Republicans have been trying the same set of conservative principles for decades, and they haven’t worked since President Herbert Hoover was in office, according to an op-ed article published Friday.
In an op-ed in the Miami Herald, Democratic strategist Robert Weiner and economic policy analyst John Horton cite a 5.4-percent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) under Democratic presidents since 1930, “who have emphasized people programs and resisted rich tax breaks,” versus 1.4-percent growth under Republican presidents, who have enacted rich tax cuts, paralleling current Republicans.
Weiner and Horton say their analysis, titled “End Hoover-Style ‘Trickle Down Economics’ To Pay Off Nation’s Debt,” offers proof that “it is a myth that adding money to the wealthy though tax cuts stimulates jobs and grows the economy.”
“We compiled the year-to year GDP growth and loss numbers by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis since they started keeping them in 1930,” says Weiner, House Aging Committee chief of staff under Chairman Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) and later a White House spokesman during the Clinton administration. “These figures are respected ones used by the [White House Office of Management and Budget] and the Council of Economic Advisors. They make a powerful policy argument against trickle down and rich tax cuts, and for people programs and targeted tax cuts for workers.”
Weiner’s former boss, President Bill Clinton, enacted a controversial tax hike on the richest taxpayers early in term, only to then preside over the largest U.S. economic expansion in history.
The Weiner/Horton analysis also contains an implicit warning to President Obama, however, when Weiner adds that the GDP numbers “also make the case not to cut Medicare and Social Security.”
To the howls of his allies on the left, Obama unexpectedly put Social Security cuts on the table Thursday as part of his high-stakes debt and deficit talks with Republicans.
The White House and congressional Republicans are negotiating over trillions of dollars in cuts to federal programs to bring down the federal budget deficit. Republicans are demanding such cuts as a condition to allow a needed vote in coming weeks to raise the government’s debt limit.
Without such a vote, the government, for the first time, would likely default on its current obligations. Such an action would be disastrous for the struggling U.S. economy, a number of experts have said.
Obama and other Democrats have called for an end to tax loopholes to increase federal revenue as part of the debt and deficit plan, as well as spending cuts. The Democrats say that the wealthiest Americans ought to also pay a price in the effort, not only low-income and middle class Americans.
Scott Nance is the editor and publisher of the news site The Washington Current. He has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.