In “Dumbing down the American Dream” (AFN, April 29), Susan S. Brown exposes herself as a gullible victim of lying Republican propaganda, totally unconfused by readily available facts. Brown’s claim that the Carter 1980 recession was even worse than the 2008 Bush recession is a preposterous joke. Carter’s final year had positive gross domestic product (GDP) growth. But in Bush’s final year, GDP suffered a catastrophic 2.7-percent decline, worst performance in more than a half century, and lost more than 4 million jobs.
Brown also ignores Reagan’s post-World War II record federal debt increase, 61 percent, from 33 to 53 percent of GDP. If tax cuts for the rich produce more government revenue, why did Reagan produce skyrocketing budget deficits?
Here’s more evidence demolishing the Republican mantra that tax cuts for the rich increase government revenue. Clinton raised the top tax rate by 28 percent, from 31 to 39.6 percent. Federal revenue surged 11 percent, and federal debt declined 16 percent in GDP percentage. His eight years boasted a 3.6 percent average annual GDP growth rate, plus creation of 21 million jobs. Bush 43 cut the top tax rate by 12 percent, to 35 percent, averaged about 2.3 percent GDP growth rate, and lost 700,000 private sector jobs in his disastrous, deregulated economy.
I also ask Brown why, if Republicans are such great capitalists, the S&P stock index has increased at an average annual 13 percent rate under Democrats, more than double the 6 percent under Republicans over the past 85 years. I also challenge her to deny that statistic.