The Dark Legacy of Reaganomics

From Consortium News: http://consortiumnews.com/2011/09/20/the-dark-legacy-of-reaganomics/

Exclusive: For half a century – from the depths of the Great Depression until the rise of Ronald Reagan – the U.S. government invested in building the nation and funding key research. And the country flourished. But Reagan then reversed those priorities. The results are in, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry
September 20, 2011

It may be political heresy to say so, but a strong case could be made that the greatest American “job creator” over the past 80 years has been the federal government – or put differently, the government built the framework that private companies then used to create profits and jobs.

This heretical view also would hold that it was Ronald Reagan’s deviation from this formula for success some 30 years ago that put the United States on its current path of economic decline – by starving the government of resources and providing incentives for the rich, through sharply lower taxes,  to get super-greedy.

Rather than continuing a half century of policies that made smart investments in research and development – along with maintaining a well-educated work force and a top-notch transportation infrastructure – Reagan declared “government is the problem” and built a political movement for deconstructing it.

That movement, which boasts powerful right-wing media outlets and well-funded think tanks, now dominates the American political landscape. And, today it presses even harder than Reagan did for dismantling government programs while rejecting the slightest revenue enhancements, like closing tax loopholes for corporate jets or any other tax advantage favoring the rich.

In the future – if the American Right and its Tea Party foot soldiers have their way – the federal government would be reduced to doing little more than paying the Pentagon’s bills and eliminating regulations.

According to the Right’s economic orthodoxy, the rich – or the “job creators” as the Republicans like to call them – would then be freed up to create millions of jobs. That’s their plan, even though the available economic data indicates that the reason for corporations not hiring is a lack of demand because so many Americans are out of work or deeply in debt.

Continue reading at:  http://consortiumnews.com/2011/09/20/the-dark-legacy-of-reaganomics/

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