Empirical Evidence: Bane Of The GOP
If we raise taxes on the rich and make corporations pay their fair share, the rich will still be rich and corporations will still be profitable but the economy will grow. The middle class will prosper and fuel corporate profits while the poor will be able to feed and clothes themselves more reliably, thus reducing the need for government assistance. We saw this in the post WWII boom.
If we lower taxes on the rich and let corporations pay even less, the rich will become obscenely rich and corporations will be even more profitable but the economy will suffer. The middle class will dwindle, cutting into corporate profits while the ranks of the poor will swell with an increased need for government assistance. We’ve seen this twice now. Once right before the Great Depression and now.
If we increase government spending, even to the point of deficit spending, on things like infrastructure and targeted investments in technology, that money will goose the economy when times are slow. The debt can be paid down when times are good with the surplus. We saw this during WWII when wartime production spiked and again with the advent of the internet (thanks in part to Al Gore).
If we decrease government spending by enacting “austerity measures” when times are slow, we see a contraction made worse or a fragile recovery reversed. Paying down the debt in lieu of goosing the economy leads to further economic damage. We saw this leading up to the Great Depression when Herbert Hoover cut government spending. We’ve seen it today in the madness in Europe that has sent the UK into a double dip recession and in Ireland, Greece and Spain which, despite brutal cuts, have only sunk further into economic ruin.
Every time the GOP insists that this time tax cuts and austerity will work, it brings to mind the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.