Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Dems' Prosperity Problem

  1. #1

    Dems' Prosperity Problem

    Dems' Prosperity Problem
    by George Will

    Early in George W. Bush's presidency, liberal critics said: The economy is not growing. Which was true. He inherited the debris of the 1990s' irrational exuberances. A brief (eight months) and mild (the mildest since World War II) recession began in March 2001, before any of his policies were implemented. It ended in November 2001.

    In 2002, when his tax cuts kicked in and the economy began 65 months so far of uninterrupted growth, critics said: But it is a "jobless recovery." When the unemployment rate steadily declined today it is 4.5 percent; time was, 6 percent was considered full employment critics said: Well, all right, the economy is growing and creating jobs and wealth, but the wealth is not being distributed in accordance with the laws of G-d or Nature or liberalism or something.

    Last Sunday, eight Democratic presidential candidates debated for two hours, saying about the economy . . . next to nothing. You must slog to Page 43 in the 51-page transcript before Barack Obama laments that "the burdens and benefits of this new global economy are not being spread evenly across the board" and promises to "institute some fairness in the system."

    Well. When in the long human story have economic burdens and benefits been "spread evenly"? Does Obama think they should be, even though talents never are? What relationship of "fairness" does he envision between the value received by individuals and the value added by them? Does he disagree if so, on what evidence? with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that "the influence of globalization on inequality has been moderate and almost surely less important than the effects of skill-biased technological change"?

    What Samuel Johnson said of Milton's "Paradise Lost" can be said of the debate's short discussion of economic matters: No one could wish it longer. Granted, the candidates had bigger fish to fry one another, for their various positions on starting and ending the war. And the questioners set the debate's agenda. But if the Democrats had anything pithy to say about the economy, they would have said it.

    They have a problem. How do you exclaim, as Hillary Clinton does, that today's economy is "like going back to the era of the robber barons" and insist that the nation urgently needs substantial tax increases, in the face of these facts:

    In the 102 quarters since Ronald Reagan's tax cuts went into effect more than 25 years ago, there have been 96 quarters of growth. Since the Bush tax cuts and the current expansion began, the economy's growth has averaged 3 percent per quarter, and more than 8 million jobs have been created. The deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product is below the post-World War II average.

    Democrats, economic hypochondriacs all, see economic sickness. They should get on with legislating their cure.

    Twenty-three months after the next president is inaugurated, the Bush tax cuts expire. The winner of the 2008 election and her or his congressional allies will determine what is done about the fact that, unless action is taken, in 2011 the economy will be walloped:

    The five income tax brackets (10, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent) will be increased 50, 12, 10.7, 9.1 and 13.1 percent, respectively, to 15, 28, 31, 36 and 39.6 percent. The child tax credit reverts to $500 from $1,000. The estate tax rate, which falls to zero in 2009, will snap back to a 60 percent maximum, and exemptions that have increased will decrease. The capital gains rate will rise, and the marriage penalty will be revived, as will the double taxation of dividends.

    Furthermore, the alternative minimum tax was enacted by Democratic moralists in 1969 because 21 millionaires had legally avoided paying any income tax. The AMT, which allows almost no deductions, had one rate (24 percent) until 1993, when Democrats replaced it with two (26 percent and 28 percent). It has never been indexed for inflation and in the current tax year will hit almost one in five households 23 million of them.

    Democrats need not confine themselves to their ritual tropes about how "the middle class is under assault" (Clinton again). They control Congress; they can act. The unemployed John Edwards, who has the luxury of irresponsibility, challenges Democrats to repeal the Bush tax cuts they disapprove of rather than wait for them to expire.

    Democrats cannot end the war (actually, they can but won't), but they can send their tax agenda to the president and dare him to veto it. They can, but they won't. Do you wonder why?

  2. #2
    Jets Insider VIP
    JetsInsider.com Legend
    Charter JI Member

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Posts
    31,408
    [QUOTE=GetaLife]Dems' Prosperity Problem
    by George Will

    Early in George W. Bush's presidency, liberal critics said: The economy is not growing. Which was true. He inherited the debris of the 1990s' irrational exuberances. A brief (eight months) and mild (the mildest since World War II) recession began in March 2001, before any of his policies were implemented. It ended in November 2001.

    In 2002, when his tax cuts kicked in and the economy began 65 months so far of uninterrupted growth, critics said: But it is a "jobless recovery." When the unemployment rate steadily declined today it is 4.5 percent; time was, 6 percent was considered full employment critics said: Well, all right, the economy is growing and creating jobs and wealth, but the wealth is not being distributed in accordance with the laws of G-d or Nature or liberalism or something.

