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July 23, 2008



Economic lefty?

Aren't they the ones who want to take from the productive and give to the lazy and the moochers?

Danube of Thought

"The 'greatest economic boom in history' had mostly to do with technological innovation (computers, in the U.S.)..."

The Left just can't grasp that innovation and capital investment follow lower taxation like the night follows the day.

The Reagan Boom has now lasted 28 years, with trivial minor hiccups along the way. If there's a comparable 28-year stretch in history, I'd love to know about it.

I didn't realize there were any more "Economic Lefties" outside of Western Europe and Cuba. We ought to open a museum for them while there's still time.


I can smell a lefty economy - it's over there somewhere in my backyard over by the dog run.

Danube of Thought

Just watched the video--wonderful. Why the hell didn't the reporter ask, "did you go to the Beverly Hilton Hotel Monday night?"


Learn Arnold,
"I've been in favor of the removal of all dictators and for curing all humanitarian disasters and feeding all the poor since most people in these comments were mewling babes in arms."

Condescension is as condescension does young man.


There is no evidence that high marginal tax rates stimulate growth.


Found my way to the video--lots of blinking..

Rick Ballard

Breitbart - Edwards video


The only thing that bugs me so far on the NE "scoop" is the fact they followed Silky, watched him walk into the hotel, etc...and took no pictures? No surveillance video from the Hotel? Ack.


Drudge reports that Obama t-shirts are out selling McCain t-shirts. To which I ask, where's the recession if these teens can buy Obama t-shirts?

Rick Ballard

The pictures come right after a denial by Edwards - why would NE want to do a one shot on something this delicious?

It's regular high scandal Kabuki.


Edwards went on to Houston, where one lone reporter got up the nerve to ask him about the Beverly Hilton. His response was that it is all tabloid trash and not to be believed.


"That's Tabloid Trash"


I'm being cynical and paranoid I suppose, but I wonder what story was coming down the pike this weekend which required the Edwards story to come out now. I sense a hidden hand...

hit and run

It's a very strange feeling. Back in the day, I would be all over this Edwards story. He was so much fun to mock. I mean, there's probably a great photoshop opportunity here. Thousands of one liners and jokes.

Yet after searching the very depths of my soul, there exists not a hint of interest in doing so.

Don't worry, though John. It's not you, it's me.


I bought an Obama T-Shirt it says Obama for Messiah He can walk on water but he needs your vote.
I plan to give it to my host when we visit--it's a collector's item.


Hit, the very thought that you've outgrown something like that really fills me with unease.

Lee A. Arnold

Peter, is it that everybody else in these comments is over the age of 45, or that I don't know that there were different countries in the days of Hitler, or that you are well-entitled to a breather after that horror? Because condescension is rife on this thread, it counts for more than facts it seems, but I'll go with whatever you want.


Wesley Clark is an idiot. First he insults our Marines and then the Iraqis.

Wes Clark on the surge: It was a Saudi payoff that worked

The only thing that bugs me so far on the NE "scoop" is the fact they followed Silky, watched him walk into the hotel, etc...and took no pictures? No surveillance video from the Hotel? Ack.
Uh huh. They have the video alright. They are letting the info out in just the right-sized parcels, baiting the trap of letting Edwards not know how much they have and what he can lie about.

Not only is the NE more reliable than the NYT, they are better at managing the information flow for the maximal profit for them and entertainment value for all of us.


As an Olympic junkie who lives for the Games every 4 years, this just makes me sick:

WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) — It’s official. Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign will be among the TV sponsors of NBC Universal’s Olympics coverage. In the first significant network-TV buy of any presidential candidate in at least 16 years, the Obama campaign has taken a $5 million package of Olympics spots that includes network TV as well as cable ads.

According to NBC’s political file, the campaign had initially requested information about 500,000, $2 million and $4 million package of Olympics spots. The network also offered the candidate a $10 million package.

Now he wants to upstage the world's greatest athletes in their one time to really shine on the world stage.


Too bad the NE story didnt come out AFTER Obama picked Edwards for VP.....


oops, last paragraph should have been outside the blockquote. My words, not part of the quote.

hit and run

Don't worry, Clarice...it's more attention deficit than a sign of outgrowing it.


" Then I figured out that it was lefty economics that was largely responsible for creating the hellholes I wanted to rescue poor and oppressed people from."
Good point, Porchlight!

I think every penny of the trillions of bad paper came from failed leftist economic garbage.

