Debunking the Republican Myth of Economic Prosperity Through Tax Cuts

ryans vampire tax planBefore getting started, this isn’t going to be some elaborate analysis of tax rates, or economic patterns outlining why trickle-down economics is a scam. Because, honestly, there’s really no point. It’s an indisputable fact that the richest among us in this country (as well as Wall Street and big corporations) have never done better. They’ve all gotten richer while the vast majority of Americans have fallen further and further behind. Yet despite these facts, tens of millions of Americans continue to buy into this ridiculous notion that “tax cuts create jobs” simply because Republicans tell them they will.


Heck, early on in George W. Bush’s first term as president he promised the American people that within a decade his tax cuts would usher in unheralded economic prosperity and eliminate our national debt. Instead, despite the fact that we didn’t raise taxes during his eight years in office, we saw our national debt nearly double and our nation endured one of the worst economic recessions in history.

One would think that this would have been the “death blow” to the con of trickle-down economics. But, sadly, it wasn’t. In fact, Republicans have actually doubled-down on pretty much the same economic policies as their solution to “solve” our economic issues. You know, the exact same policies that caused these issues in the first place.

But as most people with any kind of common sense know, this whole “economic prosperity through tax cuts” propaganda is nothing but a con. And the saddest part is, it’s not even elaborate.

Tax cuts do nothing but fatten the pockets of the rich while placing the burden for maintaining this country on everybody else. Meanwhile, Republicans harp on and on about reducing our spending, yet they never go after cuts that would impact the rich or big business. Like closing tax loopholes corporations use to avoid paying taxes, ending oil subsidies or reductions to our insanely bloated defense budget. In fact, they often push for more defense spending – while rallying that we can’t continue to spend money we don’t have.

Instead they focus on cuts to things like the EPA, education, welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and a whole host of other programs that benefit the vast majority of Americans.

This propaganda isn’t hard to expose. What baffles me is how few Americans seem to actually recognize it.

Just look at the Bush years. They flat-out promised us that his tax cuts would pay off our debt. Which, of course, was a lie. And now to tackle this massive debt he helped create, what’s the Republican solution? You guessed it: More tax breaks for the rich, spending cuts on programs for the rest of us.


Republicans will almost always push for tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the rich, while focusing their spending cuts on programs that most Americans rely on every single day. It’s a cycle that will repeat time and time again as long as we continue to allow the GOP to get away with it.

Sure, they might cut taxes for every American, giving most a few hundred dollars extra per year. But that’s basically just a quick bribe to distract us from the damage they’re doing in less obvious areas of our country. Because make no mistake about it, we’ll end up paying for these tax cuts in some form or fashion.

So, while they’ll stand in front of cameras, bragging about the $400 per year the average American will be getting if we pass some tax cuts they’re pushing for – they’re also not mentioning that a few years from now that major bridge in your town that desperately needs to be repaired won’t get those repairs. And the reason it won’t get those repairs is because the spending cuts they pushed through to offset those tax cuts from a few years ago killed the funding to make that bridge safer to drive on.

And it’s not just infrastructure. This happens in many facets of our lives. Republicans just know that as long as they distract Americans with a few hundred dollars here and there in promised tax breaks, they won’t notice the less than obvious areas where they’ll screw them over later on. And they do all of this just so that they can continue to give their rich buddies tax breaks, protect tax loopholes big corporations exploit to avoid paying taxes, keep subsidies for big oil and continue to fund bloated defense contracts.

Is anything I’m saying here “breaking news”? Of course not. But I think it’s good to toss out a reminder every now and then as to just how absurd Republican policies are.

And I keep holding out hope that one day some of these Americans will finally wake up and stop being conned by the Republican party.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Steve Brains

    The REDS are playing Wizard of OZ here. They hide behind that curtain like the Wiz. Romney did it with his tax reform. After a year of being pushed for SOME CONCRETE outline his ONLY response was : “Well, ghee, I was thinking a total tax deduction limit. Deduct whatever you could up to say $25,000. Your mortgage, healthcare expenses, college, anything that can be deducted up to that limit.”

