Source | Civicskunk.com | Paul Constant, Political writer at Civic Ventures. Co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books.
When You Reward Bad Employers, You Get Bad Jobs
When Republicans talk about giving money to the “job creators,” these are the kinds of jobs they’re talking about
After Trumpcare — or was that Ryancare? — crashed and burned, everyone knew what was going to happen next: President Trump would turn his attention to cutting taxes. Alan Rappeport at the New York Times writes that Trump might promote “a big corporate tax cut and possibly an individual tax cut” in order “to get an easy win.”
Trump may have run for office as a populist, but he’s following the same conservative playbook that was written by Ronald Reagan’s team in the 1980s. It’s called trickle-down economics, and it follows three rules:
1. Tax cuts for the rich
2. Deregulation for the powerful
3. Wage suppressions for everyone else
They sell the idea to the American people this way: once we give the so-called “job creators” in the top one percent of the economy a bunch of extra cash, that money will then trickle down to the rest of us, in the form of new jobs and corporate investment in America. Sometimes, when conservative politicians are feeling extra-salty, they’ll even pretend that this theory is science, and they’ll call it “Economics 101.”
Of course, it’s not science. It’s not even basic economics. At our most generous we could call it a theory — and nearly 40 years after Reagan transformed trickle down into Republican doctrine, it’s now a debunked theory. (Here’s a study — one which takes 65 years of data into account —
that proves tax cuts don’t cause economic growth.) But this is still standard operating procedure for President Trump and Speaker Ryan; they’re going to trot out the same tired old talking points over the next few weeks as they try to get their pals in the top one percent their bonus checks.
What’s more, trickle down doesn’t even make sense for modern times. Its goals are entirely out of touch with America in 2017. Let me ask you a question: what’s the employment rate in America right now? (Let me Google that for you: as of this month, it’s 4.7 percent.) When he was a presidential candidate, Donald Trump tried to obfuscate the unemployment numbers by calling them “totally fiction” and claiming that the real unemployment number was as high as 42 percent. Of course, once he became president and the numbers stayed low, Trump announced through his spokesman that the numbers “may have been phony in the past, but [they’re] very real now.”