" In one of those front-page editorials disguised as "news" stories, the New York Times blames "the lucrative lending practices" of banks and other financial institutions for helping create the current financial crisis of millions of borrowers and of the financial system in general.

"It must take either a willful determination to believe whatever they want to believe or a cynical desire to propagandize their readers for the New York Times to call "lucrative" the lending practices that have caused many lenders to lose millions of dollars, some to lose billions and some to go bankrupt themselves."



I try to pay attention to what people who are not paying attention say about the election. A few months back Amy decided that she was so sick of politics she wanted to pull her hair out. So we stopped having any discussion about the election at all. She now gets all her news from the Today Show. This afternoon she announced that if she has to hear Barack Obama's name one more time she's gonna scream. She's sick of this election because she is sick of Barack Obama. If she is typical, and she may be, I'm not sure his Olympic buy is gonna help.

BTW was there an Obama interview by one of the big three tonite?


Hard to believe that the campaign is still only in July. It is only going to get worse.

Did Obama really say that world opinion is moving toward a timetable for a US withdrawl in Iraq and the world is coming around to his foreign policy vision?

Are the Democrats really going to succeed in getting the surge only a footnote for an overarching Dem strategy?


ADD easy as 1, 2,...Hey can you believe Obama said he was on the banking committee?


Tell the truth,you have noticed that Edward's hair is thinning and you don't have the heart.



I heard that. Between his staff not knowing that he isn't President yet and him not knowing which committees he's onthis is the only response.

And the media is puffing up this tour like he's Caesar-great optics, moving world opinion...disgusting


Not only on the committee, but "his" committee, implying Chairmanship.

hit and run

I'm heartless.

hit and run

Obama's staff already has assumed He is president, and He's already dismissed the Constitution for His 10 year presidency.

In His mind, He does already chair all the committees.

And who are we mere mortals to argue with Him?


If you are that heartless,you would have mentioned Edwards parts his hair on the girly side.


O'Reilly just got into a disagreement with Dick Morris. Morris thinks that picking Romney as McCain VP would be a yawner for voters and the worst pick he could make. O'Reilly thinks Romney would be a good choice.

Anyway, I no sooner listened to this exchange than I saw the following:

NBC poll: Voters want economic expertise from McCain’s VP

Danube of Thought

"...I'll go with whatever you want."

How about taking a hike? Will that work?

Danube of Thought

I think Romney would be a very bad choice. And don't be so rude as to ask me for a good one--I might say Jack Kemp, just to get your juices flowing.

Cecil Turner

You want to invade Congo tomorrow? I'm all for it.

Err, why? You want to invade Congo, get all your lefty buddies to join up and go for it. I'll wait for someplace where there's a US national interest.

Petraeus' surge has been a tactical success that is now running into limits unless something new happens.

Do yourself a favor: don't use words like "tactical" if you don't know what they mean. (And you might send a note to your candidate on the same subject.) The smallest thing Petraeus pays attention to is at the "operational" level of war (that's between strategic and tactical) . . . and contra Obama's blithering, it's usually the "strategic" level. Obama ought to be paying attention to "grand strategy" . . . except he obviously don't get it.

Rick Ballard


The Olympics ad buy reminds me of Trippi running through $50 million to get no delegates for Dean. Just as the MSM seems to think that their vaunted 15 point value for Kerry really would have done the trick if only they had gone a bit deeper in the bag. So, deeper they go.

An alternative hypothesis is that the '92 election was the last time that the MSM was successful in covering up just how nauseating the stink coming off their candidate actually was. Circ and viewership numbers suggest that the "big" news media swing a lot less weight than they did in '00 or '04 - it's all diminishing return territory.

I would note (for the 1,237th time) that the passing of the Yellow Dogs permanently changed the complexion of the Democrat party. If they were still around I'd say Obama had a lock, but he doesn't - and the MSM isn't going to give him one.

If I bother to turn on any Olympic coverage, I'm actually looking forward to seeing a stoop shouldered, hollow chested geek try and peddle a message of defeat through inaction - in between world class competitors at the peak of physical conditioning giving their all to win. It will make a nice contrast.


I posted this on another thread--let's start calling him Barack Jong-Il if he cannot even keep his mug out of the Olympics.


This is beyond disgusting!

Denver Officials Learn of House Being Used to Store Urine For Police Attacks During DNC Convention

A new kind of warning has come up about protesters gearing up for the Democratic National Convention.

Denver firefighters have learned of a house full of urine being stored to throw at police. An internal memo is warning first responders that disgusting acts are a significant concern.

