Letter: Reid was right
Sen. Reid was 100 percent correct in his responsible tax cut article. George W. Bush is trying to carry out the same failed economic policies that caused the Great Depression of the 1930s and, if successful, will cause the Great Depression of the 2000s. This creed known as classical economics, as practiced by Republicans, is not “newly found sanity” but “old rehashed insanity” that in the 1920s produced sharp tax cuts, deregulation and a huge merger wave. These three, in turn, generated a stock market bubble that burst in 1929.
In the 1980s, Reaganomics, nicknamed “voodoo” economics by George Bush Sr., presented Americans with the old wine of Republican classical economics in a new bottle. It cut taxes sharply for the affluent and simultaneously raised defense spending. Never in the history of any nation had taxes been lowered and defense spending raised at the same time. The horrendous results were the tripling of the deficit, the decline and fall of the nation’s banking industry, the S & L debacle, the crash of the stock market in 1987 and high unemployment, followed by an economic recession.
The Clinton administration inherited this fiscal fiasco but, aided by wise economic advisors such as Robert Rubin, reduced the debt tremendously by raising taxes, balancing the budget and still providing the social programs that have strengthened American economic and cultural life. We have a budget surplus today because of the wisdom of the Clinton regime. This surplus will be squandered away by Republicans who would bring us back to the 19th century social philosophy of Darwin – survival of the fittest. In order to balance a budget by cutting taxes over a 10-year period by over $2 trillion, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, funds for prescription medication, funding for public schools, etc. will be annihilated. Too bad for those who need these programs most! Let them eat cake!
You can’t have your pie and eat it too by drastically cutting your income and still continuing the same level of spending, especially if you don’t know what that income will be in 10 years. A wise man, having discovered that he has made a wrong turn, reverses his course and goes back to the point where the mistake occurred. No one knows what the economic condition of the country will be like in 10 years. History, we have learned to our sorrow, repeats itself. Economic history is no exception, and unless we attempt to prevent its reoccurrence, we are headed down a doomsday path from which there will be no easy escape.