    Last Sunday, eight Democratic presidential candidates debated for two hours, saying about the economy . . . next to nothing. You must slog to Page 43 in the 51-page transcript before Barack Obama laments that "the burdens and benefits of this new global economy are not being spread evenly across the board" and promises to "institute some fairness in the system."

    Well. When in the long human story have economic burdens and benefits been "spread evenly"? Does Obama think they should be, even though talents never are? What relationship of "fairness" does he envision between the value received by individuals and the value added by them? Does he disagree if so, on what evidence? with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that "the influence of globalization on inequality has been moderate and almost surely less important than the effects of skill-biased technological change"?

    What Samuel Johnson said of Milton's "Paradise Lost" can be said of the debate's short discussion of economic matters: No one could wish it longer. Granted, the candidates had bigger fish to fry one another, for their various positions on starting and ending the war. And the questioners set the debate's agenda. But if the Democrats had anything pithy to say about the economy, they would have said it.

    They have a problem. How do you exclaim, as Hillary Clinton does, that today's economy is "like going back to the era of the robber barons" and insist that the nation urgently needs substantial tax increases, in the face of these facts:

    In the 102 quarters since Ronald Reagan's tax cuts went into effect more than 25 years ago, there have been 96 quarters of growth. Since the Bush tax cuts and the current expansion began, the economy's growth has averaged 3 percent per quarter, and more than 8 million jobs have been created. The deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product is below the post-World War II average.

    Democrats, economic hypochondriacs all, see economic sickness. They should get on with legislating their cure.

    Twenty-three months after the next president is inaugurated, the Bush tax cuts expire. The winner of the 2008 election and her or his congressional allies will determine what is done about the fact that, unless action is taken, in 2011 the economy will be walloped:

    The five income tax brackets (10, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent) will be increased 50, 12, 10.7, 9.1 and 13.1 percent, respectively, to 15, 28, 31, 36 and 39.6 percent. The child tax credit reverts to $500 from $1,000. The estate tax rate, which falls to zero in 2009, will snap back to a 60 percent maximum, and exemptions that have increased will decrease. The capital gains rate will rise, and the marriage penalty will be revived, as will the double taxation of dividends.

    Furthermore, the alternative minimum tax was enacted by Democratic moralists in 1969 because 21 millionaires had legally avoided paying any income tax. The AMT, which allows almost no deductions, had one rate (24 percent) until 1993, when Democrats replaced it with two (26 percent and 28 percent). It has never been indexed for inflation and in the current tax year will hit almost one in five households 23 million of them.

    Democrats need not confine themselves to their ritual tropes about how "the middle class is under assault" (Clinton again). They control Congress; they can act. The unemployed John Edwards, who has the luxury of irresponsibility, challenges Democrats to repeal the Bush tax cuts they disapprove of rather than wait for them to expire.

    [B]Democrats cannot end the war (actually, they can but won't), but they can send their tax agenda to the president and dare him to veto it. They can, but they won't. Do you wonder why?[/B] [/QUOTE]

    as I stated in the title of another thread...they are completely spineless....

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=GetaLife]Dems' Prosperity Problem
    by George Will

    He inherited the debris of the 1990s' irrational exuberances.

    [/QUOTE]

    Gotta love this: When the economy grows under a Democratic president, it's "irrational exuberance," but its just good tax policy when it happens under a Republican. Right. As if the housing-market lunacy of this decade --which has been responsible for much of the so-called Bush boom-- isn't every bit as irrational as the tech-stock craze of the 1990s.

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    13,518
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]Gotta love this: When the economy grows under a Democratic president, it's "irrational exuberance," but its just good tax policy when it happens under a Republican. Right. As if the housing-market lunacy of this decade --which has been responsible for much of the so-called Bush boom-- isn't every bit as irrational as the tech-stock craze of the 1990s.[/QUOTE]

    While you raise a good point, the Dems are just as guilty of such practices. Both sides blame or praise previous administrations for what is going on at the moment.

    Yet, if some major political news breaks or the Fed chairman sneezes, the stock market (which helps drive the economy) reacts [I]immediately[/I]. :rolleyes:

    The truth is the recession of the early part of this decade happened because our economy was going through an adjustment (and it still is) to a changing marketplace.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=sourceworx]While you raise a good point, the Dems are just as guilty of such practices. Both sides blame or praise previous administrations for what is going on at the moment.

    Yet, if some major political news breaks or the Fed chairman sneezes, the stock market (which helps drive the economy) reacts [I]immediately[/I]. :rolleyes:

    The truth is the recession of the early part of this decade happened because our economy was going through an adjustment (and it still is) to a changing marketplace.[/QUOTE]

    I agree that presidents get too much credit/blame for what's going on in the economy, although their policies can have an impact along the margins by doing things like encouraging investment in certain areas.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Follow Us