MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics

Trickle Down Economics

Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Jul 16, 2010 @ 10:53 AM

trickle down economics

As someone that majored in tax accounting during college, it always amazed me how President Reagan and the majority of the Republican’s were able to sell the concept of trickle-down economics to the American people. Yes it was the 80’s and by the mid to late 80’s the economy started to really take off. But then as now, most of the benefits accrued to the wealthiest in our society. Even the first President Bush labeled it voodoo economics.

If you’re a believer in supply side macro-economic theory, then you believe that lowering tax rates on the wealthy is the engine that will drive economic growth and prosperity. If all goes according to plan, money will “trickle” down to the less affluent and all will be well. I couldn’t disagree with this more. Exhibit A-President George W. Bush who was a huge proponent of this economic theory.

Now I must confess. I grew up on the East Coast and there were many times I voted Republican. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, there was still such a thing as “liberal Republicans”. Many times they were far superior to the conservative or even liberal Democrats on the ballot. These were smart politicians who put the best interests of their country first, not the best interest of their party. But that was then and this is now.

You would think that after bringing our economy to the brink of collapse, talking about lowering taxes on the wealthiest few would be anathema for Republicans. Yet there was Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, second ranking Republican in the Senate toting the company line last week. Tax cuts for the rich-good-extended unemployment benefits and help for cash strapped states-bad.

If this weren’t so serious, it would be funny, but unfortunately, this is no laughing matter. If Repulican's take control of the house and possibly the Senate in November, we could be in for a jolt of reality. Instead of getting our financial house in order, we could be setting the table for creating a Banana Republic - so say’s Paul Krugman in his latest op-ed in the New York Times.