    That was it His whole economic reform plan on a cocktail weenie in ketchup.

    Ryan’s Budget… ADVERTISING suggestions. No hard #’s to crunch, nothing remotely resembling any kind of business budget i ever read.

    They are doing it with Immigration Reform (Well, we don’t wanna rock the world here. Let’s just tackle one itty bitty bit a year for a few decades…)

    Repeal and Replace!!! With WHAT????????? Romneycare? The rough draft of the PPACA, but smal enough to fit into the 44th tiniest State in the country.
    HOW EXACTLY do those vouchers ya’ll @ the GOP Glee Club work? We get TAXED like 99%ers, and we get a tax break on up to how much in medical expenses on NEXT years taxes? $8000!!!! WOW!!!!! but that’s really only $2000 of actual tax SAVINGS isn’t it?

    The Farm Bill. the Vets Bill, the Highway Bill ALLL a RED smoke and mirror magic shows.

    The Wizard of OZ.

  • Jim Bean

    The Left believes they can get more of the wealthy folks capital flowing through the economy via strong armed robbery. The Right thinks it will take something a bit more sophisticated – something that will entice and encourage the wealthy to regard it as something that is in their best interest.

    I have a hunch the Right is right.

    • Denny Bernsmeier

      Maybe you’re a troll, maybe not. The thing is we’ve been trying tax cuts for over 30 yrs now, as a nation we are worse off then we were 30 yrs ago. The excessively rich have been shown to be sociopaths, unemphatic, and generally only care about themselves. As one of the few good wealthy entrepreneurs said, the wealthy do not buy enough to make up for the loss of the middle class. Not to mentian there is a little thing called social responsibility. What you take from society you need to give back to improve society and not make it worse. We had the strongest economy in american history in the 50’s and 60’s thanks to policies set in place in the 30’s and 40’s and Ike forcing social responsibility on those who got rich off WWII and continued getting rich off the cold war. The rich in general will not be socially responsible on their own they need to be forced to be through a solid progressive tax system, policies that put money into the pockets of the working class, like repairing our infrastructure, and quit promoting greed as good.

      • Jim Bean

        Your efforts at tax cuts have resulted in the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

        And we had the strongest economy in American history in the 50’s and 60’s because we weren’t dealing with any foreign competition for our jobs – not because of the economic policies of the 30’s and 40’s.

      • Denny Bernsmeier

        You’re apparently blind to the policies that lead up to the Great Depression, policies that we are emulating today. The main problem with foreign competition is due to Free Trade agreements that allow corporations to abuse labor and cater to the lowest denominator allowing for the greatest profit at the expense of people. Profit should never be more important then people. The effective corporate tax rate is only 12% one of the lowest in the world. Yes there is quite a bit of variance in it allowing the fast food industry to pay around 27% and companies like GE and Facebook to pay 0% and get back million dollar returns. The ones complaining the most are getting back returns. The people are important not the corporations.

      • Jim Bean

        The free trade agreements allow you to select cheap foreign imports over higher priced USA products and because you do that, they avail themselves to cheap foreign labor in order to compete. If your flat screen HD Smart TV’s were Union Made in the good ole USA, they’d cost $8,000 instead of $800 and you’d be no better off buying-power wise. Worse, probably, because your wages wouldn’t be 10X higher. You can’t just look at one side if you want a clear picture.

      • Denny Bernsmeier

        By your figures item cost grows disproportionately with labor costs. As you figure the average American should never have been able to afford all those luxuries of the 50’s 60’s and 70’s because the labor costs were too high. The more people you have that can buy a product the more of that product can sale. The more you sale the more you make. Any good business increases efficiency in manufacturing therefor bring down costs, mainly Labor. That’s how it used to work in America. Now we are using Gilded Age policies. This world has more then enough wealth for everyone to have decent lives. Greed is just greed, quit promoting it.

      • Jim Bean

        You need only compare the 40 year curve in the cost of TV’s to the cost of automobiles to get your bearings.

