Friday, February 24, 2017

It's Friday fun day! My fun is mocking Rump's latest adventure into inhumane executive orders, this time harming transgender children for no good reason.

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And to laugh at the stupidest man to ever serve in Congress,and at right wingers insanity regarding guns, and at their fundamental gutlessness and hypocrisy.  They would have a fit if this were true of a Democrat.



And from the brilliant Steve Sack at the STrib:

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

This week, a bright day in the darkness that is Kansas

Governor Sam Brownback is a teabagger, a right wing radical.  He and his policies have left Kansas in a big smoking crater politically and economically.  It is unlikely he will ever hold public office after his current term expires, because that is the epic scale of his failure.

Brownback, not laughing now
Trickle down economics does not work.  The only thing it does, the only thing it EVER has done, is to be redistributive, taking money from the poor and middle classes and then giving it to the 1%.  It explodes the wealth and income gap enormously.  And it creates massive debt and deficits for the state or nation that enacts it.  Greed, not greatness is the driving motivation.

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Laffer, not laughing now

Earlier this week, the legislature in Kansas took a GENUINELY bi-partisan approach to governance when it repealed the failed tax policy of Brownback and Laffer.  Brownback promptly vetoed the repeal, and the House side of the Kansas Legislature then overturned the veto with a vote 1 over the required number.  Sadly the Senate, which is much much smaller, tried to do the same, but fell 3 votes short.

So for now the tax policies of Brownback stay, but it is likely there will be another attempt at repeal and it is expected the next try will be successful.  It is sufficient that they nearly succeeded in Kansas, and that they plan to try again.

The architect, so to speak, the designer of disaster, was one Arthur Laffer, who previously advised Ronald Reagan to implement trickle down economics which was a huge failure, is now abandoning the sinking ship that is Brownback and Kansas to promote the same tax policies with Trump's administration.  What Brownback and his Republican legislature put in effect was entirely on party lines, was nearly identical to what Trump is now planning to do with the cooperation of the Republican controlled Congress.

Let me outline some of the outcomes of the Reagan effort, which parallels the much earlier "Horse and Sparrow" debacle of the same tax plan in the 19th century.
"Reagan significantly increased public expenditures, primarily the Department of Defense, which rose (in constant 2000 dollars) from $267.1 billion in 1980 (4.9% of GDP and 22.7% of public expenditure) to $393.1 billion in 1988 (5.8% of GDP and 27.3% of public expenditure); most of those years military spending was about 6% of GDP, exceeding this number in 4 different years. All these numbers had not been seen since the end of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War in 1973. In 1981, Reagan significantly reduced the maximum tax rate, which affected the highest income earners, and lowered the top marginal tax rate from 70% to 50%; in 1986 he further reduced the rate to 28%. The federal deficit under Reagan peaked at 6% of GDP in 1983, falling to 3.2% of GDP in 1987 and to 3.1% of GDP in his final budget. The inflation-adjusted rate of growth in federal spending fell from 4% under Jimmy Carter to 2.5% under Ronald Reagan; however, federal deficit as percent of GDP was up throughout the Reagan presidency from 2.7% at the end of (and throughout) the Carter administration. As a short-run strategy to reduce inflation and lower nominal interest rates, the U.S. borrowed both domestically and abroad to cover the Federal budget deficits, raising the national debt from $997 billion to $2.85 trillion.This led to the U.S. moving from the world's largest international creditor to the world's largest debtor nation."

So to recap, Reaganomics caused a huge decline in federal revenue, and we became the world's largest debtor nation after being the world's largest creditor nation. The ONLY reason that things improved towards the end of the Reagan administration were the reversals of his tax cuts with ELEVEN tax increases. But NEVER have the 1% returned to an level of paying their fair share. The burden of making up the deficiencies from Reagan forwards has always fallen on those who earn less and have less financial resources than the wealthy, who benefit disproportionately from government.

From CBS News:
Meanwhile, following that initial tax cut, Reagan actually ended up raising taxes - eleven times. That's according to former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, a longtime Reagan friend who co-chaired President Obama's fiscal commission that last year offered a deficit reduction proposal.
Raising taxes, that is just what they are doing in Kansas, but only after significant harm. And that is what we have to look forward to from Rump and the Republians AGAIN.