Who the Hell is Still Buying Into the Scam of Trickle-Down Economics?

trickle-down-economicsIncome inequality has been all the talk lately.  For Democrats, they mention how income inequality has become a massive problem, with most of the wealth continuing to be hoarded by the top 1-2% of wage earners.  Republicans, well – they seem to be in denial about this indisputable reality that over the last 30+ years the richer have become richer than ever before while the vast majority of Americans continue to fall further and further behind.

This isn’t a partisan talking point, it’s a simple fact.

And if you want to try to discount the trend from 2013 as just a fluke, you really can’t.  This is the same thing we’ve been seeing for more than three decades.

You know, about the same time when Ronald Reagan introduced the country to what is most commonly known as “trickle-down economics.”   Or the fairly laughable belief that the more wealth rich people have, the better off the rest of us will be.

I’ve said it plenty of times, it’s a great con.  No matter what economic environment we’re current in (good or bad) the answer for those who support this preposterous theory will always be, “Cut our taxes, deregulate us.”

Who can’t see this scam?

Good economy?  Cut their taxes to continue job creation!  Bad economy?  Cut their taxes so they’ll create jobs!

In the meantime during the years of “trickle-down economics” we’ve seen five recessions, a massive growth to our national debt, historic economic growth, historic economic collapses – you name it, we’ve experienced it.

Oh, and the richest among us become richer than ever while the rest of us fall further and further behind.

Even now, following the worst economic recession in almost a century, Republicans don’t deny that the rich are doing spectacularly while the poor and middle class continue to struggle.

Though I think it’s ridiculous that they actually say it’s Obama’s fault that the rich are doing great while the vast majority of Americans continue to suffer.

Isn’t the promise of trickle-down economics that the better the rich do, the better the rest of us will do?  Well, the rich are doing great – why aren’t we?

How exactly is that President Obama’s fault?  Are they really trying to say that his economic policies have worked but now he’s supposed to force the rich to create jobs?

That can’t be right.  That would be more government.

Besides, it’s absurd to really blame President Obama for the rich getting richer while most Americans fall further behind.  You could make that claim if this trend just started within the last five years, but it hasn’t.  Like I said earlier, this is something we’ve seen happening for more than three decades.

But now Republicans are using this nonsense that it’s not income inequality but “income opportunity” that Americans are lacking.  I swear, the people in charge of their propaganda are really brilliant – even if none of it makes sense to anyone with any ability to use common sense and rational thinking skills.

Luckily for them, most conservative voters don’t use either.

What the heck does “income opportunity” even mean?   That there aren’t enough high paying jobs being created for Americans to advance toward?

Well, yeah – that’s the same thing that’s causing income inequality.  It’s corporations that continue to get greedier and greedier (building that wealth at the top) at the expense of everyone else.

You’re telling me a company is going to keep a job around that their figures tell them they can cut, while forcing someone else to pick up the slack, all while still growing their profits just because we give them a tax break?

You’re joking, right?

They’re still going to cut that job, make someone else work more (for probably the same pay), take that tax break and funnel even more money into the pockets of the rich and powerful.

Companies aren’t creating jobs because of tax breaks.  They create jobs when demand dictates they do.  They cut jobs when they believe they can keep up with that demand while maintaining a smaller workforce while still growing their profits.

I’ve said it countless times, the rich in this country are not suffering.  If their wealth and our success are supposed to mirror one another, then the middle class should be thriving right now.

But it’s not.  And it’s been getting worse for the last three decades.

Who in their right minds really believes that a handful of people owning well over half a nation’s wealth is a good thing?  Because that’s what we have not only in this country, but around the world.

And it’s an absolute joke that millions of people, who are directly hurt by these asinine economic ideologies built to benefit the rich, actually support these policies which make their lives more difficult.  Led on by a promise that some day wealth may “trickle down” on them so they can finally reach that elusive “American dream.”

But that’s the problem – it’s just a dream.  These Republicans use that dream like a carrot tied to a string that they yank away just as these people think they’re about to grab it.

They continue to promise something that trickle-down economics has proven over the last 30+ years will never be delivered.

It’s a scam brilliantly perpetuated by those who stand to benefit the most from it.  And like every good scam, it always promises to deliver something great – except it never does.