Protesters in other cities have used urine and feces filled balloons to throw at police and there are concerns that could happen during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Denver City Councilman Doug Linkhart has proposed an ordinance to keep protesters from carrying the so called urine bombs or other liquids in the protest areas.

This Olympics Obama is buying into,would it happen to be the Olympics in China? That would be the China that has bought mobile execution vans so that the body parts can be kept fresh for organ parts?
Does Obam approve?


Well there is uranium there, thus validating
that Mi-6 source memo; one of the reason for the West's concerns in the region, from
Lumumba to Moise Tsombe, ultimately Mobutu
and Kabila, father and son. The former was able to mount his attack from massacre-devastated Rwandan territory. Somehow I don't think we're going there; no matter how many times they run those West Wing episodes. You get the feeling that Barry is a more exotic Josiah Bartlett; complete with prep school and Chicago experience.

No, Wesley, the Saudi surge from 2003-2006, was what the Anbar/Dulaimi province rebelled
against ; in the midst of the 'civil war. Abu Risha & co, were under siege from the real long term enemy the Wahhabi Ilkwan and
their Salafi adherents. The ISG would have ratified that annexation by the Nejd of that vital region; but Bush with imput from
Petraeus, and his aides, McMaster of Mosul, Nagl of Baghdad and Mansoor, saw another way. Sometimes the 'perfumed prince' really makes me think he played West Point football
without a helmet; that's abetter explanation
than anything else

Tom Maguire

I am going to have a new "Klein V. Klein" post:

From July 23:

The reality is that neither Barack Obama nor Nouri al-Maliki nor most anybody else believes that the Iraq war can be "lost" at this point.

From waaaay back on July 20:

For McCain, the first priority remains a stable Iraqi nation-state, and he is willing to risk ever more American blood and treasure over the coming years in that quest. For Obama, the first priority is an exit from the country, and he is willing to risk civil chaos in Iraq and a loss of American influence in the region.

So over the last three days, Obama has gone from being willing to accept an Iraqi civil war to believing that the war cannot be "lost".

Hmm, would Barack consider a civil war a "loss"? Would Maliki? What is Klein smoking/drinking/inhaling over there?

Soylent Red


First, thank you for the article. I am familiar with, and have met MAJ Smith, one of the co-authors. He works right down the street from where I do. And it was a worthwhile read.

What the public really needs is a full, non-partisan educational course in "nation-building" and counter-insurgency. It's a funny turnabout in a way, because old-time liberal hawks were very much in tune with "nation-building," while republican conservatives were against it. In the 2000 presidential campaign for example, Gore mentioned the possibility while Bush scorned it.

On this we can agree. On the right, very, very few will challenge Gen. Petraeus. Not so on the left (even the economic left!). So then, perhaps you are the man for the job on your side of the aisle? Since we both agree on the necessity of crushing the various and sundry oppressors of man, and on the utility of COIN (properly applied) in doing so, you seem like a perfect missionary to the Left.

And since you seem interested in learning I will give you my best recommendations...

First, read Bill Roggio's Long War Journal. Do it every day. He and Michael Yon offer a no-BS account of what's going on.

Additionally, read ThreatsWatch as your schedule allows. You can get through several RapidRecon sections while you belt down your morning coffee.

Finally, read Small Wars Journal at least every other month. Excellent COIN stuff in there, even though it comes from (cough, cough) mostly Marines.

Then, go to Amazon and get this


, and Kilcullen's 28 Articles (online).

Once you have read and truly understand those works, you will be about as well read on COIN you need to be to start really talking about theory and application with people who speak the cant.

Dates and places are less important than concepts.

We'll work on your economic misguidedness another time.

hit and run

I posted this on another thread--let's start calling him Barack Jong-Il if he cannot even keep his mug out of the Olympics.

TM, as always, ahead of the curve here: Barack Hussein Il Jong Obama

That's the first reference I see. There's more, of course

Oh, and look at the date on that first post...Happy Birthday Clarice!


The Democrats don't get what they have done.

Have you noticed something about Barack? He's never wrong! He's the Smartest Guy in the Room, and he's Not Afraid to Let You Know It!

He's not wrong about the War, He's not wrong about the Surge.

He's never wrong about anything. He doesn't make a mistake. Other People make mistakes. Ask Maureen Dowd!

The last time we had a guy in power like this he ran the Defense Department. That man's name was Donald Rumsfeld.

The Democrats have nominated a clone of Don Rumsfeld. Only without a tenth of Rumsfeld's experience and accomplishments. But all of Rummy's arrogance and hauteur.


