Obama and Trickle-down Economics
by James Glaser
April 8, 2009

I always thought of the trickle-down economic theory to be from the Republican side of the aisle, but it seems that President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has adopted it. Somehow Barack Obama has come to the conclusion that if he throws enough money at the top of the income ladder, some of that money will trickle down to the people who most need it.

Let's face it. Even though Wall Street and the banks are in trouble, the people who work on Wall Street and in those banks are not the people getting hit the hardest by this recession. Those are the people though, that our new president is sending our money to. It is his belief that by refinancing those at the top, those of us at the bottom will benefit.

The term "Trickle Down" has been attributed to humorist Will Rogers, who said during the Great Depression that "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy."

I think the reason I assumed that the "trickle-down" plan was a Republican idea instead of from the Democrats was Ronald Reagan and his "supply-side economics" or Reaganomics. That was where helping out the rich was supposed to help out the poor. But, as I checked into it, I found that the Democrats were hand-in-hand with President Reagan in getting his brand of trickle-down implemented.

During Reagan's presidency, the Democratic controlled House, which, according to the Constitution, is responsible for introducing all bills related to taxation, cut the marginal tax rate on the highest-income tax bracket from 70% to 28%.

Cutting those taxes was supposed to make the rich richer, which was supposed to make every one else on the income ladder a bit better off as that money flowed down hill.

Today, Barack Obama is trying the same thing. Trickle-down economics is not a Republican or a Democrat idea, it is an idea from the wealthy class of America. Both parties love it because they can dish out money to the rich, and at the same time they can tell the middle class and the poor of America that they are really doing it for them.

Post Script:

In yesterday's column I wrote that, so far, America had almost 40,000 casualties in George Bush's and now Barack Obama's war in Iraq. I was way off. If I add in all the troops who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and all those troops who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that number of casualties goes up to over a half million of our troops suffering life-long injuries.

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, has been labeled the signature injury of the Iraq War. Estimates of the number of soldiers who have experienced concussions while deployed range as high as 20 percent. The long-term implications of TBI are unclear, and no treatments exist to cure long-lasting symptoms.

That information came from Brain Injury News. http://braininjury.blogs.com/braininjury/2008/05/traumatic-brain.html

November 6, 2007 (Washington, DC) — Estimates of the rate of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans returning from Iraq range from 12% to 20%. With deployment topping 1.5 million this summer, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) having treated more than 52,000 persons, the greatest effect of those mental health issues has yet to be experienced. These problems and interventions were presented here at the American Public Health Association 135th Annual Meeting.

Evan Kanter, MD, PhD, staff psychiatrist in the PTSD Outpatient Clinic of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, said that estimates are for a minimum of 300,000 psychiatric casualties from service in Iraq, to this point, with an estimated lifetime cost of treatment of $660 billion. That is more than the actual cost of the war to date ($500 billion).


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