        (The world has more than enough wealth) You are among the top 5% of wealthiest people on the planet. To give the other 95% ‘decent lives’ means you will have to get by with less. I doubt you are willing to commit to that.

      • Denny Bernsmeier

        I do live with less. I have not received a raise in 7 yrs yet the cost of living in my area, like the rest of the US, has increased quit a bit. I technically work t jobs, one being in the National Guard, and most of my extra money goes to helping my children since their minimum wage job won’t give them hours or even pay for as much as it did when I was their age. Let me know when you get a Post graduate degree in economics, and a Nobel Prize would help too, until then I will continue listening to the majority of experts. Supply side economics does not work! Austerity does not work! Quit drinking the conservative koolade.

      • Jim Bean

        Thank you for your service to country.

      • Denny Bernsmeier

        And thank you. The real service comes from trying to make our better for the majority instead of the minority (the .001%). Our laws and policies through the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s were very good at discouraging the massive accumulation of wealth. They may not have been perfect, but they were better then what we currently have.

      • Jim Bean

        They were better, I’ll agree. But comparing the way things were 50 years ago in a closed and protected economy to the way things are now (or could be) in a global economy is just a waste of time.

      • Denny Bernsmeier

        Not really. You take what worked and follow that line of thinking. Free trade does not work, it favors the trade barons. Why not Fair Trade. Tariffs base on working conditions and living standards of the host country. China would have huge tariffs, Germany would have little or none.

        And if you really want to know whats possible look at Germany’s economy and standard of living. Yes German products are more expensive, but not excessively so. The Germans have high taxes yes, but they get a bigger bang for their buck. Medical, better infrastructure, a higher standard of living. When you take into account necessary expenses outside what our taxes pay for the the German taxes do pay for the Germans are paying far less of their income.

        It’s also been proven in a couple of states that taking care of the homeless and giving them basic housing is cheaper then ignoring them.

        In this country we’ve gotten away from taking care of the majority even if a small minority has to suffer a little. Taking a couple of billion away from a sociopath to help millions of people should not be a problem, but because we have put the rich on a pedestal, it is.

      • FD Brian

        your first problem is you mistakenly think something is sold at a price because of the cost it takes to produce the item, that’s only a small part of that equation. The real price is set by what the purchaser is willing to pay.

      • Jim Bean

        Actually, labor, materials, logistics, and overhead are the biggest factors affecting selling prices in most instances. So, no, it is not I that am mistaken.

      • FD Brian

        yes you are mistaken, I’m sorry, but if you would have watched just one episode of Donald Trumps tv show, you would have realized that. Yes it does play a part, but not as much as you might think.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Unions also leveraged ON BEHALF OF THE WORKER, unlike Heritage, ALEC and AEI lobbying AGAINST the workers. What the American workewr MUST realize is that UNIONIZATION kicks the 1% in the balls!!!

        Walmart would rather close a store that accept a worker’s choiceto unionize. For the same reason coal mines and steel plants shut down a century ago.

        GREED! The problem with GREED as a motivator, if the people who CREATE YOYR WEALTH FOR YOU STOP WORKING, your 1% business ventures fail!

        WHat harm comes from profit sharing? None. If 90% of the company is making 12% of the revenue, and 88% of the profit is going to 5% of the company staff… Something is definitely WRONG.

    • surfjac

      It’s called “tax increases” to help the wealthy let flow the reservoir of money they’ve cached. That will force them to invest in their employees and their businesses. It worked in the past, it can work again. The 99% need real jobs not just mcdonalds and walmart where we have to get public assistance to get by but jobs that pay living wages. We need to let our college graduates pay off loans without onerous and usury interest rates so they can start to invest in themselves and keep the economy rolling. And the entire middle class needs a raise, everyone. The middle and lower economic classes have toiled for the same wage for thirty years while our productivity has gone and doubled or tripled benefiting the owner/ceo class.

      • Jim Bean

        Good luck, cowboy. I got a five spot says they’re smarter than the tax man.

      • Stephen Barlow

        That actually makes sense! TAX the CRAP out of them so they would rather INVEST in jobs and expansion than pay TAXES.