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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  • Veritas vos Liberabit

    President George H. W. Bush warned us about these “voodoo economics”. He lost to Reagan, and the results has been disastrous to our economy since. How old was Obama in 1980? 19 yrs old. So how can Conservatives blame him for Reagan’s train wreck? Vitriolic rhetoric by a moribund political party. Nothing more, nothing less. What else they have left?

    • Amy Provost


      edit: because some people are actually taking this seriously…please read the next word very slowly…SARCASM. If you don’t know what it is, please use a dictionary.

      • Veritas vos Liberabit

        I agree that the Benghazi incident should be fully investigated including the media sources the Mitt Romney campaign utilized to be the first one to get this information. For those who do not remember, Mitt Romney wasted no time exploiting and politicizing this issue during the 2012 Presidential campaign.

      • Amy Provost

        I was making a joke…thus all the !!!! after Benghazi. The incident HAS been investigated several times. There have been numerous reports put out by different investigative teams that say the same thing. Why not investigate why Bush did nothing with the info he received about a possible terrorist attack on American soil just 2 months before 9/11? Why not investigate the 13 embassy bombings that happened under Bush’s watch? Why not investigate the bankers who crashed the stock market? Let’s use our resources on something that can make an impact on the country and get off the Benghazi kick already.

      • Veritas vos Liberabit

        I understood your comment and I apologize for getting off topic. Mr. Clifton’s column deals with trickle down economics that are actually harming the middle class and the poor in this Country. One subject left out of Mr. Clifton’s column is the NAFTA agreement which impetus took place during the Reagan Administration and subsequently signed into law by Clinton. I believe this is also parts of the “voodoo economics” that former President George H.W. warned us about.

      • Charles Vincent

        What about GATT? Also aren’t subsidies and the tarp and too big to fail bail outs forms of trickle down economics? If the answer is yes then Obama has used trickle down economics.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        we know U were jesting! lets investigate Benghazi further as to drain our countrys finances further in a witch hunt akin to the political destructiveness akin to the GOVT shutdown orchestrated by,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,TEA PARTY john birch trash!!! the party of “fiscally responsible”
        lets hear it for ted cruz!!!

      • Amy Provost

        The ONLY reasons why they are making such a stink about Benghazi is that Obama is the first African American President and they are afraid that Hillary will run, so they are trying (unsuccessfully) to discredit her because she has bigger balls than the entire Republican party put together.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        and it keeps the focus off of the ice skating “policies” which tea party ( SEE: whigs) regressive white trash republican religious scum dredges up

      • Dany Lynen Trujillo

        Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!!!! what a bunch of bull! go find your weapons of mass destruction! and the chaos that has resulted in Iraq due to your Republican ethic foreign policies!!!!

      • Amy Provost

        Apparently you missed my next comment, which stated that it was a joke. Please do not insult me by calling me Republican. We’re on the same page here.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        praise jeeeesus!!! pass the (tax free) tithing basket!!

      • Charles Vincent

        That’s easy there happens to be a real big one (weapon of mass destruction)in the Oval Office for the last 5 years.

      • Dany Lynen Trujillo

        I am glad the the rest of us don’t think so! If you think that, Bush had to have been Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

      • Charles Vincent

        Let me help you on this with a celebrated intellectual from the left;

        http://www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=K3XK2xxR1lA


        http://www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=n_IODlKV4Ow


        http://www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=63HNuL2tfNc

        And finally

        http://www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=f5pur4-dfiY

      • Dany Lynen Trujillo

        I am definitely not on the left! but your logic to me is completely trite! I do not think anybody democrat or republican, can repair the damage 8 years of the Bush-Cheney presidency did to this country! It is very easy to bomb and destroy and another to rebuild!

      • Charles Vincent

        Obama is following the same policies that bush followed second bush didn’t crash the economy congress did that. A prime example of democrat fiscal policy failure is Detroit and it’s pending bankruptcy. Detroit has been run by democrats and democrat fiscal policy since the 1950’s. I wasn’t saying you were on the left it was saying that intellectuals like professor chomsky are calling Obama horrible president like those on the right that people cal tea billies or what ever moniker you wish to attach.

