Blame Shift.

…is prepped, on deck, in the wings, ready to roll.  It’s a peculiar phenomenon, usually flowing like sewage under most politcal discourse every day of the year.  Rank as hell but at least out of sight.

But not so in the Final Throes of the Bush dynasty.  Everywhere I turn I see punters in both camps, carefully lining up all the problems of the world and ready to dump them in front of some Nebraska Hospital and drive screaming drunk into the night.  And it always happens when you start talking to Republicans about the realities of life during Gop time, like the lousy economies, loss of civil rights, limitless deficit spending and general hate, anger, and simpering, snarling bitchitude.  The party of Personal Responsibility™ is angling to preemptively head off any hint of an inkling that its big ideas might have, in fact, been maybe just a wee bit to blame for the current state of the union we continue to live in quaking terror of.

One perennial argument goes something like this: Gops love to lower taxes, and when they do, by golly, the economy takes off like a free bird that Cheney hadn’t drugged enough to hit with a scatter gun.  Reagan is always the first name on the Gop tax cutter list, followed by, inexplicably, JFK.  These presidents realized that cutting taxes actually increases tax revenue, a viewpoint espoused and popularized by book-circuit cats like Arthur Laffer.  This is called “supply side” or “trickle down” economics by people who think it works.  One left-wing hippy freak referred to the theory as “voodoo economics”, but luckily he didn’t last.

So great!  They lower our taxes and they make more money.  It’s magic.

But the problem is, it isn’t.  This is because no presidential tax policy has ever effectively lowered your taxes.  Now of course, when I say ‘your’, I mean you people in middle to lower-middle income brackets who are the snootiest folks I’m likely to attract to my blog.  If you currently own more than 2 houses, 5 cars or even a single thoroughbred horse, you’re probably really going to miss Bush 43, and I can’t blame you.  Yachts are expensive and your awful daughters certainly aren’t going to start paying their own credit card bills any time soon.  But for the rest of us, despite what we’ve been sold by the myth-builders at the Society for Agreeing with Reagan, your taxes very likely haven’t gone down since cars had those big shiny fins on the back.

To Wit – This chart, brought to us today by our good friends at The Heritage Foundation, is cleverly highlighted to stress just what an evil pig-fucker of an anti-Reaganite that bastard Clinton actually was.  And it’s obviously true.  I mean, that line if his is WAY longer than all those other lines.  And it’s a more shocking shade of blue than that of any other president.  He had the audacity to raise your taxes a whopping 25% over Bush 41’s rates.  Total new-deal collectivist nightmare.

But wait a minute… what about all those Conservative™ presidents who bravely lowered your taxes to increase tax revenue?  Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see them on this chart.  Looks like Reagan bumped the take up by about 3%.  The more I look at this, the more it looks like the average tax rate for the average household has gone up every year since about 1963.  Maybe earlier.  And before you get excited about inflation, these numbers are all in 2007 dollars.

Hang on a minute! you shout.  Bush 43 lowered our taxes!   By a solid $72!  Sure, but take Clinton out of the mix, and tax-cutting free-market-guy Bush still presided over tax rates that were upwards of 35% higher than Ronnie’s and almost 25% higher than his dad’s.  And as the only president in modern times that has effectively lowered the average family’s taxes in any meaningful way, what do we as a nation have to show for his brave example?

Notably, a doubling of the national debt.

Now this is where the blame shifting really starts in earnest.  When you talk about the economic success we saw in the 90’s, you’re always corrected by the Gop that insists this was all due to Reagan’s policies that took their sweet time bearing fruit, and no fault of Bubba’s.  Never mind the 15% or better performance of most major stock indexes during Bill’s reign (by far the best since the Great Depression), this was all in Ronnie’s plan.  Conversely, the economic troubles we’ve had lately are due to the pleasure-dome decadence of the communist Clinton Doctrine and otherwise powerless Dems in congress.  You might also be told loudly that ‘socialized medicine’ is the harbinger of the New Bolshevik Nightmare and that national health care will be run with all the efficiency of other hated state-run institutions like the post office or the DMV.  Note that the fellow who makes this charge forgets about our socialist military and highway system.  In fact it’s more than likely that they will be a big fan of the military, but the dirty term ‘socialist’ somehow only applies to government run programs that they don’t like.

It’s a pretty clever track, since it saves your party from ever being to blame for anything at all.  And you can play it selectively too, shouting loudly (for instance) that the problems of the Bush 43 years were inherited but the Carter gas crisis was completely homegrown.  Now you’re bullet-proof, man.

So really, you should have no fear about the future with regards to the economy or national defense.  Why not?  Well brother, we have 8 solid years of visionary Bush 43 policies that, due to the Republican Chronology Postponement Principle, are ripe to bring us bounty and happiness, no matter what Barack Obama might do.  If we see prosperity and paradise for the next few years, remember who we have to thank for this.  If, on the other hand, we have more long dark years of poverty and war, don’t blame the Gops, man.  They aren’t in charge any more.



~ by ChrissyOne on November 20, 2008.

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