Back in 2001, George W Bush proposed a program of tax cuts. These cuts, we were told, would led to greater prosperity.
Democrats pointed out that the cuts seemed to disproportionately benefit the very wealthy, which led to the Republicans annointing the wealthy class as "job creators". We were led to believe that cutting taxes on the rich would lead to greater job creation, greater prosperity, and even -- paradoxically -- greater tax revenue. It all sounded seductively plausible. Let's face it, very few people say that they love paying taxes.
So how did this work out? Let's try to answer this below the orange squiggly
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports to us on the state of employment in this country. They tell us how many (non-farm) jobs there are in the economy. As we all ought to know, unemployment statistics can be misleading, but the absolute number of jobs is an objective number. That number can be translated to an employment rate, by comparing it to the number of citizens, which our Census Bureau tracks. The following chart uses just these US Government numbers.
This chart tracks the ratio, expressed in percent, of jobs in our economy to the population. The blue bar on the left -- 2001 -- represents the employment rate that GWB inherited from the Clinton administration. After eight years of intensive tax cutting he never managed to equal this. During his entire administration, the employment rate was inferior to the rate that he inherited.
The evidence is conclusive: cutting taxes preferentially on the very rich reduces employment rather than increasing it, despite the blather about "job creators". We had an eight year economic experiment. It didn't work out. And now the Romney wants to double down on this miserable failure, and cut taxes on the wealthy even more. In fact he proposes an across-the-board 20% cut in marginal rates.
This is what Romney has to say on his website:
To repair the nation’s tax code, marginal rates must be brought down to stimulate entrepreneurship, job creation, and investment, while still raising the revenue needed to fund a smaller, smarter, simpler government.This prescription clearly meets the definition of insanity. We did that for eight years. We know that it didn't stimulate entrepreneurship; that it didn't create jobs; that it didn't stimulate investment. We know that it brought on the deepest recession since the great depression. Now Romney proposes more of the same. Utter madness.
"Smaller, smarter, simpler"? What government services does Romney propose to cut? Defense? Social Security? Medicare? Infrastructure? He doesn't say. What on earth can this man be thinking? "Smaller, smarter, simpler" has a nice alliterative ring to it, but has he given even a moment's thought to the question of where those former government employees are going to find jobs, or how those discontinued services will be replaced?
What strategy does Romney bring to the campaign? He served as Governor of Massachusetts for four years, yet his tenure was so lackluster that he doesn't discuss it. His experience at Bain was successful in that he made a bunch of money, but he cannot, and does not attempt to, defend the vulture capitalism that Bain practiced. He criticizes our tax system, but refuses to share with us any but two of his tax returns.
He has demonstrated on a number of occasions that he has a problem with telling the truth. He led a party of five to brutally attack an underclassman, and says he doesn't recall it. Does anybody really believe that? He falsely claims that his father marched with Martin Luthur King and when called on it dismisses that claim as a "figure of speech". He glibly lies about inconsequential things, seemingly just to practice up.
This gives us good reason to doubt him when he tells self-serving stories. He tells us that he left Bain Capital in 1999, never to return. But he was -- in fact -- president, CEO, managing director and sole shareholder, and he claims not to have been involved with the day to day operation. Can this really be true? He spends 25 years building a company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and then he turns over its operation to ... whom? He didn't even name an interim president to make decisions about its operation. Knowing full well that nobody at Bain had any real authority to make any important decisions, he allowed the company to drift. This is what he is telling us.
In October of 2001 Enron collapsed, and it was clear that all of its leaders were in serious legal trouble. (Ken Lay died before sentencing and Jeff Skilling is still serving a prison term.) Hundreds of millions of dollars were at stake at Bain. Romney's reputation and good name was at stake. His pride of ownership was at stake. In light of Enron, his very freedom could have been at stake.
Now he tells us that he simply ignored it. He gave no thought to the possibility that his employees were stealing him blind, or laundering money for the mob, or playing golf instead of working. All he did was to sign a few SEC documents that his employees shoved under his nose. Everybody who believes this, please raise your hand. [Oh, put your hand down, Eric F, you silly twit.]
Is Mitt totally blind to the obvious logical contradictions here? Now, I am capable of believing that an electron can go through two separate slits at the same time, or that there are huge amounts of dark matter in the universe or that the Higgs boson is responsible for the property of mass. But I don't believe Mitt Romney knew nothing about Bain from 1999 to 2002.
In an ironic twist of fate, Romney tells this obvious lie to avoid personal and political fallout for the outsourcing that Bain did, and now we find out that while he was running the Olympics, he presided over the outsourcing of the Olympic uniforms. Poor Mitt! Nowhere to run; nowhere to hide.
The skills needed to govern a country are not the same as the skills needed to make profits in business. We need somebody in the White House who has character and courage. Barack Obama has both; Mitt Romney has neither.