10 Lessons for Tea Baggers
By Jon Perr
Sep 15, 2009
Here, then, are 10 Lessons for Tea Baggers:
1. President Obama Cut Your Taxes
2. The Stimulus is Working
3. First Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt...
4. ...Then George W. Bush Doubled It Again
5. Republican States Have the Worst Health Care
6. Medicare is a Government Program
7. Barack Obama is Not a Muslim
8. Barack Obama was Born in the United States
9. 70,000 Does Not Equal 2,000,000
10. The Economy Almost Always Does Better Under Democrats 3. First Reagan TRIPLED the National Debt...
For Tea Baggers supposedly concerned that "deficit spending is out of hand," history apparently began only on January 20, 2009. Because while President Obama rightly resorted to massive deficit spending to rescue the American economy from calamity, it was Ronald Reagan who ushered in the now-standard Republican practice of "spending our children's inheritance."
As Steve Benen rightly noted, it was not Reagan but President Obama whose stimulus plan delivered the largest two-year tax cut in history. And as it turns out, what Saint Ronnie giveth, he also taketh away.
As predicted, Reagan's massive $749 billion supply-side tax cuts in 1981 quickly produced even more massive annual budget deficits. Combined with his rapid increase in defense spending, Reagan delivered not the balanced budgets he promised, but record-settings deficits. Ultimately, Reagan was forced to raise taxes twice to avert financial catastrophe (a fact John McCain learned the hard way from Tom Brokaw last October). By the time he left office in 1989, Ronald Reagan nonetheless more than equaled the entire debt burden produced by the previous 200 years of American history. 4. ...Then Bush DOUBLED It Again
Following in Reagan's footsteps, George W. Bush buried the myth of Republican fiscal discipline.
Inheriting a federal budget in the black and CBO forecast for a $5.6 trillion surplus over 10 years, President George W. Bush quickly set about dismantling the progress made under Bill Clinton. Bush's $1.4 trillion tax cut in 2001, followed by a $550 billion second round in 2003, accounted for the bulk of the yawning budget deficits he produced.
Like Reagan and Stockman before him, Bush resorted to the rosy scenario to claim he would halve the budget deficit by 2009. Before the financial system meltdown last fall, Bush's deficit already reached $490 billion. (And even before the passage of the Wall Street bailout, Bush had presided over a $4 trillion increase in the national debt, a staggering 71% jump.) By this January, the mind-numbing deficit figure reached $1.2 trillion, forcing President Bush to raise the debt ceiling to $11.3 trillion.
Tea Baggers take note: the Bush tax cuts delivered a third of their total benefits to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. And the staggering $2 trillion price tag for Bush's giveaway to the richest needing it least dwarfs the estimated $900 billion cost over 10 years of President Obama's health care proposals. 10. The Economy Almost Always Does Better Under Democrats
If the extended Pinocchio nose and a similarly over-inflated phallus are the apt symbols of the Tea Party movement, the Tea Baggers are in for one final, rude awakening. For all of their histrionics about "socialism" and "communism", the historical record clearly shows the economy overall and the stock market in particular almost always do better under Democratic presidents.
Just days after the Washington Post documented that George W. Bush presided over the worst eight-year economic performance in the modern American presidency, the New York Times in January featured an analysis comparing presidential performance going back to Eisenhower. As the Times showed, George W. Bush, the first MBA president, was a historic failure when it came to expanding GDP, producing jobs and fueling stock market growth. And across almost every indicator (article here, charts here), Democrats outperformed their Republican counterparts.
The superior performance of Democratic presidents covers virtually the entire spectrum of economic indicators. As Elliott Parker of the University of Nevada, Reno detailed in a 2006 paper, since 1949 Democratic administrations have done better than Republican ones when it comes to unemployment (5.2% to 6.0%), job creation (-.0.4% decrease in unemployment, compared to 0.3% increase), GDP growth rate (4.2% to 2.9%), and even corporate profits as a share of GDP. And to be sure, he found the Dow benefits from Democrats in the White House.
There's no shortage of studies to show that stock market returns are higher under Democratic leadership. (As it turns out, Wall Street's performance is also better when Democrats control Congress.) In 2000, Pedro Santa-Clara and Rossen Valkanov of UCLA's Anderson School of Business concluded that "that the average excess return in the stock market is higher under Democratic than Republican presidents - a difference of 9 percent per year for the value-weighted portfolio and 16 percent for the equal-weighted portfolio." As the New York Times noted of UCLA study in 2003:"It's not even close. The stock market does far better under Democrats...
As the spent Tea Baggers wipe the spittle from their lips at they trudge home from Washington, they would do well to remember one final truth. The words of Harry Truman, the man Sarah Palin cited as her model, are as true today as when he uttered them generations ago: "If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democratic."http://crooksandliars.com/node/31244