I am endlessly amazed by middle class republican's admiration of Reagan. People are always talking about how he turned the economy around, etc.
Truth be told, he borrowed the country into a false sense of prosperity, in doing so he ultimately started what has become a death spiral. He was the
first to really pull demand forward and the country has been paying the debt ever since.
Reagan took office January, 1981, the debt had been in steady decline since the end of WWII but then it began to escalate.
During the same time period, the percentage of wealth held by the top 1% has risen proportionately.
The same is true of the top 10% although the chart isn't quite as dramatic.
You see the same thing in income disparity during the same time frame.
A good portion of this debt was borrowed from private investors who benefit by collecting the interest. Income on which they pay a nominal tax rate
while those of us who "earn" our wages are taxed at 2 to 3 times the rate. I talk to die-hard republican's on a daily basis that have not a dime
in savings that will defend the reduced interest rate tax to the death.
Years ago I too thought that the large corporations were working themselves out of a customer base by outsourcing jobs. It took a while for me to
realize that they weren't... they've been busy growing a newer, larger customer base in the various countries they outsource to. As consumers, we
in the US will never touch China or India.
I personally like the idea of tariffs as a means to somewhat even the playing field since we can't effectively compete against a country where there
are no environmental protections in place and no labor laws. The flip side, it is true that the middle class consumer will be priced out on a good
many items we take for granted. Interestingly enough, in the early days of the US, before they managed to sneak income tax in as an emergency tax to
pay for war, almost the entirety of the Federal Government's income was derived from tariffs.
Sounds contradictory but, I think they should raise the corporate tax rate. Everyone talks about how high the US rate already is but corporate taxes
comprise less than 12% of all receipts.
There are so many expenses and loopholes, very few businesses actually post taxable income. Ask G.E., numerous returns ZERO income tax... google
You would simultaneously have to impose some kind of penalty for outsourcing.
What I think would happen is those companies really interested in doing business in the US would actually spend more on employees and capital
expenditures since it would ultimately help them reduce their tax liability. Obviously both would benefit jobs here at home the first directly, the
second by generating employment in construction and manufacturing as companies upgraded their facilities and equipment.
But, what do I know?