Jeb Bush Becomes Latest Republican To Admit Trickle-Down Economics Is A Scam

jeb-bush-5It’s no secret that the only “plan” Republicans really have to address job creation is to push for deregulation and cut taxes – two things that have unequivocally proven time and time again that they have almost nothing to do with creating jobs. If tax cuts and deregulation actually led to strong economic success, Bush’s eight years in the White House would have yielded record growth.


Instead, just the opposite happened; record-setting income inequality dominated his last few years in office, leading to the worst economic crash since the Great Depression.

Well, since all other economic indicators under President Obama have been overwhelmingly positive, many Republicans have been left with no other alternative but to complain about the growing problem of income inequality. It’s an interesting complaint considering the wage gap between the average American and the richest among us really began to grow once Reagan and his fellow Republicans forced trickle-down economics upon us. You know, the belief that the more money we give the rich, the better it will be for the rest of us.

If you just laughed and/or cried, I don’t blame you.

Well, over the last 30+ years we’ve given the rich plenty. In fact, over that time they’ve done better than at any other time in our nation’s history, while the rest of us continue to fall further and further behind.

So, the questions I always ask is, “When does that wealth start to trickle down? Just how rich do the wealthiest among us need to be before the rest of us finally start benefitting?”

Naturally, believers in the asinine theory of trickle-down economics never seem to have any answers for those questions.

That’s why it’s peculiar to me when I see Republicans talking about income inequality considering when they point out that it’s a problem in this country, they’re essentially admitting that trickle-down economics is a scam.

Take for instance probable GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who recently admitted his party’s economic philosophy has been a failure for Americans when he pointed out that wages in this country weren’t keeping up with the growing wealth among the richest among us.

“If we grew at a far faster rate, the middle would no longer be as squeezed as they are,” Bush said. “We are in the sixth year of recovery, and median income is below what it was at the start of the recovery.”


Again, I would be amiss if I didn’t point out that big corporations and the rich are doing great right now. Hell, even job growth has been at historic levels while taxes remain very low. In other words, wage stagnation should not currently be a problem – at least not according to the theory of trickle-down economics – but it is.

So, when someone like Bush points out that over the last six years wages have hardly grown, despite the fact that the rich are doing great in this country, he’s literally admitting that his party’s economic foundation is a lie. If all it took was lower taxes and wealth at the top, middle class Americans would be thriving right now.

But they’re not.

The reason why wages have remained flat the last six years isn’t because of higher taxes or more regulations, it’s because businesses have taken advantage of an economic crash that left millions desperately looking for work, with many Americans taking jobs at a much lower wage than they would have previously received.

This isn’t about the economic policies of President Obama, it’s about the greed of corporate America. I can damn well guarantee that if you look at many of these same businesses where wages have remained flat, the executives at most of them have seen hefty pay raises and bonus packages the last few years.

So, if Republicans want to keep harping on income inequality, that’s fine – it is a problem. But they need to realize that every single time they do, they’re admitting that the bedrock of their economic philosophy is a complete scam.




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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  • Frank DiChutney

    Obama’s Zero Interest Rates Growth policy is designed for its wealth effect trickling down to the middle and lower classes. Obama is employing what Allen is complaining about.

    As to trickle down theory, which Bush DID NOT mention, maybe Allen could point to an economist or an economic school of thought who espoused and wrote about ‘trickle down economic theory’. Because I’ve googled it and found no one and no such economic school.

    He keeps repeating something he knows nothing about.

    • Creeayshun Sighuntist

      Rise and Whine Frank.

      • Frank DiChutney

        You can always tell a liberal knows nothing about economics when they refer to trickle down as an economic theory and that it was something Ronald Reagan invented and ascribed to, such as Allen does repeatedly.

        Allen knows less than you do, Creation Scientist.

      • Shinjo Dun

        So Frank, if conservative economic policies are so good, tell me the last time a Republican president either had greater GDP growth or annual job growth than his predecessor?

        Remind me again which party was in control at the beginning of 9 of our last 10 recessions.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        You can bet Frank will ignore this one because is doesn’t fit the narrative he’s trying to push.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        if you really need a lesson in supply side economics and its failings, go ahead and google it fella. Stop wasting people’s time because nobody takes you seriously.

      • Frank DiChutney

        Wasting your time? You e only responded to me and added nothing to Alken’s dishonest blog post.

