... [David] Stockman agreed that supply-side theory was, in Greider's words, "only new language and argument to conceal a hoary old Republican doctrine: give the tax cuts to the top brackets, the wealthiest individuals and largest enterprises, and let the good effects 'trickle down' through the economy to reach everyone else." Said Stockman: "It's kind of hard to sell 'trickle down,' so the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really 'trickle down' .. . Kemp-Roth [the supply-side tax bill] was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate." Stockman was saying this privately at the same time that the Administration was denying Democratic charges that the Reagan tax cuts favored the rich.
Even when Stockman helped win the Administration's big battle over the drastic budget cuts in July, Greider found him subdued.
Writes Greider: "Why? Because he knew that much more traumatic budget decisions still confronted them. Because he knew that the budget resolution numbers were an exaggeration." He quotes Stockman: "There was less there than met the eye . . . the numbers are just out of this world." Yet Stockman had used those same numbers as he waged his successful drive to persuade members of Congress to approve the cuts. And, while impressing everyone with his knowledge of all the statistics, Stockman was conceding privately to Greider: "None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers."
At the same time that Reagan was berating Wall Street for doubting the effectiveness of his economic policies, Stockman was staring at his own statistics and concluding that the stock market analysts were right. Stockman's best computer figures no longer added up to a balanced budget by 1984. Big deficits loomed....
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
A little history (via Max):