Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. How many times will we be fooled?
In the 1920s, in the 1980s and in the 2000s, Republican policies of low taxes, lack of regulation, disdain for labor, trade wars and reckless military interventions left us with recessions, the Great Depression and the financial and economic collapse of 2008. In addition, we have the greatest inequality of wealth in our history, flat wage growth, huge deficits and national debt.
Consider that FDR’s New Deal, fighting and winning WWII, Korea, an interstate highway system, Vietnam and sending a man to the moon left us with a national debt under $1 trillion in 1980. During this period, the top tax rate was 90 percent and labor unions were strong, leading to wage growth and a healthy middle class. Since 1980, 12 years of Reagan/Bush I Republicanism left us with a near $6 trillion national debt. Under Bush II and the Republicans, the deficit grew to over a trillion dollars a year, leaving us with over $12 trillion in debt and a financial disaster. The deficits declined under Clinton and Obama while the economy grew.
These new Republican tax cuts are proving P.T. Barnum’s adage: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”