        Why do you allow your time to be wasted? You act like you aren’t in control of your own life. Which is symptomatic of most liberals.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Who is Alken? Don’t know about you, but I’m on leave right now (have a bit a free time) so I have to assume that you do this kind of thing for a living. If you don’t do this for a living, why don’t you go to work and stop wasting people’s time here. Again, if you need a history lesson on trickle down economics, A) go to school or B) learn to use google a little more effectively.

      • Frank DiChutney

        There’s no such thing as trickle down economics.

        People come here to waste time. If I waste their time, it’s because they e chosen to let me waste it.

        Your choice, Creation. Your life to waste. Not mine.

      • Brian

        So far all you’ve done is insult, belittle, and dismiss others without providing any substance. that is how you make yourself look the fool.

      • Frank DiChutney

        Why do liberals get angry, defensive and go into denial when it’s pointed out to them that they’re being lied to by the bloggers they come here in order to be lied to?

      • Brian

        Why do conservatives get angry, defensive and go into denial when it’s
        pointed out to them that they’re being lied to by the bloggers they come
        here in order to be lied to?

        Thanks for further proving my point, mate.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        or maybe you are just desperate for attention? Don’t worry sweetie, you are still pretty.

      • Frank DiChutney

        I had no idea I had such control over your life, Creation.

      • thinkingperson

        Oh, Frank! You’re so FUNNY!! Reading your posts causes me to ROTFLMAO!

    • Pipercat

      Try “supply side economics” and the “Laffer curve.” “Trickle down,” is a political term.

      • Frank DiChutney

        It’s a dishonest political term, Pipercat. And one Bush didn’t use.

      • Pipercat

        The term was first coined by a Nixon Administration official to describe the Laffer curve. Basic conservative dogma regarding economics is based around the Laffer curve. Jeb Bush is questioning that dogma. That is politically significant should he stand by that assertion. His several opponents will seize upon that assertion as the cycle continues to march forward.

      • Frank DiChutney

        Not one statement you wrote is true, Pipercat. Not one.

        The phrase Trickle down goes back way further than Nixon. That’s all it is, a phrase meant to disparage, and one always used dishonestly. Liberals never use it to educate or enlighten their readers when they write about it.

        Bush didn’t mention the phrase. Allen uses it as a catch-all to imply he did. Yet his liberal readers will defend his dishonesty.

      • Pipercat

        Easy Frank, now you’re just being obtuse. If you are going to nit-pick and be ad lapidem, let’s look at your first paragraph.

        First problem, the Executive branch does not set monetary policy, that is done by the Federal Reserve. Moreover, zero interest monetary policy is an attempt to make capital available for the general economy. The Fed took this measure because Congress has been slacking in their responsibilities. Sorry, but your first paragraph in your first comment is nonsense.

        Second, you said in your second paragraph about googling, trickle down economics. I did and found a whole bunch of stuff regarding this slogan. Including how it is in reference to supply side economics.

        To be fair, I wasn’t clear in my second response by not adding “supply side” in the first sentence. However, my logic regarding Clifton’s premise is sound.

        Trickle down was first attributed to Will Rogers. Regardless, semantic wars are nothing but logic chopping, at best. Pissing contests at worst.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        seems like you sure have a crush on Bush today….how much do you get paid per post?

      • Frank DiChutney

        Creation, did Bush add it that trickle down is a scam?

        Yes or no, is Allen’s headline a true statement of fact?

      • Pipercat

        Frank, authors, as a general rule, don’t add the title. The editor/publisher does. In fact, it’s a pretty big point of contention among writers on these here blogs. Titles are the way they are -most times- because Google uses them for search and ad capabilities. Look at the main titles on the home page then scroll down to the section for Right Off A Cliff. Notice the difference?

      • Frank DiChutney

        Oh good grief. Does that excuse a lie in a headline?
        And what do you think this blog is, a 2,000 employee publication?

        Is that headline true, yes or no?

      • Pipercat

        Telling you straight up. Guess you don’t want to hear how things are done. Just for the record, it’s called vitriol. A nuanced concept that seems to escape those who read more into things that actually don’t matter. How about this, would Voodoo Economics work for ya?

      • Frank DiChutney

        It doesn’t work for me because Bush specifically referred to the slow recovery of the last seven years. His dad referred to certain things about Reagan’s policy proposals 35 yrs ago. Aside from the headline, Allen’s claim that what Jeb said was an admission that either Reagonomics, supply-side, voodoo economics, or trickle-down was a scam was a flat-out lie.

      • Pipercat

        Honestly, that should have been your first comment. Your original comment was not this precise (I’m being very kind here). Seriously, you can go anywhere on internetwebs and see shitty titles like the one in question. I did some writing last year and one of my caveats was the ability to veto headlines. Now the guy I wrote for understood and only made two changes. One really bad one and one that was pretty damn good. Titles are a touchy subject with writers.

