HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » THE GOP CIRCUS: "An ...

Sat Oct 31, 2015, 01:33 PM

THE GOP CIRCUS: "An institution built on a fabric of untruth is not a sustainable institution."

Dr. Carson's Magic Cancer-Curing Bark Elixer is only one of the GOP's sideshows

There you have it. Step right up! Be amazed, be enchanted, by the magic GOP unicorn-and-rainbow-producing tax cut machine!

By Rick Perlstein


And when it comes to that grander narrative, the metastasizing saga of Dr. Carson and His Magic Cancer-Curing Bark Elixer is only the circus’s sideshow.

Let’s take a look inside the tent
. I noted a watershed some years ago. A National Review writer named Kevin Williamson wrote a worried dispatch in 2010 called “Goodbye, Supply Side.” He quoted Rep. Louie Gohmert, boasting (he really did!) about the economic policy triumphs of George W. Bush’s administration. Williamson: “After 9/11, [Gohmert] argues, the United States was headed for a serious recession, even a depression, but tax cuts saved the day––and increased government revenues in the process. ‘With a tax cut, then another tax cut, we stimulated the economy, and record revenue like never before in American history flowed into the United States Treasury,’ he said in a speech before the House. ‘As it turned out, the tax cuts helped create more revenue for the Treasury, not destroy revenue for the Treasury.’ That last bit is fantasy. There is no evidence that the tax cuts on net produced more revenue than the Treasury would have realized without them. That claim could be true—if we were to credit most or all of the economic growth during the period in question to tax cuts, but that is an awfully big claim, one that no serious economist would be likely to entertain. It’s a just-so story, a bedtime fairy tale Republicans tell themselves to shake off fear of the deficit bogeyman. It’s whistling past the fiscal graveyard. But this kind of talk is distressingly unremarkable in Republican political circles.”

I found this conservative’s daring foray into the reality-based community exhilarating. (How did it manage to slip by the National Review editors?) Three years after he wrote it, I tracked him down and asked what happened next: what ripple effects had come from his patient proof that Republican economic dogma was based on a fantasy?

“None,” he replied. Williamson then reflected upon further questioning that, well, some: certain Republican politicians admit privately that he is correct, but “it’s hard to get them to acknowledge it in public because it’s become such a piece of dogma.”


good stuff:

0 replies, 643 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Reply to this thread