Rachel Maddow Takes Stephen Moore To Task Over His Praise Of Reagan's Tax Policies


Rachel Maddow took The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore to task over his praise of Ronald Reagan's tax cuts and how they were supposedly so wonderful for America. As Rachel pointed out, they were great alright, if you were rich.

MAHER: Here's the part of Ronald Reagan I'm not so crazy about. There's a few things I'm not so crazy about. He introduced the religious right into politics...

MOORE: And turned around the US economy.

MAHER: Uh... okay. Well you know what, David Stockman says this:

The debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago [Ronald Reagan], of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts.

Which George Bush the first called “Voodoo Economics”. It's still with us. Now what do you say to your fellow Republicans here...

MOORE: I'd say the Reagan tax cuts were the greatest economic policy of the last fifty years. They caused about a twenty year expansion...

MAHER: Okay but what (crosstalk). How could we afford the tax cuts that Obama and the Republicans just agreed on in December? How is that a good thing when...

MOORE: It's a good thing because we have to have the lowest tax rates in the world if we want to compete. I mean all the people in this audience will have jobs (crosstalk) if we have a pro-business, pro-competitive environment.

While Stephen Moore continually talked over her, Rachel Maddow attempted to explain how the deficit skyrocketed and that we had some of the worst income inequality in decades due to Reagan's policies. She'd finally had enough of him interrupting her and stood up to say this.

MADDOW: From 1980 until 1990, the top 1% saw their income go up by roughly 80%. The median wage in the country over ten years went up 3%. That means for the people who are best off on the country, it was the Matterhorn and for everybody else in the country, it was like this. (crosstalk) So if you were rich, Reagan was awesome. And if you were anybody else, it sucked.

David Stockman wrapped it up with pointing out how completely irresponsible the Republicans have been when it comes to spending. And Maher pointed out that their true strategy is to “starve the beast”.

For more on just how wonderfully trickle-down economics worked for most of us, here are a few articles.

Income inequality

Some thoughts -- and graphs -- on inequality and income

The United States of Inequality

And there are a couple of good articles on measuring income and a break down as to what some of the charts on income out there tell us here and here.

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