When Americans went to the polls in the November 2016 presidential election, they were for the most part, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed up as they voted in huge blocks for the Republican Donald Trump with the view that he would rid Washington of all the political corruption and the shenanigan — drain the swam in Trump’s political speak.
However, today, the American populace is experiencing what may be best described as buyers’ remorse or cognitive dissonance.
Trump, some will say, may be a good real estate mogul, but certainly a Joshua of Biblical fame he is not.
Consequently, the masses are bewildered by their newly found wilderness experience as new policies are beginning to bite with more in the making.
Chief among these new policies are the Republican Tax reform and health care.
According to people in the know, the proposed new tax plans by the Republicans would not only raise taxes on the poor and the working class but would also send over 13 million people on the uninsured heap.
Of course, this now begs the question who among the political leaders will stand up for the poor and the working class.
The truth is the tax plan as proposed will certainly benefit corporate America, but the 99 percenters will be left to suck salt.
A tax reform under the pretext that corporate tax cut will lead to more investment and economic growth thus higher level of employment as well as an increase in wages have no bearing on reality on the ground.
The fact is trickle-down economics did not work for the fathers of the underclass, so why would it work for their children.
Renown economist John Kenneth Galbraith was right on the money when he stated, “trickle-down economics” had been tried before in the United States in the 1890s under the name “horse and sparrow theory.”
He wrote, “Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy— what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: “If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.”
Galbraith claimed that the horse and sparrow theory was partly to be blamed for the Panic of 1896.
That said, Galbraith is not alone in taking a dim view of trickle-down economics. In the 1992 presidential election, Independent candidate Ross Perot called trickle-down economics “political voodoo.”
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton back then also had this to say, “What I want you to understand is the national debt is not the only cause of [declining economic conditions in America]. It is because America has not invested in its people. It is because we have not grown. It is because we’ve had 12 years of trickle-down economics. We’ve gone from first to twelfth in the world in wages. We’ve had four years where we’ve produced no private-sector jobs. Most people are working harder for less money than they were making 10 years ago.”
Moreover, a 2015 paper by researchers for the International Monetary Fund argues that there is no trickle-down effect as the rich get richer.
Today, what Donald Trump and his merry men – the Republican leaders are trying to do is reinvent a theory that has been tried, tested, and failed.
What is even more heart-rending, the balancing act that is being proposed by these leaders would see taxes rise on average for every group with incomes under $75,000 a year; millions of people left without insurance and those who have will end up paying a higher premium, cut in Medicare and many social programs, along with a huge deficit amounting to over 6 trillion dollars over the next ten years.
Clearly, this is no time for the 99 percenters and leaders who have their interest at heart to be pussyfooting but ought to be making their voices heard loud and clear.
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. — Plato
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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