Judging from the candidates’ tax proposals, they seem to believe that the most Reagan-like candidate is the one with the biggest tax cut. But as the person who drafted the 1981 Reagan tax cut, I think Republicans misunderstand the premises upon which Reagan’s economic policies were based and why those policies can’t — and shouldn’t — be replicated today.
--Bruce Bartlett, explaining why the GOP should stop invoking Reaganomics.
How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich.
The nation is still recovering from a crushing recession that sent unemployment hovering above nine percent for two straight years. The president, mindful of soaring deficits, is pushing bold action to shore up the nation’s balance sheet. Cloaking himself in the language of class warfare, he calls on a hostile Congress to end wasteful tax breaks for the rich. “We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share,” he thunders to a crowd in Georgia. Such tax loopholes, he adds, “sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary – and that’s crazy.”
Preacherlike, the president draws the crowd into a call-and-response. “Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver,” he demands, “or less?”
The crowd, sounding every bit like the protesters from Occupy Wall Street, roars back: “MORE!”
The year was 1985. The president was Ronald Wilson Reagan. Today’s Republican Party may revere Reagan as the patron saint of low taxation. But the party of Reagan – which understood that higher taxes on the rich are sometimes required to cure ruinous deficits – is dead and gone.
Read the entire article here. It’s a beautifully written, well-researched, and really informative piece that I highly recommend.
“Will the Democrats take this as a chance to go on offense? Will national Democrats take a lesson from Wisconsin Democrats?” —Rachel Maddow.
Outstanding coverage of the FAA shutdown and union rights, plus a look back at Reagan’s firing of air traffic controllers.