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Reposted from Daily Kos by Ian Reifowitz
Fake marriages are a sexy story. Tax inversions are boring. Guess which one the Today Show covered.
Goal Thermometer

It was only 7:45 AM, but I was already feeling surly. Thanks to an insurance snafu, I was now waiting to have my blood drawn. I looked up at the TV. The Today Show was doing an exposé, one with an undercover report and everything. You might be thinking that they were going to shine a light on some unconscionable abuse being perpetrated by a powerful entity against a vulnerable victim. Not so much.

What was this abuse? U.S. military personnel, it seems, are going out and finding spouses to participate in sham marriages. The "married" soldier then collects a decent amount of extra money (apparently more than $1,000 per month), and usually gives the spouse—who now has a cost-free place to live and health insurance—a bit of the cash. Let's be clear about one thing. This is flat-out wrong. I don't condone it, and there's no way around the fact that it is immoral and illegal. Fraud is fraud, no matter the amount in question.

So what did the intrepid journalists at the Today Show do? They sent "hidden cameras" to catch these nefarious criminal masterminds. First, the segment begins with grainy, black-and-white footage. Then we hear condemnations from NBC News analyst Col. Jack Jacobs—who undoubtedly earns a great deal more than the average grunt desperate enough to go through with this kind of fraud.

Finally, we get the money shot. Today had an undercover producer answer an ad that blatantly proposed a sham marriage. They put a wire on her, just like she was going in to get a confession from a murderous mob boss. She goes to the mobster's secret, private lair, er, I mean, she meets a barely out-of-his-teens soldier at a fast food place. He lays out the deal, closing with an irresistible rhetorical flourish, "You're just getting free stuff"—only he didn't say "stuff."

Next, the voice of righteous, journalistic authority intones: "After making his pitch, he gets up to leave. And I'm waiting outside." On camera, the reporter tells the soldier that he has been videotaped committing fraud, and asks why he did it. "So I can help support my son." Is this a lie? Maybe, but it looked to me much more like the truth, given how quickly and easily the answer came out of the soldier's mouth. The reporter's instantaneous reply: "Now look, a lot of people have children they want to support." The tone of superiority was unmistakable. At least he added, "and that is noble." Gee, thanks.

Here's what I'm thinking: Aren't there U.S. military personnel on food stamps? More broadly, it's not like the average soldier is pulling down a six-figure salary. And this guy—who says he's got a child to support—do you think he'll be living high on the hog with his extra $15K a year? Again, none of this excuses the crime, which the Today Show claimed is widespread in the armed forces. It's not okay to steal just because one earns below the median income level. But as I watched "National Investigative Reporter" Jeff Rossen bear down on a soldier lucky to be earning one-fifth what he is, I wanted to know why this was the crime on which the Today Show chose to focus. What about educating its millions of viewers about, oh, I don't know, the billions of dollars that corporations are scamming via barely legal tax maneuvers? By the way, House Republicans have refused to go along with Democratic efforts to ban such maneuvers—something you can protest by kicking in $3 to Daily Kos-endorsed candidates for the House of Representatives.

I encourage you to stop shaking your head at the incongruity of what the Today Show is doing here, and follow me across the fold.

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Reposted from ProgressiveLiberal by Dave in Northridge
If you blinked, then you missed it. Rick Santorum was on the panel on Meet the Press. The panel was discussing the Republican suit against the president.

David Gregory said that if a Republican president had delayed parts of the implementation as President Obama did, Democrats would have cried foul. Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, would have none of it. Granholm pointed out that during the Medicaid Part D implementation former President George W Bush delayed implementation of certain pieces and nobody said anything about it. She called the suit hogwash, "the legal equivalent of birtherism."

Who is the journalist? Shouldn’t Gregory have known that? Had she not been competent in knowing the realities that today’s journalists seem unable to find on their own, the wrong impression would have been left by his assertion-like question. Granholm also pointed out that Republicans voted overwhelmingly to delay the very provision they are suing the president for delaying. Did Gregory not know that either?

But the most blatant expression of bias was likely a subconscious slip of the tongue that probably went unnoticed by most. Gregory asked Santorum about the divisiveness in the Republican Party with respect to different policies.

Santorum did a very good job of keeping the topic on the problems within the Republican Party. He even stated that they needed a positive message that spoke to the blue collar worker. He said that was the reason for writing his book Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works.

