In the words of Mark Twain, “There are three types of lies: little white lies, great big lies, and statistics.” In our current state of what we call journalism, media hit men of all political stripes have been contracted by special interest mobs to take out the last bastions of common sense and pragmatic truth.
The practice of attacking widely held common knowledge as ‘myth’ has been played out to exhaustion by fledgling journalists and would be politicos in attempts to stroke the egos of their own cultural sacred cows. If you can cherry pick statistics and roll enough dough together to buy a domain name, you can bake a delicious pie of misinformation and serve it to the undiscerning palettes. Watch out for that first bite – the hot steam could burn your brain cells!
Understand that conservatives are not allowed to have nice things. It seems every five minutes these days we are pelted with biased takes on supply side economics; as if the boom under Reagan was a figment of our collective imaginations. Supply side, or as it has been improperly labeled “trickle down” theory is not really a theory at all – It was never even an official platform, rather an economic heuristic meant to explain policy to the public in layman’s terms. Furthermore, as with everything else conservatives have gotten right, progressives seek to redefine the actual nature and reality of our policies, maligning the work of one of our greatest presidents, several Nobel Prize winning economists and the most disciplined Fed chair of the past 50 years.
Progressives waste no time propping up the false narrative of ‘tax cuts for the rich’. The realities of supply side are tax cuts across the board for everybody. The Economic Recovery Act of 1981 prescribed 25% reductions in income tax for all income levels; to say it was a tax cut for the rich ignores the enormous savings the middle class was able to turn around and spend on consumer goods. Tax cuts not only benefit the investor class or the ‘job creators’, but the working class and the ‘job doers’ – with the later segment of that equation having a greater play in GDP and consumer spending and Reagan’s advisors knew this. Milton Freidman adroitly declared “when workers get higher wages and better working conditions through the free market, when they get raises by firm competing with one another for the best workers, by workers competing with one another for the best jobs, those higher wages are at nobody’s expense. The whole pie is bigger – there’s more for the worker, but there’s also more for the employer, the investor, the consumer, and even the tax collector.”
Not to speak in absolutes, tax cuts don’t always pay for themselves or generate economic activity for that matter. Even the very best economic policy tools are used at the wrong moments for all the wrong reasons. In fact, the Laffer Curve will tell you that if taxes are already low, then further cuts will only lower government revenues without boosting economic growth. For policymakers to assert that tax cuts will always raise revenues in the long-term are a misinterpretation of supply-side economics and its theoretical underpinning. Yet when I try to tell liberals that low taxes and stable monetary policy will support growth, I feel like Luke Wilson in the movie ‘‘Idiocracy’’ telling people that water is better for plants than Gatorade. To suggest Reagan’s policies had nothing to do with growth, as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has, is a bridge to far. Eastern European nations (as well as the states of Kansas and North Carolina) have enacted supply side reform policies that have increased revenues, but you won’t hear Mr. Krugman talk about that.
In the end, the Reagan tax cuts saved the average 2-earner median income family $9,000. Employment of African Americans rose 25% and more than half of the new jobs created went to women. Burdensome regulations were removed while segments of the economy were privatized, proving so beneficial as to convince Democratic Socialist models of government such as Sweden to follow suite. It was the 2nd greatest period of economic growth on our history, and it set the stage for an even greater period of growth in the 1990’s although progressives will claim that was all Clinton, or global warming, or fairy dust.. or something.
Alas, the left will not let success be savored – they will point to inequalities between opposite ends of the spectrum. They will ignore the shared prosperity in which the net worth of families earning between $20,000 and $50,000 grew 27% and Gross Domestic Product rocketed to 26%, choosing instead to lament the failure of social engineering programs that function solely as a stop-gap solution. However, as Freidman also said, “There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program.”
Switching gears, timeless recipes for economic success are not the only vestiges of common sense under attack. So goes our fundamental 2nd Amendment right in its purist application: self-defense.
The battle on gun control to me is less about guns and more about control. Truthfully, I don’t even own a gun. I don’t need to own something to know that a tyrannical government, without rhyme, reason or due process, has no right to preclude me from owning it. It’s about treating people like adults.
Unfortunately, not everyone distinguishes the contrast between the minds of adults and children. Just take Felix Garcia from the Daily Dot in a piece entitled ‘How the toddler shooting epidemic debunks the biggest myth about gun control’. Garcia attempts to make an argument that the mere presence of firearms makes us less safe; despite the fact that 67,740 crimes are thwarted by guns every year according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics – but that’s neither here nor there. Mr. Garcia’s half-baked argument is thus: since little kids can accidently but tragically stumble upon a gun and kill someone, we can project and blanket this illogical vomit onto grown adults.
Then what Mr. Garcia is cooking gets even richer; he then argues that good people with guns won’t stop a shooter because they have to be trained extensively to use it and could miss the target. Wait a minute captain contradiction: didn’t you just say there was an epidemic of toddlers shooting and killing people? A child with limited motor skills can point and shoot yet an armed law abiding adult can’t compete against a mentally diminished criminal who in most cases just learned how to use a gun weeks before the crime? This entire line of thought equates to guns are evil – furthering the projection of misplaced blame on the firearm and not the person or the motive.
As for the next attack on common sense I see progressives drawing from the old well of hurt feelings. It’s something that has worked before and can be broadly applied in generalities as it’s an election year and they can’t get tied up in the minutia of facts. To do this, they will blather incessantly about a lack of civility and compassion, portraying Republicans as the ‘party of no’. They are already doing so in blasting any Senate Republican willing to fight whatever left wing activist Obama nominates for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Sen. Chuck Schumer has already shamed Mitch McConnell for ‘obstructing the constitution’ when Schumer himself at one point had called on Democrats to block any Bush nominee. Forget a system of checks and balances or passing a crushing debt onto our children; we will be mocked for what we say no to. I feel it is high time, in the onslaught of harmful debt and reckless policy, to invoke the words of Mrs. Reagan and just say no.
Dylan Lloyd is interested in three things 1) Will the candidate protect my rights as a citizen 2) Will the candidate protect our country from harm and 3) Will the candidate operate within the means of the constitution respecting equal branches of government. Anything else; be it health care, redistribution of wealth or legislation of morality is a superfluous allowance of power and represents a lazy dereliction of duty as individual citizens to take action and accountability for their own lives.