It’s called the trickle-down theory of economics. Its proponents like a nicer name: supply-side economics.
Fat cats like big tax cuts, mostly for themselves, but often with a politically-useful dribble for little kittens to make them purr and vote the “right” way. Another “right” way to pump their tummies is to cut regulations that might trim their profits a tad. If they have investments in oil. they sure as hell don’t want regulations that might help slow global warming,
Well, many if not most probably think they’re right to promote trickle-down economics. Why? It’s like Upton Sinclair put it a long time ago, “It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding.”
Ironically, that’s called rationalizing. Not infrequently, supply-siders pull the Bible into it for support.
In that view, if a man (or a woman, to be politically-correct) becomes rich and powerful, that’s God’s way of approving him or her. The same applies to weather. “God controls everything — always. If a hurricane or a tornado or a flood or an earthquake or forest fire comes your way, God just doesn’t like how you’ve been behaving. However, just in case, God needs you to own an AR-15 and hate gays and liberal stuff — like college educated book-learners — and the mainstream media other than Fox News.
Let’s be more honest: I’d bet many if not most fat cat trickle-down promoters are not religious in any Bible fashion, good or bad. But they do know they need friends in what Molly Ivins used to call “the gummit” to support trickle-down philosophy, and appeal to the religious can help. They like gummit fine when they own enough politicians and judges. In a democratic republic, elections do have consequences: good and/or bad.
To sum it up: The supply-side, trickle-down economics is a self-serving argument that economic growth happens best by lowering taxes and cutting regulation. Sure, fat cats will get fatter (and enjoy God’s blessing) but, hey, we the people will have lots more stuff much cheaper. Maybe get a raise. The idea has been around a while. Doesn’t work.
When the tax-cuts predictably expand public debt (as happened with the Trump tax cuts), fat cats like that, too. They can use it to justify cutting budgets and staff for regulatory agencies and promote the idea of privatizing public education, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
(They also like the open floodgates for political money achieved through the Supreme Court 2010 decision in Citizen’s United – where corporations were declared “people” and could buy more friendly politicians.)
Here in Kansas, we saw that goofy supply-side notion at work with former Kansas governor Sam Brownback. You remember how that “experiment” turned out? Well, these days gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach is promoting another supply-side Brownbackistan fiasco.
Maybe those same millions and millions of undocumented illegals will sneak through the polling booths and vote Kobach into Cedar Crest. Surely that’s how we got Donald Trump, the president with the longest red power necktie and the absolutely biggest fingers in our nation’s very, very fantastically great again history. His is the biggest and longest whatever. Believe me. (If you missed it, I was being sarcastic.)
Well, seriously. At the moment, I’m more than a little spooked that — if too many Kansans want to consider themselves “unpolitical” and vote for independent Greg Orman. Neither Kobach nor Kelly might win a majority — Kobach could possibly come out with a plurality. Ugh.
But, you know, fat cats really do need a break .. or two .. or three or four.. And, they always get lots nicer when they have lots more money. That’s what I’ve heard anyway. (Yeah, I’m getting sarcastic again.)
Bob Hooper, a fourth-generation western Kansan, is a former public school teacher who writes from his home in Bogue.