    And the 55 promise is just that, a promise. No Congress can tie the hands of a future Congress. If the Republicans gain control of the Senate, then they’ll simply end Medicare as well as Social Security. The so-called conservative wing of the Republican Party has been upfront about these goals from the beginning. The Tea Party cranks have provided them with the political opportunity to finally accomplish these goals. So they’re going for it.

  10. captaal Says:

    No one is trying to end SS or medicare.Thje repubs are just trying to save it because both will run out of funds. You like all your liberal cohorts demagogue everything that conservatives do. You my friend never approached being a republican unless you have had a massive head injury since.

  11. Beezer Says:

    The conservative wing of the Republican Party has always opposed both Medicare and Social Security. Always have. Always will.

    They believe they have an opportunity to end both programs. But they can’t admit it as a goal, so they disguise this goal behind an effort to balance the budget. It’s a smokescreen. We don’t need to end either program, or effectively make them worthless, in order to end deficits and work down debt.

    Simon Johnson has pointed out that sovereign defaults historically come not from an inability to pay, but from the public perceiving they cannot raise sufficient revenue to pay. Guess what the Republicans always take off the table: Raising revenues. Wonder why they do that?

    Because that’s the way they’re going to force their radical agenda. Medicare and Social Security being the primary targets.

  12. captaal Says:

    They want to make it viable programs by bringing patially into the private realm and prevent the dems from stealing from it as they have for years.

  13. Chris Herbert Says:

    There’s nothing to stop anyone from supplementing these programs with their own savings.

    SS is a defined benefit program. These programs are more stable and less expensive to operate. But one can fund a retirement account too, and should because SS benefits are spartan at best.

    The health care industry is another matter altogether. It’s not amenable to competition. Both demand and supply are inelastic. The private market response is, first, to simply toss unprofitable customers out the backdoor, or second, raise the premiums so high they are unaffordable to all but the wealthy.

    Medicare came about in response to this reality. It allows basic healthcare to the elderly. Obamacare cast this safety net more widely. But the reform also included several cost containment features, among them national exchanges and extending the government’s ability to negotiate national pricing–neither in effect yet, but will be in 2014.

    Ryan’s voucher plan simply shifts the costs off government onto families and does nothing at all to reduce health care cost inflation–which is the real structural budget problem the country faces. It’s not a serious proposal in any real sense.

  14. captaal Says:

    With the voucher system, money will be allocated to the retireree to decide what they want in health care for themselves and its guaranteed enrollment. Because of the competition there will be many ins. companies vying for the buisness. It’s better than the average person has it now because most of the expense will come from subsidy by by the govt. His plan will save 1.8 trillion during the next 10 years and it only affects those 54 and younger(which cetainly does not include you). If we don’t face this problem now and stop kicking the can down the road, there will be no can to kick.

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