      • Dany Lynen Trujillo

        Charles! i respect you! I am sure you are an intelligent man, but I do not agree with you! not all democrats are good the same goes for republicans, you are mentioning Detroit! right, but look the president saved our car industry despite how lousy we still make cars! I really have difficulty understanding how in the world Americans come to the conclusion that President Obama is the worse! I just cannot comprehend this statement, when you consider that President Bush is responsible for thousands of young men deaths in a non-necessary impractical no cause war! For me President Bush is far worse than any other President in my lifetime and I happen to be a big Nixon- lover! The things that President Bush did make Nixon and Watergate look like a Disney movie! As long as Lobby powers and corporate influence (such as the Koch brothers) continue to rule our politicians, Washington will continue to be in disarray! The President is much more genuine toward helping the working man and woman of this country!

      • Charles Vincent

        “not all democrats are good the same goes for republicans,”
        This was my point originally I naturally distrust people who consistantly say one thing and delivery something different and in most cases worse.

        listen to what Chomsky said about Obama and why he is as bad and in some cases worse than bush

        “but look the president saved our car industry despite how lousy we still make cars!”

        The president didn’t save the auto industry congress and our tax dollars did and it was done by a bail out which is in effect trickle down economics.

        “President Obama is the worse! I just cannot comprehend this statement, when you consider that President Bush is responsible for thousands of young men deaths in a non-necessary impractical no cause war!”

        A war in which Obama continued in the case of Iraq. And in the case of Afghanistan he sharply escalated that conflict. Obama also waged a Proxy war in Syria by funneling military weapons to rebels in Syria. He illegally went into Libya. And he has ordered the drone missile killings of 3 American citizens without due process which is expressly forbidden under the constitution.

        Additionally there have been more casualties under Obama than under Bush that record is readily available.

        The President is much more genuine toward helping the working man and woman of this country!

        Professor Chomsky also addressed this in one of those video links I posted This president is following the status quo and is listening to his puppet masters. Do not mistake my criticism of Obama for some sort of support for Bush, as Chomsky stated every president since Eisenhower would fail the Nuremberg principles and all should be subject to them.

        “As long as Lobby powers and corporate influence (such as the Koch brothers) continue to rule our politicians, Washington will continue to be in disarray!”
        This is a symptom of the 17th amendment and the Citizens united ruling.

        Our job is to be Informed voters and in order to do that we have to look at both sides of the equation i.e. we can not pick out only the good and disregard the bad, that is what got us where we are now.

      • Dany Lynen Trujillo

        so we both agree that we disagree! lets hope things get better!

      • Charles Vincent

        Amen to that.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        chuckie has been drinking again,,,,,,,,,,,, please 4give his oligophreniality and PRAISE JEEEEESUS!

      • Charles Vincent

        Slow down on the fizzy drinks man your like a toddler on a massive sugar rush being whipped around like a ping pong ball in a hurricane. What is the favorite today?

      • white trash religious teaparty

        sorry lil fella,,,,,, just fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and also welches grape juice ( other brands suck)
        sugar rush? sounds a bit regressive republican ( SEE: Limbaugh/G beck/ michelle malkin/ Hannity ) in behavior.
        but we here do enjoy seeing your 3rd grade rants. U might wanna leave corn and oats alone as u do react poorly to them

      • Charles Vincent

        Fresh fruit has sugar in it as does welches grape juice. Not sure how sugar rush equates to being regressive but its your cup of tea I suppose.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        im a very athletic ( basketball/ weight training/ surfing/ skin diving etc) self employed chef—- do U REALLY want to compare what we eat and how you and I LOOK??????

      • Charles Vincent

        yes yes yes I know your fit and only dig girls with naturally large breasts as shallow as that is its been said before no need to repeat it like a child asking for mom mom mom mom mom mom…

      • white trash religious teaparty

        yep———– call me shallow and enjoy the fruits–with SUGAR– that men such as me have earned through hard work and ( usually) good decisions.
        U make logical posts and I will respond with logic and moxie. U act like a thumb and U will be treated accordingly.
        the FAVORITE today is continue to buy puts on the American markets. somehow AAPL and FB and TWTR showed incredible insulation

      • Alex Klimek

        F**k you! The gop/tea shut down the country,because they are crying over not being able to keep POTUS out of office TWICE!! Didn’t put a war on credit card and leave the mess for someone else to take care of…let the Twins fall so he could start a war…so,back off blaming the wrong Man for the lies you believe!