        Bush had it WRONG all along.

        NO WONDER the most prosperous times in american History was when the income tax was 90% on the greedy. Even @ the 50% Reagan Tax Rate, despite gross negligence and constant corruption scandals being hidden and scapegoated away by the REDS, corporations did OK under Reagan. They did GREAT under Clinton, perhaps better then any period of recorded history, but the workers began getting fleeced in 1981.

      • FD Brian

        when Reagan lowered the top rate it gave people the incentive to hoard money. Before they pretty much had no incentive to make over the max threshold because the government would just tax you out of most of your gain. This is mostly why you had greater competition before Reagan, the money was shared by more people.

      • Stephen Barlow

        investments have ALWAYS been safe havens. NOT taxed for either Capital Gains nor qualified dividends. it’s when you cash out that you get taxed and THAT is why Bush gutted the Cap Gains tax. So the Rich who were holding generational family money in stocks and bonds could cash out in the 5 years BEFORE the planned CRASH. THIS was the Reaganomic Final Solution. let the rich who have been hording divest and offshore their newly minted CASH, then buy back in when the bottom is found and start the NEXT Reaganomic cycle.

        99%ers can LEARN to play like they were 1%ers, because the SCALE of your investments is irrelevant. It’s all about the timing and the use of cycles for risk management. How you feel about a stock or what a chart that is sold to you says… it’s about watching the waves and picking the troughs to get in on and the crest to get out.

        When the EURO was $1.65 and the BUSH ECONOMICTSUNAMI hadn’t hit Europe yet, they were still dancing on the deck of the Titantic… Was the time to SHORT the EURO and trust the dollar. When Europe fell, we were half the way through. And Just as the Euro bottomed, the US Stimulus buoyed and THAT was where to put the NEW CASH IN!!!! 130% increases in US STOCKS since then.

        NOW is the time to go back into Europe. Last year was the time to cash OUT of Asia.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Tme for a weekly SICK OUT / National General Strike.

        Everybody just doesn’t come in. No calls, no notes, no excuses. Just 160 million worker FUC* YOU! to management!

        Let them fire us all and hire WHO? A guy who just got fired for not calling in to SICK OUT? LMAO!!

        What we REALLY NEED it a CREDIT STRIKE!!! NO ON pays their bills for 75 days. Nothing, not even the mortgage. On the 75th day, after you squirreled away 10 weeks pay, you STAY 75 days late., but NEVER pay the late fees.

        Pay your utilities and services. NOT your loans and interest accounts.

        The cash flow EVAPORATION will make THEM all late paying their bills and the entire Credit Reporting SCAM will become useless. Apply for 100 new cards and loans and refi’s while you are NOT paying your debts.

        We SAW what happened when 7% of the homeowner’s get fleeced by bad mortgages. What will happen to motrgage bankers if 70% of their assets FON’T PAY on time?

        Their company stock dumps, (which is WHY YOU short it with your pay instead of paying the bills.

        JP Morgan goes broke, you are offthe hook for the payments until they can be probated out by a Bankruptcy Court.

        Of course the REDS have been DENYING any appointee from the dark guy in the White House, so the few left over from WWII will just have to handle the backlog of 200 MILLION bankruptcy filings.

      • FD Brian

        the thing about the rich…rich people like to measure their dicks, they all have plenty of money, most of them have more than they will ever need, but they like to whip their dicks out and show their other rich buddy how much bigger his dick is. And not one of them is going to garner any admiration from their other rich buddies if they decide the middle class needs a raise, as a matter of fact they will be ridiculed and chastised because now his rich buddy has to pay more. If they all have to pay more, then there is less dick measuring because they all got the same amount chopped off and all is good in the world.

      • surfjac

        All the crude “dick-measuring” stuff aside, if the economy improves for the 99%, it improves for everyone. That’s been the point of all the talk from Prof. Reich and Dr. Krugman…increase wages and people have money to spend. Spent money is demand and demand creates jobs. It’s capitalism not rocket science.

