Capitalism thrives under socialists - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

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Capitalism thrives under socialists

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Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:00 am

In their perpetually parroted charge that Democrats are "socialist, communist, Marxist," extremist Republican propagandists are guilty of either (a) outrageous lying or (b) colossal ignorance. By every basic measure of economic performance - GDP growth, employment growth, stock-market profits and federal debt control - Democrats are better capitalists than Republicans, by overwhelming margins.

Republicans adamantly refuse to be confused by the statistical facts. Over the past 60 years, annual GDP growth per capita has risen 70 percent faster under Democratic administrations (2.78 percent vs. 1.64 percent under Republicans).

Note 1: In the past half century, employment has grown at a 75 percent higher annual rate under Democratic presidents than under Republicans. Note 2: Stock-market profits show even greater disparity - an average annual 13 percent increase in the S & P index under Democratic presidents, more than twice the 6 percent under Republicans. These figures cover the last 85 years.

In their most incessantly repeated falsehood, hammering lies into blockheads' skulls via the repetitive technique of Joseph Goebels, Republicans claim that cutting taxes for multimillionaires always increases federal revenues. Rush Limbaugh is a notorious purveyor of this ideological fantasy.

It is decisively contradicted by the facts. In the post World-War-II era, federal debt skyrocketed under the two biggest tax cutters.

Under Reagan, federal debt increased by 61 percent (from 33 to 53 percent of GDP). Under George W. Bush, it increased by some 40 percent. Only one other president, Bush 41, increased federal debt in the last 65 years.

Under Clinton, who raised the top tax rate by 28 percent (from 31 to 39.6 percent), federal revenue surged and federal debt declined 16 percent (from 68 to 57 percent of GDP).

Republicans are understandably silent about their one great economic achievement: a drastic redistribution of wealth from poor and middle-class families to multimillionaires. In the past three Republican-dominated decades, incomes of the top .01 percent (average annual $13 million) have increased by nearly 400 percent, 30 times the trivial 12 percent gain in median income.

Note 3: And during this era when their party dominated national politics (abetted by cooperative Democrats), effective tax rates for the super-wealthy fell by 11 percent.

It is, however, their overall economic failure - notably a per-capita growth rate lower than Europe's - that presents Republicans with a really tough question: Why do allegedly socialist Democrats historically do so much better at running our capitalist economy?

C.W. (Bill) Griffin is a retired consulting engineer. He has lived in Ahwatukee Foothills for 22 years.


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