Unasked, out of context, and out of the blue Gregory blurted out "the Obama economy." It is obvious where his thoughts were. You could see a slight controlled surprise on Granholm’s face.

Many in the conservative sphere love to talk about the Liberal Media. Most liberals are still trying to find it.

Discuss
Reposted from kos by Dave in Northridge
Scott Brown speaking to supporters
Scott Brown is as unliked in New Hampshire as he was in Massachussets. But don't let the Washington Post bother themselves with "reality"
There is no worse purveyor of stale Beltway conventional wisdom than the Washington Post's The Fix. Chris Cilizza may be its worst offender, but clearly he's not the only one give tripe like this from Sean Sullivan, on the New Hampshire Senate race:
Since launching an exploratory committee last month, Brown has tried to parlay the every-man appeal and off-the-cuff conversational style that made him a hit in a 2010 special election into success in a neighboring state.

But Shaheen can also lean on her personal appeal and status as a known quantity. She was governor before she was senator, and a recent Suffolk University poll showed that more than half of the state's likeliest voters (53 percent) held a favorable impression of her. Out of 15 other names tested, only Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) had a higher favorable rating. A more recent WMUR Granite State survey pegged her approval rating at 49 percent, with 35 percent holding an unfavorable view.

Thus, the battle of personal likability could end up being a wash.

That Granite State poll has Shaheen at 49-35, yes. Scott Brown? Just 39-29 29-39. So no, not a wash. Not even close.

And that Suffolk poll? Yup, Shaheen is at a stellar 53-37. Curious that Sullivan didn't mention Brown's 33-43 underwater rating. Indeed, Brown is the most unpopular -- by far -- major politician in the entire state of New Hampshire. So no, not a wash. Not even close.

And what's worse for Brown is that the trends in the state are running away from him. Witness PPP's fresh new poll for the League of Conservation Voters, which pegs Brown's favorabilities at 35-49. It was 34-40 in January, a net drop of eight points.

So it's a head-scratcher when Sullivan writes, "Brown has the national wind at his back right now." In fact, it's downright asinine and devoid of reality, which really, for The Fix, is par for the course.

Exhibit B? Sullivan claims that Obamacare is a winner issue for Brown. Reality?

Two-thirds of New Hampshire residents back a proposal to use government funds to pay for health insurance for poor residents, a New England College poll shows [...] The poll of 774 state residents taken two weeks ago, showed that 66 percent back the bill, 25 percent do not [...]
And who could forget this? Oh well.
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Reposted from kos by Dave in Northridge
Tho much reporting & GOP response to new CBO report on ACA is inaccurate/false, problem for Dems: If you're explainin', you're losin'
@calmesnyt
Got that?

If Republicans lie about the report, and the media totally gets it wrong because a) they bought the GOP spin or b) they're too stupid to read the report, then ...

it's the Dems' fault!

Thanks Jackie Calmes, White House reporter for the NY Times! Remind me again, why do you exist?

Discuss
Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz
In a bodega this morning, picking up bananas, I saw the man in front of me on line holding a New York Post. Too bad he wouldn't be reading any actual news (outside the sports section), I thought. Then I saw the front page. You're seeing it above.

The wicked stereotypes evoked in this image are so obvious, so plain on the nose of one's face, that everyone involved in its creation knew 100 percent exactly what they were doing. There can be no doubt. For me, the image brought to mind a scene from the still-hilarious, virulently anti-racist classic script:

[to two members of the KKK, while pretending to capture Bart]

Jim: Oh, boys! Look what I got heyuh.

Bart: Hey, where the white women at?

Just as in Blazing Saddles, the Post's front page calls forth one of the most disgusting racist tropes in our country's history: the sexually aggressive black man pursuing a white woman. And it's all the better that in this case she's blonde. Over decades, this trope resulted in the lynchings of thousands of black men accused, in some cases, of doing little more than looking a bit too long at a white woman. The brutal murder of Emmett Till falls into this category.

The front page of today's New York Post sought to tap into exactly those sentiments, and to direct them at the President of the United States of America. Let that sink in for a minute.

Read below the fold for more on today's Post front page.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by Dave in Northridge Editor's Note: Dana Milbank just keeps getting worse. -- Dave in Northridge
Dana Milbank on CNN
Those are not combat fatigues.
Dana Milbank, wanker extraordinaire:
I’m often asked if there’s anything that could clean up the mess [in DC] [...]

My usual answer is a shrug and an admission that there’s no silver bullet. There are many possibilities—campaign spending limits, term limits, nonpartisan primaries, nonpartisan redistricting, a third party—but most aren’t politically or legally feasible, might not make much of a difference or, as with Harry Reid’s rewriting of Senate rules, have the potential to make things even worse.

If only people weren't partisan! The problem with these ideas isn't that they aren't politically or legally feasible, it's that they're stupid. Election results are having less and less relation to spending—Democrats were heavily outspent in 2012, Republicans were heavily outspent in the Colorado recalls. Term limits just empower unelected consultants. Non-partisan primaries cut down on voter choice, and if the idea is that it would eliminate ideological candidates, California's Rep. Darrel Issa makes a mockery of that. And nonpartisan redistricting, while actually a good idea, has nothing to do with the ideological bent of resulting candidates. Issa and Iowa Rep. Steve King can attest to that.

And anyone who thinks that getting rid of the filibuster will make things worse in DC is an outright buffoon. Or someone who hates the idea of functional government. Amazing that people can argue, with a straight face, that preventing a tiny minority from obstructing the will of a Democratically elected majority will make a chamber work more smoothly. In reality, it removes chamber accountability, as the minority can gum up the works while crying to voters about a "do-nothing Senate". So yeah, kind of hard to cram more stupid into a single paragraph.

Read below the fold for more on Milbank.

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Reposted from Joan McCarter by Dave in Northridge
Sepia-tone, 40's style photo of woman having the vapors.

Dana Milbank has the vapors (and a really poor grasp of history and a total lack of perspective).

Let's start with the title: "The Democrats' naked power grab." Because allowing the president to actually fulfill his constitutional duty of populating the government and federal courts is a power grab. Next thing you know he'll be adopting the Republicans' blatantly naked falsehood that filling vacancies is "packing the court."

Then there's the lede:

“Congress is broken,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday before holding a party-line vote that disposed of rules that have guided and protected the chamber since 1789.
A careful perusal of the Constitution says absolutely nothing about "filibuster" anywhere. You could look it up. Hell, you don't even need a careful perusal. You could just open that link and do a search on the page for the word. It isn't there. What's more, it doesn't take a whole lot of Googling to find out that, just since 1977, the Senate has changed its procedures with a simple majority vote 18 times.

Moving on:

Democrats were fully justified in stripping Republicans of their right to filibuster President Obama’s nominees — yet they will come to deeply regret what they have done. [...]

Reid was right that Republican obstruction has been intolerable; half of the 168 filibusters of executive and judicial nominations in the nation’s history, he noted, have come during the Obama presidency.

But Reid’s remedy—calling a simple-majority vote to undo more than two centuries of custom—has created a situation in which the minority leader, Mitch McConnell (Ky.), is expected to use the minority’s remaining powers to gum up the works, and to get revenge when Republicans regain the majority.

As if it could get any worse! As if Republicans haven't already gummed up the gears to the point that they've ground to a halt. Take just this week. There's significant bipartisan support for both of the sexual assault amendments to the defense authorization bill—a bill you'd think Republicans would want to get passed, and soon. But no, they've refused to allow votes on those amendments and stopped further work on this bill until the second week of December, when the Senate gets back to real work from the Thanksgiving break. But it's not just the Senate that's broken. Republican obstruction of nominees has been done expressly to break the other two branches of government as well. The executive agencies can't function without high-level personnel, and the courts are in crisis already. That's what Republicans have wanted to achieve all along.

And it's not like Senate Democrats aren't well aware that the minute Republicans regained the minority, they'd do away with the filibuster entirely. They've been promising that since serious talk about reforming the filibuster began. It won't be in retaliation for this action. It's been planned all along. And Milbank is blaming Reid for that?

Milbank's not going to be the only low-information, conventional wisdom-spouting pundit to be clutching his pearls over this, blaming Reid every time Republicans come up with some new way to try to destroy the place. Meanwhile, President Obama's nominees are going to be appointed, the government can work a little better, and the Senate will get at least some work done.