Don't know how I could have forgotten that, Hit-It's still a good idea even if it is TM's.

Soylent Red


Not that I disagree with anything you said, but I believe Lee can be turned.

Let's work toward converts rather than enemies.


I don’t know why everybody is making such a big deal about the “dealing with them for the next 8-10 years” comment. Obama was simply predicting that a) he would lose the election in November, b) he would win re-election to the Senate in 2010 and 2016, and c) he’d have to resign after being convicted sometime in the 2016-2018 time frame.

What? You disagree? It's all in the math!


From your mouth to God's ears, cathy.


cathyf: I like your math!

Danube of Thought

"You want to invade Congo tomorrow? I'm all for it."

Jeez--would you sacrifice your son for Brazzaville?

Lee A. Arnold

I have a copy of Galula (must have been a hell of an interesting guy) and a couple of Hammes' books. I keep up with Col. Pat Lang's blog Sic Semper Tyrannis, and he probably talks to all your guys. I don't get lots of time to read military strategy and tactics but I love them both. God, I read Liddell-Hart when I was twelve! You really DON'T want to tangle with me on economics issues.


You really DON'T want to tangle with me on economics issues.

Oh gawd! I don't think I can stand too many more egomaniacs.


SR: Thanks for the reading list. I'd forgotten about SMALL War Journals. Its excellent.


Sometimes Shippert blogs at TheTank @ NRO


Anyone can spew a socialist economics and call everyone else stupid. You'll get few folks into finding excessively high taxation rates agreeing that its beneficial for overall growth

Charlie (Colorado)

Don't be a condescending little prat.By the way what are you going to do for the world when you leave school?

Children, play nice.


Perhaps you could explain the economics of the Diamond Heist raping the Democratic Republic of Congo.


If you haven't seen Drudge, I recommend you take a peek:



His "non-campaigning" in Europe results in Obama Campaign posters at the wall. Picture on Drudge.

Charlie (Colorado)
Denver City Councilman Doug Linkhart has proposed an ordinance to keep protesters from carrying the so called urine bombs or other liquids in the protest areas.

Because, of course, it wasn't illegal to through fermented urine at police before then.

Memo to self: old clothes and safety glasses for the convention.

Thomas Jackson

I recall the media's reporting of the Tet offensive and the five o'clock follies when all the reporters would exchange rumors about what was going on in the combat zones and then slip into their flak jackets and "report" to the folks back home. Obama is doing the same job on us today.

Too bad he didn't stage his speech in Nuremburg. The man and his followers are just plain creepy.


TJ: Bill Clinton was right about him being a fairy tale

Cecil Turner

Let's work toward converts rather than enemies.

Tough love. Besides, there's no sense in pretending a bunch of politically-motivated talking points have any validity when discussing national defense. (Or that self contradictory concepts like "country-wide tactical level" make sense.) The bottom line is that Lee's statements indicate he persists in viewing the war through the "how does it help my candidate" prism. That's fundamentally unworkable, and not amenable to logical persuasion.

I generally try to come up with my own strategy prior to assessing the Administration/CentCom/MNF one. If they match, I figure they're on the right track (or laboring under the same misapprehensions I am). I've been surprised at how often they do match. (Or maybe it's not all that surprising . . . we went to the same schools.) Most of the political criticism I've seen on the war is opportunistic and borderline ridiculous (like the silly crap about long supply lines during the initial OIF op . . . as if there was any way to shorten the distance from the port to Baghdad). The latest attempt to pretend that even though the situation has changed drastically for the better (admitted only on odd days, apparently), it wasn't the result of the strategy (even though the predicted failure has failed to materialize). I've got no more time for that nonsense than for the "listen to the generals" crap that cites the Army CoS rather than CentCom. It can't be an honsest argument--they don't even understand the chain of command--but because it plays well with the willfully ignorant press corps, we're still seeing it five years on.

In my experience, the best way to extinguish silly arguments is by heaping scorn on them. If the arguer is honest, he'll be forced to reconsider the position. If not, you'll see reiterations with minor modifications to defuse the criticism. I'd suggest what we're seeing here is the latter, and your assessment is likely flawed. But by all means, carry on.


If the arguer is honest, he'll be forced to reconsider the position

CT: Did you say honest? A Democrat honest?

Lee A. Arnold

Cecil, I am aghast that you or anyone here would confuse the "strategy/tactics" distinction in battle for the "strategy/tactics" distinction in political aim.

