I’ve made no secret of my belief that I think trickle-down economics is a giant con. It’s a fairly brilliant con, but it’s a con nonetheless. The entire premise behind this theory is that no matter if the economy is growing or struggling, the answer is always the same – cut taxes for the rich. For nearly 40 years, this is the economic philosophy on which our economy has been built. Meanwhile, for that same amount of time, the wealthy in this country have done better than ever before while the poor and middle class continue to fall further and further behind.
Even right now as almost every economic indicator we have in this country says our economy is doing better than it has in years, the one indisputable issue on which both Democrats and Republicans will agree on is wage stagnation. Sadly, they completely disagree on how to deal with it. Democrats want to raise taxes on the rich, increase the minimum wage and pass laws that benefit the average working American. Meanwhile, Republicans want to do what they always want to do – cut taxes for the rich and deregulate big business. Two things that, according to their failed economic theory, should benefit the average American worker – except it almost never does.
Notice the difference? Democrats support policies that directly help 98 percent of Americans while Republican policies only directly benefit the richest and most powerful among us with the “promise” that by cutting their taxes and deregulating their businesses they’ll “trickle down” that excess to the rest of us and run their companies ethically. Yet in the real world what we actually see is that cutting taxes only makes them richer and many corporations do just about everything they can to get around the regulations we have now, often only fixing dangerous or unethical issues when legally required to do so. I’m not really sure just how delusional someone has to be to honestly believe that fewer regulations would make corporations act more ethically and morally. That’s just asinine.
But it never ceases to amaze me when I see Republicans bring up income inequality because almost every time that they do, they’re essentially admitting that trickle-down economics doesn’t work.
A prime example of this came when Sen. Ted Cruz tried to bash the president by claiming that the 1 percent has thrived during his administration, clearly trying to imply that Obama’s policies have been bad for 99 percent of Americans.
After saying the rich have gotten “fat and happy” during Obama’s presidency, Cruz went on to tell Fox News, “Today the top 1 percent earn a higher share of our national income than any year since 1928.”
That’s a statement that’s actually true.
Though it’s completely ironic that Cruz would say something like this considering his party’s economic “plan” to combat income inequality is by making the 1 percent richer and blocking any attempt to raise the minimum wage.
Also, when you look at the 15 years listed by Politifact where the 1 percent earned such a high level of our national income, all but 2 (1936, 2012) preceded massive economic crashes. In fact, we hadn’t seen such income disparity since 1936 – until the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012.
Amazing, isn’t it? The years directly preceding the economic crash of 2008 were years that the 1 percent earned a massive percentage of our national income – much in the same way the 1 percent did in the years leading up to the Great Depression. But I’m sure it’s just a huge coincidence that our nation’s two biggest economic collapses happened right around the time the richest 1 percent of all Americans controlled the largest percentage of our nation’s income.
It’s just absurd to see Republicans like Cruz try to claim Obama’s policies are causing these massive issues with income inequality when this is a pattern we’ve seen building for decades and it’s a direct result of the failed economic ideology his party supports known as trickle-down economics.
And when any Republican talks about wage stagnation, while also claiming that the rich are doing better than they ever have before, they’re flat-out admitting that their entire economic philosophy is one giant scam.
Watch his comments below via Fox News: