Letters and Opinion

Obama's economy is working pretty well

October 8, 2011

Honestly, I tire of millionaires [Oct. 3 Rusthoven Viewpoint] telling the rest of us how we should appreciate the tax breaks and low rates they pay and how this will benefit society, economy, jobs, etc.

According to former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chair of the Simpson-Bowles commission which produced the foundational document for addressing federal budget strategy, the wealthiest 400 individuals in the country pay an effective tax rate of 16 percent. Since many upper-middle-class families pay at a significantly higher rate, that sounds like a progressive tax policy favoring the wealthy.

Barack Obama inherited an economy where the gross domestic product dropped over 8 percent in a single quarter. The fact that the economy is growing—albeit slowly—is due to the economic plans of George Bush and Obama—supported largely by Democrats in Congress. This avoided a financial collapse feared by major economists of both parties.

I’ll agree that the economic situation is not great. This is not surprising after the most serious recession since the Great Depression. But, the alternatives supported by Republicans during this time likely would have us in a much worse situation.

Interestingly enough, Reagan’s tax cuts caused the national debt to increase approximately 180 percent—by far the largest of any president since. The tax increases under George Bush and Bill Clinton—which allowed Clinton to hand his successor a budget surplus of around $300 billion a year—coupled with reductions in government spending also produced one of the great expansions in recent memory.

Trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Otherwise, we wouldn’t face the highest poverty levels in 20 years.

What we see actually is a breakdown of the social contract—a sense of appreciation of the sacrifices many made to give us the country and society we live in.

Instead, it seems to be a world where the competitive instinct has gone awry. People attribute their success totally to themselves and thus feel entitled to take what they can get. I’m not sure that those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom had quite that image in mind.

I think Obamanomics is working just fine.

But, I also think that Danielsnomics is working just fine for Rusthoven—reportedly billing the state $475 an hour for legal work on the IBM Family & Social Services Administration contract boondogle—and recently informing us that the $5 million contract needs to be increased to as much as $8.05 million.
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Jay van Santen
 

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