Discuss
Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz
That's a serious question. Because it has to be one of those three in order for CNN to come up with this kind of post-election "analysis" of the Virginia governor's race:
Virginia was the first swing state to hold an election after the Affordable Care Act website's troublesome rollout, a controversy that has permeated national news coverage for weeks. Almost 30% of Virginia voters said health care was the most important issue in the race.

(snip) Among all Virginia voters, 53% said they oppose the president's health care law, while 45% said they support it, according to CNN exit polls. A huge majority of those Obamacare opponents -- 80% -- voted for Cuccinelli.

You don't have to be a whiz at statistics to see a problem here. The first section talks about the voters who saw health care as the most important issue in the race, but the second section talks about attitudes toward Obamacare held by ALL Virginia voters. Two different groups, yet the four reporters (does it really take four?) who wrote this article breezily conflated them. The last sentence has absolutely no bearing on whether health care helped Cuccinelli. Of course most Obamacare opponents voted for Cooch. So did most of those who opposed abortion rights. And gay rights. And a hike in the minimum wage. In other words, most conservatives supported Cuccinelli. Duh.
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Reposted from Daily Kos by Dave in Northridge
Man with shocked expression on his face
"Ya' don't say?"

Politico builds an entire story around this analysis:

Obama may have little choice but to accept House Speaker John Boehner’s offer because it delivers what the president wanted: a debt limit hike with no ideological strings attached.
Uh, guys, if House Republicans raise the debt limit with no strings attached, they aren't boxing President Obama into a corner. They're giving him what he's been asking for.

The question isn't whether President Obama would accept a clean debt limit increase—that's what he's been asking for all along. The question is whether the House will offer anything at all (they still haven't made a formal proposal) and if they do offer anything, whether it will actually be clean or if it will come with a poison pill like barring the Treasury Department from taking extraordinary measures to avoid default.

Oh, and there's also the question of whether the GOP will be able to pass whatever it is they propose—if they propose anything at all, that is.

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Reposted from TomP by Dave in Northridge

Think Progress has an excellent post showing how the media is working to promote the Cruz/Boehner spin by blaming Dems and Republicans equally (or, in the case of Fox, Congress and the White House, suggesting that Congress is united behind Cruz/Boehner):

1) WaPo:

In shutdown blame game, Democrats and Republicans united: It’s the other side’s fault

2) TIME:

Shutdown: Obama and Republicans Trade Blame as Deadline is Crossed

3) Fox News:

House Republicans in last ditch effort to avert shutdown, Reid says GOP "playing games"

4) Fox News:

Partial shutdown begins: Can Congress, White House Compromise?

5) MLive:

Reactions to government shutdown: Is it “wanton destruction” by Republicans or a lack of compromise from Democrats?

6) USAToday

House, Senate parry on “Obamacare” as shutdown imminent

Of course, FoxNews feeds bullshit to their ignorant viewers, but some of the rest of the media is working it for Cruz/Boehner by trying to blame the victim for not aceding to the wishes of the extortionist.  If you give in to the wishes of the economic terrorists, they won't blow up the economy.  So "you're both at fault," exclaims the media.  

Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly

If you accept my premise that false equivalence is the main weapon Republicans have in their government shutdown ambivalence, then the morning headlines fingered by Think Progress’ Rebecca Leber represent the voices of weapons dealers:

snip

Maybe such headlines reflect laziness and ignorance rather than silent partisanship, but they are more effective instruments for the GOP position than the fieriest Ted Cruz speech.

But early polls show that Americans are not buying the tradmed spin:

 

Based on CNN and ABC/Washington Post polls, Americans blame House Republicans over Senate Democrats for the shutdown crisis.
Think Progress

Same with Quinnipiac:

And on that score, today’s new Quinnipiac poll should set off alarm bells.

It finds that 58 percent of Americans, including 58 percent of independents, oppose Congress defunding Obamacare. Seventy two percent, and 74 percent of independents, oppose shutting down major activities of the government to stop the health law. On the debt limit, 64 percent oppose not raising it to block the law. All of this is in spite of plurality disapproval of Obamacare. Dems have opened a nine point lead in the generic House matchup, 43-34.

snip

It finds that despite under-water approval ratings, 54 percent say Obama is “honest and trustworthy”; 54 percent say he cares about people’s needs and problems; and he leads Republicans on handling the middle class by 51-38. While 50 percent say Obama isn’t doing enough to compromise with Republicans, 68 percent say Republicans aren’t doing enough to compromise with Obama. This may be the most important finding:

Which comes closer to your point of view; there is gridlock in Washington mainly because President Obama lacks the personal skills to convince leaders of Cnogress to work together, or there is gridlock in Washington mainly because Republicans in Congress are determined to block any President Obama initiative:

Obama lacks skills: 33

Republicans block 55

The Plum Line

Just another reason why tradmed is dying.  People have learned to tune them out.  How often do you read Time Magazine?      

