By Michael Reagan
November 28, 2003
Note to the 10 Demodwarfs now running for president: Get off your knees, boys, God isn't going to answer your prayers for a rip-roaring recession. The good times are rolling.
And the way it looks now, they are going to keep rolling - that is unless one of you by some miracle gets elected and keeps his promise to repeal the Bush tax cuts, thereby sending the economy into a tailspin.
The latest figure is astounding - a growth rate of 8.2 percent in the July-to-September quarter is the fastest growth in nearly twenty years. It must feel like a dagger in the Democrats' hearts. Here they've been ranting about the alleged worst economy since poor old Herbert Hoover's days and griping about tax cuts for the rich and, oh, the injustice of it all!. And then without warning it's morning in America again.
Look at the figures: new orders for "durable" goods rose by 3.3 percent last month, up from the 2.1 percent rise in September and consumer spending remained steady in October, with Americans' incomes jumping a healthy 0.4 percent. Moreover, new claims for unemployment insurance benefits dropped last week by a seasonally adjusted 11,000 to 351,000, the lowest level since January 2001.
Think of it. All of a sudden the sluggish economy skyrockets, hitting a plateau we haven't seen since 1984 when my dad was in office. And it got to that point then in the same way President Bush has gotten us there now, and the same way President Kennedy also got us there in his presidency - by slashing taxes.
According to the National Association for Business Economics a panel of 28 forecasters from various industries predicted that the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, will grow by 4.5 percent in 2004. Should that forecast pan out, it would produce the fastest GDP growth rate in 20 years, since the economy jumped 7.3 percent in 1984 under Ronald Reagan.
"We are looking for a very strong bounceback," NABE President Duncan Meldrum, chief economist at Air Products & Chemicals Inc. of Allentown, Pa. told the Associated Press.
And to what do the experts give the credit for this economic boom? The tax cuts and low interest rates. "We just have an unprecedented amount of economic stimulus coming from Washington to boost economic activities," Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis told the AP. "That is going to keep economic activity at very high levels."
So how do the Democrats deal with all this bad news? They harp on the fiction that the tax cuts now putting a head of steam in the economy and creating jobs were solely for the benefit of the so-called rich. And so some are pledging that if they get back in power they will kill the tax-cut goose that lays all these golden eggs by repealing the very measure that has produced a growth rate of 8.2 percent and all those other economic blessings.
They keep harping on the same old deceptive tax-cuts-for-the-rich theme. But they don't bother telling the American people who the rich are. They conjure up visions of bloated fat cats lolling around on their yachts, drinking champagne and laughing at all those poor suckers who pay taxes while thanks to President Bush they pocket the proceeds of the tax cuts enacted solely for their benefit.
The truth is that the top 50 percent of wage earners are those individuals or couples filing jointly who earned just $26,000 and more in 1999. They pay 96.03 percent of all taxes. And the bottom 50 percent pays a mere 3.97 percent of all income taxes. The top 5 percent pay 53.25 percent of all income taxes, the top 10 percent pay 64.89 percent and the top 25 percent pay 82.9 percent.
The top 1 percent were those who earned $293,000 or more. So who are the rich? The government says they are people making $100,000 or more. And those making over $200,000 will on average pay approximately $99,000 in income taxes.
About all the Democrats have left now, is their old strategy of class warfare, and mark my words, in November next year they'll discover that it doesn't work any more.
The Clinton 1992 slogan "It's
the economy stupid," is truer today than it was then - and
it's now the Democrats' worst nightmare.
Mike's column is distributed to subscribers for publication by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc.