How Republican administrations always lead to an economic meltdown — in 10 easy steps

How Republican administrations always lead to an economic meltdown — in 10 easy steps
Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan Image via Wikimedia Commons)

The Neverending Story of Republican Economic Incompetence


Here's the standard Republican Economic Playbook ever since Reagan took office in 1981:

Step 1: Republicans get into power and then cut taxes as much as possible on the rich and big corporations.

Step 2: Republicans brag about how the economy has improved on essentially borrowed money since reduced tax income means that more money must be borrowed to offset the loss in taxes. Interest will then have to be paid on that borrowed money for a long, long time, thus reducing the ability of the government to invest in people and programs.

Step 3: Republicans suddenly notice that less tax money is coming in, and cut government spending on programs for the poor and middle class.

Step 4: Republicans undermine unions as much as possible to try and help their corporate friends pay as little as possible in wages. Over the long term, this results in regular people having very little money. Republicans also resist raising the minimum wage and resist all wage increases as much as possible. This also results in the poor and middle class having little money over the long term. Income inequality expands. The well off get richer, and everyone else gets poorer.

Step 5: Republicans avoid much-needed infrastructure spending programs, which would help the nation by providing jobs, growing the economy, and increasing the amount of taxable income which could help pay off debt.  Republicans tend to avoid big infrastructure programs because they have convinced themselves that, in general, Government Spending Is Bad—except on certain things like expensive military weapons, in which case, they seem to believe that one can never spend too much.

Step 6:  Republicans watch in total surprise as businesses start collapsing, and more and more regular people start defaulting on their mortgages, bank loans, and credit cards. Since most businesses cater to the poor and middle class, when regular people do not have any money, most businesses end up with fewer customers, and thus, little money. Welcome to another Republican created recession.

Step 7: Republicans do little to fix the recession, since fixing the economy would involve reversing what the Republicans actually did while in office. Eventually, voters put Democrats back into power, hoping that the Democrats will be able to fix the bad economy. The Democrats increase Government spending with an infrastructure program to counteract the economic slowdown caused by the Republicans. Republicans scream bloody murder about how the Democrats are creating government debt with their spending. As Republicans do this,  they ignore the huge amount of government debt which was created by 1) Republican tax cuts, 2) the economic slowdown caused by Republican cuts in spending to pay for their tax cuts, and 3) the economic slowdown caused by Republicans fighting unions, fighting wage increases, and fighting all efforts to implement big infrastructure programs.

Step 8:  The economy slowly recovers due to measures which were both pushed for by Democrats and fought against by Republicans every step of the way.

Step 9: After years of economic improvement under Democratic leadership, Republicans spend countless millions of dollars trying to convince voters that they will do a better job with the economy than the Democrats did.  Voters eventually vote the Republicans into power.

Step 10: Go to Step 1.

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