This is extortion by House Republicans, economic terrorism.  Use word of mouth, facebook, and blogs.  Spread the word.  

Discuss
Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz
Morning Joe Facebook page-photo of hosts
Unbelieveable. Tuesday morning, Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough's liberal co-host and foil on MSNBC's Morning Joe, repeated a piece of conservative propaganda as if it were the gospel. She read from a Wall Street Journal article that called out President Obama for supposedly reversing himself last Friday when he criticized "stand your ground" laws in his speech about race and the acquittal of George Zimmerman, given what the WSJ described as his support for such a law in Illinois a decade ago. Mika then added that the information was "pretty important, given the grand scheme of the conversation." Joe chimed in as well, asking “why [Obama] supported the Stand Your Ground laws in 2004.”

Problem is, the entire claim amounts to a load of hooey.

The WSJ article, and others, like this one from the right-wing Washington Times, draw extensively on a post at the Illinois Review, which identifies itself as "conservative":

This past week President Obama publicly urged the reexamination of state self-defense laws (see remarks below). However, nine years ago then-State Sen. Barack Obama actually co-sponsored a bill that strengthened Illinois’ 1961 “stand your ground” law.

The Obama-sponsored bill (SB 2386) enlarged the state’s 1961 law by shielding the person who was attacked from being sued in civil court by perpetrators or their estates when a “stand your ground” defense is used in protecting his or her person, dwelling or other property.

At Mediaite, Tommy Christopher described the Illinois Review post as "an almost-fair reading of the situation, which then got oversold, and eventually distorted into a smear." Christopher continues:
I say “almost fair” because even Illinois Review’s take relies on a pair of false premises, the first of which is that the bill that Obama supported specifically dealt with “Stand Your Ground” claims. It did not. The bill revised the law for all self-defense claims. Illinois Review’s assertion is like saying that because the President likes baseball, he’s a Cubs fan.
Christopher also quotes from Shaun Zinck, over at the Chicago Law Bulletin, whose article makes clear that Illinois' law bears little resemblance to Florida's "stand your ground" law or those of the other 30 states that the NRA recognizes as having a real version of that law, which they call the "Castle Doctrine." Zinck cites Matthew P. Jones, associate director for administration at the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, who says that, in Illinois, "You can't bring a gun to a fist fight. You can't use deadly force when there is no deadly force being used against you."

Slate's David Weigel noted that the claim made in the Illinois Review made no sense on its face, thus "alarm bells should be ringing" in one's ears after reading it.

But, of course, conservative ideologues like those at the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal have no alarm bells, at least none that ring when they have to shred the truth to smear a president they hope to defeat.
 

Discuss
Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz

The middle class did great in the 1920s, says Amity Shlaes. Yeah, right. Until about October 1929 that is (hint: that's when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began). Who is Amity Shlaes? She's the writer that UC-Davis historian Eric Rauchway, in an article in Dissent (it's the second item on the search list), tagged a "New Deal Denialist" as he took apart her "analysis" of the New Deal. Just one example among many: Rauchway noted that Shlaes used an older, out-of-date measure of the unemployment rate, one that just happens to count people who worked for New Deal programs like the W.P.A. as unemployed (!), thus adding an extra 5% on top of the real unemployment rate. Rauchway's article is a superb resource for anyone looking to counter New Deal deniers like Shlaes with actual, you know, facts.

But back to Ms. Shlaes most recent piece, titled "The Myth of Gatsby's Suffering Middle Class." The novel, she argues, presents a false picture of the 1920s by arguing that the wealthiest Americans achieved great increases in their wealth only at significant cost to the middle class. This is inaccurate, Shlaes argues, as is much of the "economic history" presented in Gatsby. She begins by pointing out the supposed historical inaccuracies regarding the stock market presented by Nick Carraway, the narrator of the novel. Funny, I never thought of Carraway as an important source for economic history, but that's ok, let's see where Shlaes goes with this:

"Nick Carraway informs us that the stock market is hitting extraordinary levels. But in the early 1920s stocks did not roar ahead like Gatsby’s car. In the summer of 1922, around the time when the heroine Daisy visits Gatsby in West Egg, the Dow Jones industrial average actually stood lower than it had in the summer of 1919."
Wow. She's got a point there, right? But wait a minute. The Roaring Twenties didn't actually begin on January 1, 1920. As Shlaes knows well, there was a very real recession which bottomed out in 1921 and was caused largely by a post-World War I inflationary spike in prices.