Petraeus has repeatedly mentioned the "tactical momentum" of the surge. He wrote the big book on counterinsurgency with a chapter or two on "tactics." I think we can conclude that he does "pay attention" to it.

Lee A. Arnold

BobS -- The lower marginal rates are not stimulating growth, either. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported the Congressional Budget Office says the effects of Bush's two tax cuts have already faded:


And these were two of the biggest tax cuts in U.S. history. This is the third such report in the last two or three years.

But: the Clinton boom came after a tax INCREASE. Why? Number one, the innovation of computers. Number two, probably because Clinton reduced the budget deficit. In economics, there is NO evidence that lower taxes cause more investment and growth WITHOUT reductions in government spending.

And government is NOT getting smaller in our lifetimes! For various reasons both real and theoretical.

Real: The Iraq war is up to $850 billion and counting. Including the cost of care for vets, it will get up to at least $3 trillion. This is not all in one lump sum, it will be spread out over years. Social Security is the only thing in the budget that is presently accounted-for, and it is in good shape (despite what everybody seems to believe) for at least 30 more years and maybe forever. But increasing costs of medical care for the elderly are going to swamp us if we don't revamp the medical system.

Theoretical: the world is getting more crowded and complicated, so in econ-speak, there are increasing "network effects" that are accelerating environmental externalities and social transactions costs -- at the same time as the increasing specialization and the division of labor is making it difficult for any one of us to know enough to make proper choices about lots of things. So the market economy is not transmitting all the proper information, and we don't have enough knowledge to evaluate it, if it did. Here is a related article from the ultra-conservative Financial Times, yesterday:


As the article says in other words, the solution is not to get rid of the market, but to regulate it by institutions of law and transparency that are targeted to the specific problems, whether they are in the financial markets or the environment or whatever. This is the other half of economics: institutional economics. It has been connected to the left in the U.S., although one of its godfathers was a conservative, the Nobel-prize winner Ronald Coase. But it is Coase's other main article, not the one usually argued about in blogs.

P.S. On the issue of the deficit, the Tax Policy Center (Brookings) released an updated analysis of McCain's tax plan. It is here:


It will cost $2.8 trillion more than previously admitted, and the tax cuts are going almost entirely to the upper class and corporations. The Bush Tax Cuts redux. I think McCain's a good man but he needs a different set of economic advisors!


Tina, thanks for the heads up. More developing headlines on Drudge:



The "greatest economic boom in history" had mostly to do with technological innovation (computers, in the U.S.) and trade liberalization.

Anyone else notice the pattern? The other day we had some lefty "contributors" here claiming that the surge had nothing to do with the "lull," it was just a bunch of fortuitous events that came from nowhere. Now we have another claiming that the economic boom was of the 80s and 90s was just happenstance. Anything to avoid giving Reagan or Bush credit for their successes.

And Obama does the same thing. He credits the troops for the success of the surge, but lacks the grace and class to give credit to the guy who put them there, our commander-in-chief.


Oops, sorry, didn't see Tina had posted the Western Wall item on the other thread...

Lee A. Arnold

Jimmyk, please tell me how the 90's boom was caused by Reagan instead of any other prior President: Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, or Calvin Coolidge. Or go the other way: if Reagan is to credit for the 90's boom (which was the last half of the 90's,) then why isn't Reagan responsible for the almost-recession we are in now? You can't have it only your way. (I think that if you include the increases in payroll taxes, Reagan raised taxes more than he cut them. If I find time I'll look that one up.)


"Re-Write Obama Style"


Lee: thed lower rates have always done two things 1. Broaden the tax base and 2. Increase revenues

ybe the BobS

Anyway...are like the living members of the Beatles gonna open for Obama. Or maybe the Scorpions? Or better yet David Hasselhoff

Cecil Turner

Cecil, I am aghast that you or anyone here would confuse the "strategy/tactics" distinction in battle for the "strategy/tactics" distinction in political aim.

Right. Might want to define "tactical success" of the "surge" as you used it above. Or admit it's drivel. (Or, if your point is the tired one that the surge has enhanced stability but that the political benchmarks are lagging, I'd recommend finding a different shorthand.) As to "tactical momentum," I'm not sure what the good General means by it, but if his point is that at the tactical level success breeds success, it's as close to a truism as one sees in warfare. If he's using it predominantly in briefs with congressmen (which is where I've seen it), that's likely dumbing it down for the audience.

I'll freely admit reading your posts with less than the usual amount of charity, and that it's a result of doubting your sincerity. But that conclusion is drawn from several threads worth of commentary, and is hardly dispelled by circumlocution such as the above.


