Hard To Sell

September 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

“It’s kind of hard to sell ‘trickle down,’ so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really ‘trickle down.’ Supply-side is ‘trickle-down’ theory.”

  • David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget director, December 1981
  • Source: The Education of David Stockman
  • Context: Republicans have been stressing “supply side” economics in order to avoid the negative connotations associated with trickle down economics. As David Stockman points out, “supply side” economics is in fact another term for trickle down economics.

The Same Empty Conservative Sermon

August 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

“Paul D. Ryan is the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this earnest congressman from Wisconsin is preaching the same empty conservative sermon.”

  • David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under Reagan, August 13, 2012
  • Source: Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan by Stockman
  • Context: David Stockman, in his piece published in the New York Times, attacks Ryan’s economic and budget proposals, saying that they do absolutely nothing to fix the economy and may even make things worse. He goes on to conclude:

“In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.”

  • Bruce Bartlett is another former member of the Reagan administration who has come out against the Republican Party’s economic policies.


July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

“If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase. More fundamentally, Mr. McConnell’s stand puts the lie to the Republican pretense that its new monetarist and supply-side doctrines are rooted in its traditional financial philosophy.”

  • David Stockman, July 31, 2010. Stockman was a Republican Representative from Michigan (1977-1981) and Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1981-1985) under President Reagan.
  • Source: Four Deformations of the Apocalypse, opinion piece written by Stockman for the New York Times
  • Context: Stockman has been very critical of Republican economic policies. In this piece, he talks about the Republican “delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts.” He concludes the article with this insightful paragraph:

“The day of national reckoning has arrived. We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing — as suggested by last week’s news that the national economy grew at an anemic annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter. Under these circumstances, it’s a pity that the modern Republican Party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism when the old approach — balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline — is needed more than ever. “

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