      • Charles Vincent

        Well you’re a moron for two reasons.
        1) This article is 8 months old like my reply.
        2) You’re forgetting that the democrats shut down the government in the same manner when a republican was president i.e. shut downs mean absolutely zero other than being a political jockey move to get something.

        “F**k you!”
        Thanks for the generous offer but I don’t swing that way.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        vote (WHIG) tea party white trash republican!!! we need MORE tax cuts for the gazillionaires: we need illegal ( and unsafe ) abortion,,,, we need JEEEESUS ( see: voodoo/superstition) in government – legislate THEIR atavistic morality!! we need women and gays and blacks/latinos kept “in check”,,,,,VOTE “CHRISTIAN” republican!!! listen to glenn beck and michelle (loony tunes) Bachmann and rush “druggie” Limbaugh and anne coulter and michelle (no tits& hating her life ) malkin!!! PRAISE JESUS! pass the tithing ( tax free) basket!!! more wars /”wounded warriors”!!!

      • Katie

        OF COURSE!!! Benghazi is where Obama was keeping his super-secret time machine that he used to go back and influence Regan!

  • shopper

    But it did work – I watched our money ‘trickle down’ under Republican presidents starting with Reagan. The only problem is that it trickled so far down it ended up outside the USA along with the jobs sent there by the ‘job creators’ and then ended up back here in the pockets of the very rich. And that is what Reagan really wanted to happen and those that follow his example want that, too. They aren’t smart enough to realize that when the middle class finally disappears there will be no consumers left to purchase the shoddy goods they are now producing over there.

    • white trash religious teaparty

      and u say republicans are stoooopid? praise jeeeesus!

  • cyd602

    [“You’re telling me a company is going to keep a job around that their
    figures tell them they can cut, while forcing someone else to pick up
    the slack, all while still growing their profits just because we give
    them a tax break?”]

    Nope. No.And the person who’s forced to pick up the slack takes a pay cut too.

  • Pipercat

    This has gone from supply side, to extraction. To create wealth, money must percolate through the economy. There is only speculative investment and large institutional lending. There is not enough capital in the economy to help grow small and medium sized business. Instead, to keep the speculative beast fed, more and more wealth must be taken from somewhere; that somewhere is a place very close to home.

    • white trash religious teaparty

      where the hell is jim bean when we need him to obfuscate????
      ……………..must be listening to glenn beck

      • Pipercat

        He’s devoid of straw men today. Instead, he is appealing to ignorance (surprise huh) and eating red herring elsewhere.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        I can always annoy strawaway with facts— he cries a lot also

      • Pipercat

        I call him Strayawayticus! Fallacy Incarnate!

      • white trash religious teaparty

        im at work when screwing with these cretins so they do provide a dubious entertainment.
        NOTE: My pet argentine TEGU will transcribe ROSSINI and play it on a harp b4 any Christian regressive white trash ceases spewing FOX “news” chatter.
        I especially LUV how they directly quote the FOX “news” rhetoric verbatim yet staunchly scream how they NEVER watch FOX “news”……
        ???????????? really???????

      • terry horn

        Dude, you totally forgot your medication this morning.

      • white trash religious teaparty

        so sorry crybaby———– no drugs or any chemicals enter me
        …..unlike low IQ cretins such as thee
        enjoy Hillary 2016-2024

  • Mary Wehrheim

    Capitalism is driven by consumerism….which is based on convincing us to buy junk we don’t need. Whether telling us that these new sneakers are an existential need or that trickle down works, it is all based on the same effective snake oil sales methods. A GOP strategist once said, “If your message can’t be explained with a crayon, it’s the wrong message.” In the U..S. conservative/libertarian think tanks outnumber the left leaning by 2:1 and outspend them by 3:l. They devote a substantial portion of budget and resources to advocacy and marketing… using a “promotional” style. It’s all part of the ad game.

