Was chatting/lurking on The Daily Beast and ran across this gem. It’s from a poster calling himself “Constitutional Rights,” and perfectly encapsulates everything that’s wrong with conservative economic thinking today (sadly, he did not venture into social topics, but I’d love to hear his “well considered” opinions (stated as iron clad fact, of course)!

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In any case, here’s what he had to say on the matter of the economy, in response to this graph:

You act like the tax cuts were the problem. The tax cuts put money in our pockets which we spend, instead of government spending. It is not the cause of the deficit, that is just spin zone marketing. The government spends too much, and much of it is interest on the debt. Don’t blame anything but sloppy spending. When Americans have more in their wallets, they spend more, and that broadens the taxes generating more “revenue” for the government. It was proven under Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush, the rest is just irresponsible spending by our politicians.

He wrote that while I was sleeping, so I don’t have any expectation that he’ll circle back that way to see my responses, but in response, I wrote the following:

Let’s parse CR’s thinking out line by line to see all the mistakes, sloppy thinking and illogic in it:

You act like the tax cuts were the problem.

That’s because they were, as the graph indicates. The REASON they were a problem is because taxes and spending are not coupled. They would not have BEEN a problem if, when they were issued, the issuers had been forced to say what (specifically) they were going to cuts to keep the revenue/spending ratio in balance (which, at the time was a surplus), but that is not what happened. Taxes were cut…revenues DROPPED (rather than increased) which is why we went from surplus to deficit, and spending was not cut by corresponding amounts.

The tax cuts put money in our pockets which we spend, instead of government spending

The economy does not know (or care) who spends. Doesn’t matter. Spending is spending. Further, your “argument” (if you can call it that) is wrong on another level. Where do you think the money that government spends “goes” ultimately?

Every bit of it winds up paying someone’s salary, which…gets spent. In fact, creating a NEW job generates more new spending than giving an existing guy in an existing job a raise (because a formerly unemployed, now employed person has basic expenses to meet = higher marginal propensity to spend).

It is not the cause of the deficit, that is just spin zone marketing.

Actually, it’s MATH. At about the fifth grade level.

The government spends too much, and much of it is interest on the debt. Don’t blame anything but sloppy spending.

Incorrect in both sentences here. The government has historically spent between 18-22% of GDP. We are currently spending 23.9%. A little higher than historical baseline, but also on the heels of the second worst financial disaster in world history. 1.9% of GDP above baseline hardly seems excessive in that context. Further, I don’t even know what “sloppy spending” is, and neither does the economy. Yes…you could argue that the historic range is “too much” but it would be a baseless, unsupported personal opinion, certainly not a fact.

When Americans have more in their wallets, they spend more, and that broadens the taxes generating more “revenue” for the government.

Typical supply side nuttery that doesn’t worked, has never worked, and has been debunked by the points above re: spending being spending, and government dollars ultimately going to pay someone’s salary.

It was proven under Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush, the rest is just irresponsible spending by our politicians.

Actually, it wasn’t. Just the opposite has been proven, and I’ve got the math laid out clearly and concisely for you. Link at your request(Readers of this blog have probably already seen the math, and I keep it right here).

Conclusion: LITERALLY every word you typed was wrong. That’s hard to do. I’m in awe.

** Until we can wean the righties off the kool aid, this kind of awful non-thought, talking point regurgitation will continue to dominate. You can also tell he’s a regular Fox “News” viewer (“…marketing spin zone.” – in contrast to Fox’s “No Spin Zone” of course. Very sad).

-=Vel=-