The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Giuliani Endorses Voodoo Economics. MSM whistles and looks at ceiling.

The funny thing about actual experiments with supply-side economics is that the result-- in the 80's and today, under the most inexplicably revered Republicans in modern history-- was crushing debt, record deficits, decreased government income, and huge increases in the number of Americans reduced to poverty. Which probably explains why filthy-rich Republicans are such huge fans.

But why Giuliani would whole-heartedly endorse another decade of our current, mind-bogglingly horrendous fiscal policy is beyond me. Maybe we'll just be in for another four (or God forbid eight) years of the same old question: "Lying or incompetent?"

Richard Perez-Pena reported, in a March 29 New York Times article about Steve Forbes endorsing Giuliani, that the former mayor "calls himself an advocate of supply-side economics and tells audiences that he cut taxes and restrained spending as mayor." What's supply-side economics, wonders the curious reader -- is it by any chance a crank doctrine holding that tax cuts will increase revenues? Well, Perez-Pena won't tell you.

The AP, in a similar story, noted meekly that "Giuliani, a front-runner among Republicans seeking the White House in 2008, said he and Forbes share 'an economic vision that embraces supply-side economics, tax relief, and spending restraint.'" Here, again, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination is saying he places a debunked crackpot economic theory at the heart of his agenda for the country and arguably the nation's most important news organization … doesn't see fit to explain.

No news organization remarks on the fact that Giuliani has pronounced himself a proud crank, nor does anybody remark on the news organizations not remarking on it. We've come to expect nothing better from our political coverage.

To be fair, while they flubbed the supply-side issue, both articles did mention that Steve Forbes, when he ran for president, was an advocate of a flat tax and that Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City at that time, was opposed to such a tax because it would be detrimental to the financial interests of people who live in high-tax jurisdictions, such as Giuliani's then-constituents in NYC.

Wait, no -- of course they didn't.

Recommended. And there was this piece, also on the Prospect's site today and also recommended:

If supply side economics really did so much for government revenues, then the people who cared about increasing government revenues would support supply side policies, and those who wanted to shrink the government till it could drown in a tub would oppose them. That it's quite the opposite is telling. If supply side economics were really so great for the poor, than those who primarily care about how government treats the economic underclass the policies. They oppose them.

The only interesting thing about the debate, in fact, is that supply siders think the rest of us such knuckleheads that we'll not notice any of this, nor notice that while supply-side policies were being pursued by Reagan and Bush 43, revenues fell, poverty grew, and the classless socialist utopia Jack Kemp promised failed to materialize. This is, thankfully, a straightforward debate, where the data is fairly clear and the coalitions largely as one would expect.

Which is exactly why the GOP will continue to lie about it until it stops working. With a nice assist from journalists so afraid of losing cocktail party invites that they'll even treat established facts like a hot controversy.