What Kind Of Person Are You…If You Believe in Republican Economic Policy?
As we prepare to head off to the voting booth on November 4th, it occurs to me that we are woefully uninformed as to the actual issues facing us, especially in terms of the economy. Instead both sides have subjected us to distracting attack ads and, as Democratic Nominee Senator Barack Obama put it, “Swift Boat Politics.” If we only listened to the commercials, here is what we would think: Alaska supplies 20% of our nation’s energy, McCain hates schools and wants to cut educational funding, Obama socializes with terrorists and McCain wants to cut social security benefits in half. What do all of these statements have in common? According to non-partisan factcheck.org, they are all false. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
So what does the Republican Party REALLY believe? And if you believe in these policies, what does that say about you? Are you an Extremely Loyal Social Darwinist with Blind Faith [EL-SD-BF] or an Eternally Optimistic Generous Soul who is a True Believer [EO-GS-TB]? Read below and figure out your Republican Personality Type.
SUPPLY SIDE ECONOMICS – The basis of Republican Economic policy falls on something known as “Supply Side Economics.” The underlying tenets dictate that if you spend the money to produce more of a good, that will lower the price of that good and people will buy more of it, making a greater profit than would have been had at a higher price. This is then extended to the idea that if you cut taxes (see below) the people have more money and are going to be more willing to buy non-essential goods which will stimulate the economy.
If you believe in Supply Side Economics you are either a:
A) Social Darwinist [SD]: Supply side economics are grounded in the idea that the hardest working among us will be the most successful. And the government must use incentives for the production of goods and services, such as tax cuts. From the farmer who spends all day in his fields to Nelson Rockefeller and Dale Carnegie, success is bred from hard work and dedication, not redistribution of wealth.
B) True Believer [TB]: Like McCain, you believe “The Fundamentals of Our Economy Are Strong.” Many people have a hard time with this, especially with the government’s recent need to bail out AIG and parts of Lehman Brothers. Nevermind the fact that in the past 6 months the fall of Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns and Merrill Lynch means that we lost 337 years of combined experience on Wall St. and as a result we’re in the middle of the worst Credit Crisis in American History. Nevertheless, there’s no substitute for faith – it can make all the difference in tough times.
THE TAX POLICY: As can be expected, the backbone of Supply Side Economics is the tax policy. The essence of Republican Tax policy is simple to understand – in a nutshell - “tax cuts pay for themselves.” McCain is also in favor of repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax - an outdated plan that was put in place to ensure that the wealthy weren’t able to claim too many deductions. The “AMT” has since become a burden on the middle class.
If you believe in the Republican Tax Policy, you are a/an:
A) Idealist [I]: For you, Americans should keep as many of their hard earned dollars as possible. American Revolutionary History is grounded in stories about rebelling against the English for unjust taxes. From the Boston Tea Party to cries of “No Taxation Without Representation” we were created to get out from under the grip of the tax man. So why not go with McCain’s big tax plan that involves cutting the corporate tax rate to 25% from the current 35%.
B) Mathematics Monster [MM]: During the period between 2001-2006, using the same policies McCain is advocating, Tax revenues increased from $994 billion to $1.086 trillion. Sadly, when adjusting for inflation, that 9.25% increase actually becomes a 4.42% decrease in government funds. However, fancy math can make anything look good, so more power to you.
HEALTH CARE: Understanding McCain’s entire Health Care plan fully requires a lot of dedicated study. With this in mind, I think it’s important to focus on probably the most important element, eliminating the tax break that employees receive if they choose their employer’s health care plan. The expected result here is that this would free up employees to choose their own Health Plan separate from their employer, increasing competition and decreasing the cost of Health Insurance
If you believe in the Republican Health Care Policy, you are a:
A) Free Market Fanatic[FMF]: McCain’s plan follows on the tenets of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand: Competing for your business will mean lower prices and more incentives to sign up. Think of the Cereal Wars, except the service you get will be used less and is nowhere near as delicious.
B) Generous Soul [GS] - As the late, great George Carlin once said “Think of how stupid the average person is and realize half of them are stupider than that.” In order for free markets to be effective, people have to make rational and informed decisions. Enough of us have trouble making rational decisions on what to eat for lunch, can we really be trusted to do the same for health care, or will the cheapest provider win out? You give people credit that they will figure it out and not spend their tax credit on filling up their gas tank.
THE ECONOMICS OF WAR: Everyone knows the basic differences between McCain and Obama in terms of the Iraq War: the Democrats want to start withdrawing troops and the Republicans want to stay in until “The Job Is Done.” But how does this relate to the economy? During 2008 The United States is spending 12 Billion Dollars every month in Iraq, and according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the spending can be broken down to $5,000 every second. That makes this the second most expensive war ever, when adjusting for inflation, behind only World War II. It is estimated that by the end of the war we will have spent over 3 Trillion Dollars (yes, that’s $3,000,000,000,000.00).
If you believe in Republican War Spending, you are a/an:
A) Extreme Loyalist [EL]. You believe victory in Iraq is imperative. There are many who believe we need to win at all costs, and that we can’t put a price on spreading democracy – the essence of what makes our country great.
B) Eternally Optimistic [EO]: George W. Bush is the only President in US history to cut taxes during a major war. During World War II taxes were raised, Americans were encouraged to ration supplies, and Daylight Savings Time was implemented to save oil. Today? Combining a 3 Trillion Dollar War with a 4.42% decrease in government tax income means you have to look at negative numbers. But things do turnaround…eventually.
Whenever election season comes through, it’s always kind of disturbing to see just how easily we ignore the key issues in favor of mud slinging and conspiracy theories. Thankfully, the Financial Crisis has brought economic issues to the forefront of voters’ minds, so maybe the issues WILL win out. So instead of voting for McCain because Barack Obama’s middle name is Hussein, make an informed decision, and then embrace your Republican Personality Type. It will be so much easier to meet other Republicans with whom you could spend the rest of your life.