        As for the piece itself, it’s a straw man that follows a formula. These are the view getting gotcha pieces. Clifton’s stuff that he writes with a little more autonomy are quite a bit better.

        Having said that, Clifton was on to something and my take is still on that is still valid; it would have also been my premise: Bush is questioning conventional GOP dogma on the issue. He’s not the only one, by the way.

      • Frank DiChutney

        If your and Allen’s take n this was at all truthful, it would be big news that Jeb Bush was denouncing his dad, brother and Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. No one else is making Allen’s claim. I see no one linking here. No one writing about Allen’s revelation.

        That right there proves what a dishonest broker Allen is.

      • Pipercat

        Truth is a subjective notion. It was George H. W. Bush who coined the phrase, “voodoo economics” in regards to Reaganomics so I wouldn’t get too proud of yourself there. As for the rest, it’s a false dilemma. Clifton is an opinion writer as such, writes an opinion. Agree or disagree. Comment if you have a logical cogent argument. Tone trolling is a waste of time.

      • Frank DiChutney

        Piper, the headline is a lie. The blog post is a lie.

        You’re defending both practices. You’re right, little more needs to be said. No one else is agreeing with or even noticing his revelation other than his trained seal followers who would defend anything he wrote.

      • Pipercat

        I’m not defending anything. Just telling it like it is. I don’t go to any other sites, and comment, other than this one. I’ve been critical without being ad hominem about it. I know the writers here and their various styles.

        I don’t think this is a ringing endorsement of the piece:

        “As for the piece itself, it’s a straw man that follows a formula.”

        Opinion pieces are supposed to pursued. If they don’t, they fail. For whatever reason. There are plenty of partisan circle jerks out there. I don’t go to ones I don’t agree with to stir the pot. I stay here because I like most of the writers. There are others here, you know.

      • thinkingperson

        Dear Pipercat – Your arguments are valid, and intelligently written. Frank seems to be one who simply HAS to be negative. Just a suggestion – perhaps it would be best to disengage as he seems not to have the capacity to understand.

      • Pipercat

        Thank you kindly for this. To be honest, I disengaged over a year ago ;). Frank was a site troll like Jim Bean above. To be honest, it was kinda fun…

      • Clueless Neophyte

        Of course Bush didn’t use the term–it’s largely viewed negatively nowadays. And why would he remind us of the poor performance of his own party’s economic policies by using the term to call attention to it?

      • Frank DiChutney

        It’s always been viewed negatively. It’s always been a derogatory phrase. Used dishonestly.

        Again, what is Alken saying, lower taxes are a scam? That the 70% top tax rate should’ve stayed intact?

        Jeb said we’re in the sixth year of a recovery and median income is below that of what it was at the beginning of the recovery. From that statement, Allen claims “Jeb admitted trickle down was a scam”.

        That doesn’t follow, it doesn’t make sense. It’s a bald-faced lie. But yet, liberals here show up to defend the lie.

      • Jim Bean

        Liberals show up to defend what they wish were true, never to defend a painful reality.

    • AndInThisCorner
      • Frank DiChutney

        Ok, you can copy and paste, I see. What can you tell me, though? Because that report supports a lot if what I’m saying.

      • AndInThisCorner

        I owe you nothing. Live in opposite land for as long as you like…,

      • Frank DiChutney

        You don’t even know what you copied and pasted.

      • AndInThisCorner

        Your mouth noises make no sense.

      • Frank DiChutney

        AndInThisCorner 5 days ago
        I so ❤️ you wonkette! Your irony meter never fails me…

        You actually wrote that. You are a bonafide douche.

        Heh.

      • AndInThisCorner

        Now don’t be jealous because I can write things you’re incapable of understanding. When you get to grade 3 or stop being conservative you MIGHT get humor….. maybe..

      • Frank DiChutney

        Hearting Anna Marie Cox? Quick, go take a shower or maybe fumigate. You don’t know where she’s been or what she’s carrying.

      • AndInThisCorner

        Well I suppose being riddled with disease does make you an expert….

      • thinkingperson

        It’s doubtful.

  • I-RIGHT-I

    I know that whenever I want expert economic advice I always go to the likes of a Jeb Bush. lol

  • strayaway

    “The reason why wages have remained flat the last six years isn’t because of higher taxes or more regulations, it’s because businesses have taken advantage of an economic crash that left millions desperately looking for work, with many Americans taking jobs at a much lower wage than they would have previously received.”