      • FD Brian

        I chose to make it crude, because I’ve been around enough of them to know that is exactly how they act and the reason behind their hoarding of money. If I offend, it’s only to prove a point.

    • Stephen Barlow

      They never have been before. 9 out of 10 of the last recessions were REPUBLICAN POLICY.

      SHOW statistics that make your case! there are none, so YOUR excuse is “do your own homework. I ReBlather Fox Fixtion and the Florida Judge says I don’t have to tell the truth!”

      There IS no historic evidence or data that Making the rich richer CREATES JOBS.

      And 9 out of 10 JOB LOSING RECESSIONS make you a double liar. Because tax cuts COSTs JOBS.

      • Jim Bean

        9 of the 10 last recessions came on the heels of years of Democratic Party policy. Economic changes take years to materialize.

      • Stephen Barlow

        THREE during Bush II THE BIG ONE @ the end you lying / ignorant COMMIE.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Three during the reign of St. Reagan. 81, 84 and 87. Like Clockwork!!!

      • Stephen Barlow

        But NOT if a Black man takes office 75 days after an REPUBLICAN MELTDOWN, economic COLLAPSE. NO!!!! Barack the Magic African American doesn’t GET that “YEARS to materialize” stuff.

      • Jim Bean

        I seem not to recall anyone blaming the black man for the meltdown though some people do seem to blame the black man for promoting policies that discourage business growth/economic expansion during the black man’s years in office. The black man himself seems to blame everything that isn’t what we’d hope for on someone else. Stephen Barlow also holds the black man accountable for nothing.

        What Stephen Barlow is most conscious about when it comes the black man is the fact that the black man is black.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Back pedaling already? I noticed how you AVOIDED the TRUTH about you other lie. That Recessions come on the heels of Democratic Administrations.

        What you so conveniently forget is the BLAMESTORM “you people” have whipped up since 11/8/2008

        YOU PEOPLE even manufactured BLAME for the Bush TARP AND the BUSH Auto bailout.
        AND the Bush DEBT
        AND the Bush Deficit
        ANd the interest on the Bush debts and deficit.

    • FD Brian

      Well you would be wrong. But you can take away the incentive to hoard money. The last time I checked payroll was a deductible expense.

      • Jim Bean

        What incentive exists to hoard money? By ‘hoard’ I assume you are speaking of corporations sitting on piles of cash. They aren’t sitting on it because there is an incentive to do that. They’re sitting on it because Obama has created so many disincentives to invest it.

        The Left sits there in the rocking chairs, all of them among the top 10% of the wealthiest people on earth, enjoying the highest standard of living on earth, whining to the guy in the rocking chair next to them about how trickle-down economics never works. It makes me sometimes just want to bang my head on the table.

      • FD Brian

        Man, you just don’t get it do you.

      • Jim Bean

        No. And now, neither do you.

      • FD Brian

        you really still think trickle down works. You need a new history book.

      • Jim Bean

        My history books say no socialist-leaning economy has come close to the achievements of our economy. Spain -26.7. France 10.5. Greece 27.6. (Current unemployment rates)

      • FD Brian

        Agreed and I’m not talking about a socialist economy.

  • Andy Kinnard

    Nowhere in this exchange does Mr. Beat ever answer to the social responsibility question…nowhere.

  • Danielle

    All anyone needs to do is look at Kansas. It is proof that tax cuts don’t work.

  • Ron300

    I have never been on this site before, is it run by a bunch of 4 year olds.

  • Freedom County

    There are 2 economies: The private sector and the the public sector.
    If you remove money from the private sector into the public sector, you reduce the available money by something like 1/3, before the remainder is returned to the private sector.
    If you remove money from the public sector into the private sector, the money is invested, and returns a healthy reward, which then returns more back into the public sector…
    One CONSUMES money, the other PRODUCES money.
    Government is NOT a producer, it is a consumer.

    Our biggest problem is “over-regulation”. Yes, some regulation of the private sector is necessary… but too much regulation reduces the ability of the private sector to work.
    Thinking of the private sector as a fire, and government regulation as halon…