So, in her assault on (not a) Professor Nick Carraway, Shlaes picked a time when the stock market was high i.e., right before a recession, to make a misleading argument that ignores the larger picture of the stock market in the Roaring Twenties. The reality is that the Dow went up six-fold, that's 600%, over eight years from its low in 1921 to its high point in October 1929.

Dow Jones Industrial Average, 1900-present (monthly)
So yes, Ms. Shlaes, even by the summer of 1922, the market was already off to the races, having gone up significantly from where it stood one year earlier. Given that this is the only economic "fact" in Gatsby that Shlaes challenges, you'd think she'd have been able to do better (and Daisy isn't the "heroine" either, by the way). But Shlaes used the data with a very specific purpose in mind, to get readers drawn to an article with a box-office smash in the title thinking that, hey, maybe everything I've learned about the 1920s is wrong, and that this person has got the truth.

But Shlaes' real debate isn't with Nick Carraway, it's with Paul Krugman and, well, most of the economics discipline over whether laissez-faire economics or Keynesian economics is the better approach to achieving long-lasting, sustainable economic growth, and in particular which is the better approach to take after a significant economic crash of the kind experienced in 1929 or 2008.

Shlaes, after the first bit about Gatsby, then cites a litany of statistics about how middle-class and working-class life improved during the 1920s. By this point, after hoodwinking readers about Gatsby and the stock market, and bolstering her credibility as someone concerned about those in the middle -- and, by highlighting the decline in lynchings and in Klan activity as prosperity continued into the late twenties, maybe even her credibility among the Americans of color that conservatives are desperate to reach  -- she delivers the point she's been priming her readers to accept, lock, stock, and barrel.

The larger argument is about conservative economic policy. Shlaes approvingly cites the idea that "if the rich prospered, the rest might do better than before." Classic trickle-down economics. The thing is, it's bunk. Economic inequality isn't a problem just because of the growing gap between the rich and the rest by itself, but because massive inequality is the sign of an unhealthy economy, one on the brink of collapse.

Inequality reached a new high on the eve of the Great Depression before falling and remaining relatively constant until the early 1980s, when Ronald Reagan moved our economic policies hard to the right. Inequality then grew again, rapidly, peaking just before the most recent crash, the Great Recession of 2008, one that, like the Great Depression, followed a sustained period of Republican control of the White House and both houses of Congress. Do we learn nothing from history? Apparently, that's what Amity Shlaes thinks.

But back to the 1920s. Shlaes asserted that all the wonderful improvements in middle-class life she cited in her article happened because of tax cuts and other policies that allowed the rich to get richer, because of which "good ideas found the capital needed to finance them." In conclusion, Shlaes modestly suggested "it might be useful to take some of the policies of the 1920s as models for today."

Yeah, maybe we should. Conservative, laissez-faire, "pro-business" Republicans held the White House from 1921 to 1933 (and held both houses of Congress from 1921 to 1931). Having ten years to fully implement their vision, these Republicans did great for middle-class Americans, right? Again, only if we pretend that history ended in October 1929.  

USA GDP annual pattern and long-term trend, 1920-40, in billions of constant dollars, based on data in Susan Carter, ed. Historical Statistics of America: Millennial Edition (2006) series Ca9.
The above graph of Gross Domestic Product in the U.S. shows that by the time the Republican reign was finally over in 1933, and FDR began ushering in the New Deal, all of the gains brought about by -- in Shlaes' words -- "the policies of the 1920s" were gone, drowned like the Great Gatsby in the pool of the Great Depression (sorry, couldn't resist). In fact, our GDP by the time FDR took office was, wait for it, just about right back down to where it was in the summer of 1922, the summer when Daisy visited Gatsby over in West Egg.

What was that, Ms. Shlaes, about economic myths and the 1920s?

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