Monday, December 26, 2011

Lies, damned lies, history

Obama Is An Awful Economic Historian
Brian Domitrovic
Last week in Kansas, President Obama laid out his vision of economic history. In example after example drawn from the last hundred years, he showed that interventions on the part of the federal government in the form of taxes and regulations have proven to bring the free-market system to its optimal best. Restraint on taxes and regulations, in contrast, has conduced to economic underperformance and inequality.
Let’s let the president speak for himself. Here were some of the claims in Kansas:
[T]oday, we are a richer nation and a stronger democracy because of what [Teddy Roosevelt] fought for in his last campaign [of 1912]: [including] political reform and a progressive income tax.
Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune….If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our economy will grow stronger….
Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government….And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked. It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible postwar booms of the ’50s and ’60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade. I mean, understand, it’s not as if we haven’t tried this theory.
With these words, the president hung himself by his own rope. He is wrong on every count.

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