Sometimes the arguments people make cut both ways. What is especially amusing is when they seem completely oblivious to the irony of it.
There are those who note that our unemployment numbers remain fairly steady and ask, “If stimulus worked, where are the jobs?” Stimulus-supporters, including Obama himself, reply that the economic situation is worse than we thought, and what we need is additional stimulus. In other words, stimulus is working, but we haven’t done enough.
Then there are those who note that our unemployment numbers remain fairly steady and ask, “If the Bush tax cuts worked, where are the jobs?” Tax-cut-supporters reply that the economic situation is so bad (and some even claim that stimulus is worsening it) that what we need are additional tax cuts. In other words, the tax cuts are working, but we haven’t done enough.
We have had some sort of “stimulus” since government spending began (since governments began) and we have had tax cuts (or at least tax rates less than 100 percent) for at least as long (how long does a tax cut have to be in effect before it becomes considered the normal tax rate?). Throughout history, employment has waxed and waned. It is truly silly to isolate a single policy and ask why things aren’t different at a particular moment in time without also taking into consideration all other policies, as well as events such as natural disasters, wars, changes in technology, and foreign trade disruptions in effect at the same time. We must also remember that recovery takes time; not everything can be fixed overnight.
The reason I bring up the irony of the two-edged sword is that many who question tax cuts – as far as I can tell – question tax cuts for no other reason than that they think employment rates should be higher. They don’t seem to understand that the same argument can be used on tax hikes as well (tax rates over 0 percent) (how long does a tax hike have to be in effect before it becomes considered the normal tax rate?). Many of these same people favor stimulus and ask why trickle-down economics hasn’t worked either, but – as I hope to explain in more detail in a future post – trickle-down economics IS economics. Trickle-down economics is a redundant term. How can anyone be against it? Do they not know what it means?
I see irony in political statements all the time and I can’t help laughing. Are politicians truly unaware of what they’re saying, or do they merely hope we are? I am perpetually surprised at how little people seem to understand the issues, which is why I created The Understanding Project, so we can educate each other. Hopefully, in some post somewhere, I’ve educated you; I invite you to educate me.
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.