David Stockman is probably best known as President Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director. He was a strong advocate for “supply-side economics”, the doctrine that tax cuts would supply the stimulus to drive strong economic growth. He also strongly advocated the curtailment of what he called the “welfare state”. Prior to his role in the Reagan Administration he was a 3 term Republican Congressman from Michigan. He’s still a Republican, and is chairperson emeritus of the Republican Majority for Choice. He’s just a strong critic of what the Republican Party has become. In a hard hitting article in the Nov. 9 2011 issue of The Rolling Stone entitled “How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich”, he said:
“The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility. They’re on an anti-tax jihad — one that benefits the prosperous classes.”
A pretty good description if the George W Bush Presidency – $5 Trillion added to the National Debt in mainly good economic times, by cutting tax revenue with tax cuts that primarily favored the wealthy, coupled with out of control spending with unnecessary wars in far off lands in the name of “regime change”.
In an article last Monday in the New York Times he detailed his thoughts on Paul Ryan’s Budget: Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan
The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends.
The Paul Ryan “Path to Prosperity” Budget Plan is notoriously vague about ending tax deductions to partially offset the huge loss in tax revenue with tax cuts for the super-wealthy. Well, it’s not a very good campaign strategy to tell the middle class upfront that you’re going to raise their taxes by ending deductions for mortgage interest, contributions to their retirement savings, or for the state & local taxes they pay. Kudos to Mr. Stockman for telling it like it is.
In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.
No plans to take on Wall Street??? Who do you think is funding the Romney-Ryan campaign? Wall Street, Mega-Corporations, Billionaires like Casino Mogul Sheldon Anderson, the Koch Brothers, etc. No plans to take on the military-industrial complex??? The Ryan “Path to Prosperity” calls for prosperity for the military-industrial complex with huge increases for defense spending even while it slashes domestic programs. Another Republican, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about the dangerous power of the military-industrial complex 50 years ago. As Mr. Stockman explains:
Mr. Ryan professes to be a defense hawk, though the true conservatives of modern times — Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Robert A. Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, even Gerald R. Ford — would have had no use for the neoconconservative imperialism that the G.O.P. cobbled from policy salons run by Irving Kristol’s ex-Trotskyites three decades ago. These doctrines now saddle our bankrupt nation with a roughly $775 billion “defense” budget in a world where we have no advanced industrial state enemies and have been fired (appropriately) as the global policeman.
The Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan Fairy Tale Budget: More tax cuts for the super-wealthy, paid for with tax increases on the middle class and gutting domestic programs for the disadvantaged and elderly. And increases for defense spending when it’s already nearly double what it was when General Eisenhower left office as President and we had every reason to fear the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal. No wonder Romney-Ryan have been running such a negative campaign with such personal attacks on President Obama – when you’re a pair of empty suits running on an empty sermon, it’s pretty much all you got.