“Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.” Sadly, too often, ideology trumps the historical wisdom that could be gained from humbly assessing our past failures. Such is the case with (at least) three failed policies that have produced disasters in the past but are nonetheless being pursued by the present administration and its stooges in Congress. In the midst of all the attention being drawn to the Russian Hacking / Comey Firing / Flynn Lying / Etc. scandals, let’s not lose sight of the historically disastrous moves that are being planned while our eyes are diverted elsewhere.
- Supply Side Economics – the GOP continues to be slavishly committed to the notion that aggressively cutting taxes “bigly” leads to strong economic growth. Historical evidence overwhelmingly points to exactly the opposite. Too many still associate the Reagan years with massive tax cuts. While that started Reagan’s era, his years in office also saw a double-dip recession followed by the largest post-war tax increase in history. Supply Side Economics has been an unmitigated disaster every time we tried it in the US. Do not lose sight of this while focusing on what James Comey knew when he was fired.
- The War on Drugs – our nation now has more people in jail for drug offenses than for violent crimes. We have 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners. The “war on drugs,” along with “get tough on crime,” were code-word driven policies that hurt more than helped. In addition to destroying the core family structure in our urban areas, the prison industrial complex drains off 6% of annual GDP, or about $6 trillion a year. We were beginning to see reform on this issue during the Obama administration, and many states have realized that the massive costs of incarceration do not equal the value of such feckless drug policies. Do not allow Jeff Sessions to turn back the clock on sensible drug policy reform because you are looking at what Russian operative he talked to when.
- Killing Critical Regulations – another notion obsequiously clung to by modern conservatives is summed up in this famous quote from Ronald Reagan: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Tell that to the people who lost their homes due to the unregulated mortgage market created by the Bush Administration. Tell that to the women who got breast cancer from exposure to DDT between the 1960s and the 1990s. Tell that to … (do I need to go on?). Here’s the plain facts – no one, I repeat, *no one*, thinks government is bad, except for possibly extreme anarchists. The question is how much government is right and needed. Our nation is safer and more prosperous because of a series of financial, environmental and consumer regulations enacted by Congress and signed into law by our Presidents. Do not let this current cabal of Koch Brothers puppets do away with the parts of government that work because you were paying attention to which bush Sean Spicer was hiding in that day.