The "greatest economic boom in history" had mostly to do with technological innovation (computers, in the U.S.) and trade liberalization.

I'm thinking that there was full employment for every geek/nerd in the world trying to diffuse the Y2K time bomb. Everyone always forgets that "little" problem we were going through at the time along with all of Clinton's sleeze and hit or miss bombings.

ybe the BobS

I liked it better when we were talking about Rock & Roll.


sorry...just swooning over my favorite music from the 70's and 80's. Leftists be damned. Capilalism lives in R & R.


Talking about capitalists and loving America, this from Stevie Nicks wiki:

[edit] Stevie Nicks' Band of Soldiers
In late 2004, Nicks began visiting Army and Navy medical centers in Washington D.C. While visiting wounded service men and women, Nicks became determined to find an object she could leave with each soldier that would raise their spirits, motivate, and give them something to look forward to each day. She eventually decided to purchase hundreds of iPod Nano's, load them with music, artists, and play-lists which she would hand select, and autograph them. She now regularly delivers these tokens of her appreciation, bringing her closest friends to share the experience.[10]

In 2006, Nicks held a get-together to raise money for her charity work. Many of her peers made contributions. Nicks continues to develop this philanthropic endeavor.[11]

“ I call it a soldiers' iPod. It has all the crazy stuff that I listen to, and my collections I've been making since the '70s for going on the road, when I'm sick...Or the couple of times in my life that I have really been down, music is what always dances me out of bed. „
—Stevie Nicks, The Arizona Republic

“ So, as Mick [Fleetwood] and I went from room to room delivering their tiny iPod, they told us their stories. Mick became his tall, loving, father figure, English self, taking in every word they said, remaining calm (at least on the outside) inspiring them. We floated from room to room down thru the halls of the 2 hospitals over a three-day period. We gave out all our iPods. Right before I left for D.C., Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry dug into their pockets and came up with $10,000 for me. In my eyes they went from the coolest rock stars to generous great men; as my press agent Liz Rosenberg said, every returning wounded soldier should be given an iPod. It will be an integral part of their recovery.


Supposedly detached rock stars Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry made their effort to get the wounded GIs IPods.


Thanks BobS, what a cool story.


we spent so much money and time on them thats its nice to see them give back where it can really mean something



We could all use more stories like that one, thanks.


He is claiming he is the chair of the Banking Committee, a committee he is not even a member of. He calls is HIS committee!

I found it strange at first, but having given the matter additional thought, Chairman Obama just sounds right.

kepa poalima

has anyone heard barama say "winning in iraq", " win the war", talk about winning or being successful in iraq or mention winning in any context other than in regards to his election prospects?


Jimmyk, please tell me how the 90's boom was caused by Reagan instead of any other prior President

It wasn't a "90's boom" it began around 1983. The economy had been staggering since the late 1960s with inflation-augmented high marginal tax rates, increased government intervention, and lousy monetary policy. Reagan did three things: He changed the trajectory of government spending and intervention, he lowered marginal tax rates, and he supported Volcker's anti-inflation policies even though the severe recession in 1981-82 was costing him dearly in popularity.

Unfortunately, part of the Reagan revolution has been repealed, as tax rates have inched upward and the tax system has gotten re-complicated, spending and intervention have accelerated, and the Fed has been too activist in its policies and created more harm than good. I blame both Bushes and Clinton for this, as well as Congress.

Lee A. Arnold


Here are 4 graphs:

(1) US GDP absolute, indexed from 1900, with a trend line:


(2) US GDP PER CAPITA since 1940:


(3) US PRODUCTIVITY (nonfarm business productivity) since 1970:


(4) Payroll, income and corporate taxes as SHARE of total federal revenues:


Facts: After Volker put the breaks on to fight the 1970's oil price inflation that choked the economy, the economy started back to its usual trend around 1983.

Reagan had nothing to do with it (except that he told Volker to go ahead and stop inflation.)

What did Reagan actually accomplish, economically speaking?

He rearranged and increased federal spending and the budget deficit, in other words he borrowed money to throw the party, and he changed the structure of taxes so that the poor and middle class shouldered a bigger share of the total revenue than before (see the little bumps in the dead center of chart 4: only payroll's share went up.) George W. Bush's tax cuts have done exactly the same thing.

Among economists (including some who served in the Reagan White House,) Reaganomics or supply-side theory is regarded as budget politics that shifts the tax burden down the income ladder, not real growth economics.

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