    The last clause suggests that not “all other economic indicators under President Obama have been overwhelmingly positive” but its true that three quarter of new jobs don’t pay as much as the average job lost in the recession.

    Another reason “why wages have remained flat” is that jobs have been shipped out of the country and legal and illegal aliens have been brought into this Country to work for lower wages. South Korean trade imbalances are up 80% since president Obama signed a trade treaty with Korea. 2/3 of new jobs since the nadir of the recession have gone to aliens. President Obama is not content with that though. He is trying to fast track the TPP which Hillary supports. (Warren and Sanders oppose it.) Expect wages to remain flat or decline.

    A Bush vs. a Clinton: We are in for trouble.

    • Creeayshun Sighuntist

      if conservative principles are so sound, what happened under Dumbya Bush? Why did his policies fail so spectacularly?

      • strayaway

        I didn’t say “conservative principles are sound”. You did.

        Truman: “The buck stops here”.
        Obama: It’s Bush’s fault.

        To your last question: Like Obama, Bush was a corporatist and their policies didn’t fail everyone. The 1% did very well under both Bush and even better under Obama.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Oh good, because let there be no mistake, I think conservative economic principles are a total joke and the reason we have such a wage gap in this country. And I find it hilarious that anyone in the GOP has the gall to point to President Obama as a contributing factor to wage disparities in the US today when the GOP has done absolutely nothing to combat this issue, ever in their history. In fact, the GOP has done the opposite. Anytime President Obama mentioned wage disparity, the right attacked him relentlessly as a socialist or rambled on about reparations or some other idiotic rant.

        So, is Jeb now a socialist? Or is he wanting to attempt the same old tried and failed policies of the last 35 years, or supply side on steroids? Give away even more to the top 1% and hope they will just “make it rain”? Or maybe it’s just opposite day today and the GOP are trying to pretend like they have a solution to the wage gap that doesn’t include cutting taxes. It’s hilarious that anyone would think cutting taxes for the wealthy would have any impact on the middle class….that one cracks me up. How gullible does the GOP think we are?

      • strayaway

        I did not call Bush a “socialist”as you suggest. I wrote, “Like Obama, Bush was a corporatist”. Note that I never brought up the concept of socialism that you are trying to respond to. You did. “Corporatism” is the polite word for “economic fascism” and is the collusion of big government and big business. Manifestations of corporatism under Bush/Obama include the Wall Street bailout, oil related wars, cheap foreign labor, and trade pacts profiting corporations at the expense of US workers. Jeb or Hillary will almost certainly continue us on the same path. That is why they are being so well bankrolled. Either way, the 1% wins.

        You also have a clumsy and pretty useless concept of “conservative”. The economic and international policies of W. Bush and McCain, for instance, are much closer to those of Obama and Hillary than those of Ron Paul, Justin Amash, or Presidents Harding and Coolidge who shrunk government and brought about prosperity and peace.

      • thinkingperson

        The only effect cutting taxes on the wealthy has on the middle class is furthering the destruction of the middle class!

  • JD Evans

    After the Bush tax cuts went into effect, Federal revenues went UP, validating the Laffer curve. If the objective is to increase revenue, then cutting taxes will result in more economic activity and a bigger tax base, which offsets the original cuts. But Liberals don’t care about that, they just want “the rich to pay their fair share” whatever that means — they will never define what is “fair.” The top 10% of taxpayers already pay way more than 70% of total revenue, but that is still not “enough.”

    • Terry Call

      The top 2% don’t pay anything near 70%. Warren Buffet has said his secretary pays a higher tax rate than he does, but the what would Warren Buffet know about money and taxes when we have folks like you to guide us.

    • FD Brian

      You might want to remember that we started a war with Iraq in 2003 the same time the cuts went into effect and that the government was spending large amounts of China’s money on an unfunded war where the profits when to the makers of arms and weapons and supplies, the increased tax revenue that was experienced was all a result of our government spending a shit load of money that it didn’t have.

  • Jim Bean

    If tax hikes on the wealthy lead to a stronger middle class, the hikes of Jan 2013 would not have lead to 40 year low workforce participation rate, a 30 year low new business startup rate, and all time high SNAP participation rate, a shrunken middle class, and stagnate wages. Or so I would think.

  • BobJThompson

    If only we could cut taxes on the rich to negative levels. Then those companies would invest in America.

    Wait.

    That already happens. Guess we should shrug and thank them for all they do for us. That’s just the way it is. Cut medicade now! http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/

  • Kipco

    Walkback after being reamed by the party hierarchy in 5..4…3…