  • Dany Lynen Trujillo

    We are seeing the light regarding Reagan’s economic policies, and their true meaning and result! The RICH!!! Man is conceived in sin and breed into corruption. Reagan’s policies only proved one thing! The avarice of man!

    • white trash religious teaparty

      and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, that JEEEEESUS saves!!!

  • rossbro

    The only stuff that trickles down is the brown ooze from their asses.

  • scrappy

    The left is so brainwashed it’s ridiculous, the only reason progressives win elections is their voter base is clueless and doesn’t understand how economics work other than receiving their benefits.
    Progressives with their central planning big government is the answer to everything continue to pursue this utopian fantasy fueled by envy and delusion are actually hurting the people they purport to be helping the most by keeping them dependent
    Where do you think jobs come from poor people? or the government? they doesn’t create wealth they either collect it or print it. the private sector is where the real jobs come from, Liberalism is a tried and true failure yet progressives pursue it tirelessly you know just like insanity

    • white trash religious teaparty

      hows that republican job creation from 2000-2008 ( see: GW bush) tax cuts doing for ya? lowest job creation on record.
      what else ya’ got? praise jeeeesus?

    • Rick Bagnall

      Jobs, as the article points out, are created by demand. If (almost) nobody can afford a product because they’re living paycheck to paycheck, the product will not get made and the job making it will disappear. The solution: pay people a decent wage, so that they can actually afford the products that you’re making.

      Henry Ford understood this over a century ago, when he introduced the $5 day at his factory…which was roughly double what any other auto maker was willing to pay at the time. Not only did he attract the best workers as a result, those workers frequently bought Ford cars with their new-found prosperity. Pretty soon all the other auto makers followed suit, just to stay competitive with Ford.

      And yes, some jobs do come from the government. Police officers, fire fighters, mail carriers, health inspectors, teachers, librarians…

    • Dur

      Scrappy is just your typical fiscal conservative. He can’t even spell or use proper grammar, but still expects us to take his opinion on economics seriously.

  • FD Brian

    Thank you for using the word “hoarding” when describing the accumulation of wealth the 1% has acquired.

  • terry horn

    Here’s what I know, because I was there, LBJ plunged America into a bloody conflict in Vietnam, He sent mostly poor Black kids and White Trash to That hell. If you had money or was related to a Senator,you could buy your way out. As soon as those boys went over there they were wrote off the books. It was a damn waste of poor folk’s and Patriotic wealthy men who went over there for God and Country.
    LBJ dropped the wad on Vietnam. Nixon would later take America off the Gold standard. The economy would falter, Nixon would then pass the torch to Ford, who was a do nothing President and as Jimmy Carter came on board Ford dropped the whole ball of wax into his lap. 1976 would be the official end to the Vietnam war. We had an economy in the tank, A military with a very low moral. A man named Ghadaffi was terrorizing the world. The world trembled at his madness and would not stand up to him. Every night on the tele was a misery index. Later we all watched our hostages on night line, 1979 would see an energy crisis, my dad bought a propane rig for our Buick because we could get gasoline. Interest rates were out the roof, no jobs. Then in 1980 Reagan took the lead, In 1984 he ask America if it were better off now than 4 years ago. He won re-election carrying 49 states. in 1989 non of the problems that I have stated existed. Neither did the Soviet union. Eastern and Western Germans reunited. America elected his Vice President.

    • white trash religious teaparty

      and his trickle down economics sent us to near depression. don’t try to fool anyone with Reagan; a brilliant American; good foreign policy– his near tripling our debt/selling debt overseas escalation and outsourcing manufacturing jobs to asia now has us screwed. but the wealthy white trash elitists are even more well off. soviet union doesn’t exist? in name and theory U are correct– however Russia remains Russia. we gave weapons to the scumbag arabs to fight Russia; then they used them against us. 9/11? saddam gone/ iran a pain again ( saddam kept them under control- thank U bush/cheney)
      shall we continue?

  • uuberdude

    Just settin’ here honin’ my pitchfork.

  • John Zizolfo

    I’ve always felt there was an ironic similarity between the term “Trickle-Down Economics” and the phrase “Don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining.”

  • Guest

    Trickle down economics has never, will never work. It’s that plain and simple.