Jerome Bourgois criticizes past Republican tax bills and offers up some facts (“GOP tax overhaul more failed trickle-down economics,” The Daily News, Dec. 5). He claims that after the Republicans’ 1986 tax plan, workers’ wages and benefits declined. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, employee wages and salaries totaled over $2.2 trillion in 1987.

By 1997 that number was $3.87 trillion. According to the Department of Labor, average hourly wages and earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees was $9.01 at the end of 1986. By the end of 1997 that figure was $12.75.

Bourgeois then claims, “The 2002 George W. Bush tax cuts for the ‘job creators’ resulted in a net job loss for the next seven years and the worst financial crash since the Great Depression.” He provides no causation. He simply states that one preceded the other so the prior must be at fault.

Of course, most market professionals believe that the root of the 2008 market crash were mortgage bonds that had been dishonestly rated and then used as collateral by major financial institutions. When the bonds’ revenue streams failed to perform as they were rated, the bonds’ prices dropped, and financial firms did not have sufficient capital to withstand the losses.

Clearly, Bourgois has an ax to grind — but he is not alone. Many Americans are justifiably frustrated at the lack of middle-class prosperity. Where he does a disservice is that he solely assigns the blame to the Republican Party when the facts show that both parties are at fault.

Between 1979 and 2013, the bottom 90 percent of wage earners saw their real wages grow, cumulatively, by 15 percent — low wage workers actually experienced a decline. The top 1 percent saw a cumulative wage growth of 138 percent.

At the same time, America’s debt skyrocketed from $827 billion (31 percent of GDP) in 1979, to $1.9 trillion (105 percent of GDP) in 2016. The issuance of government debt to fuel economic growth used to make financial sense. At one time, every $1 of debt returned over $1 in GDP. However, that figure is now well below 50 cents.

Washington politicians are happy to have the public debate tax policy. But it is a red herring. The truth is that D.C. politicians have found no level of revenue that they cannot exceed. Given that basic truth, debating federal tax policy is nothing short of folly. When the Democrats control legislation, Republicans argue that the debt is of primary concern. When the Republicans control legislation, the Democrats argue the same. Don’t fall for it.

Our children will pay for the misguided, but well intentioned, fiscal actions of our elected leaders. Given the nature of a global marketplace, their prosperity is guaranteed to not be as bright as their parents’ or grandparents’. If the undebatable, party-agnostic fiscal irresponsibility of Congress and the executive branch is not a case of financial child abuse, I shudder to think of what could possibly qualify.

Norman Pappous lives in Galveston.

(16) comments

Walter Manuel

I wish there was a "Like" button on here because I would definitely click on it!

Very well stated Mr. Pappous!

Emile Pope

You mentioned that the hourly wages went up to 12.75 in 1997. But you fail to mention that Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy and corporations in 1993. So trickle-down economics were not in effect when wages rose. In fact, the opposite was in effect. Trying to give Republicans credit for Democratic economic policies doesn’t work. Second, he has not given any example of how cutting taxes on high income individuals and corporations has helped the middle and lower class workers. And notice how he combines the beginning of the Republican economic policies and the end of the Democratic policies to cover up the Republican economic disasters of Reagan and Bush and their trickle down theories and the economic successes of the Democratic policies that raised taxes the wealthy. In other words, he tries to cover up for the failing student by averaging his score with the A student. Trying to cover up poor Republican policies by trying to spread blame around never works with people who take time to learn the facts.

Carlos Ponce

Dec 1992 average wages 10.89
January 1993 Clinton takes office
Dec 1993 wages rose 29 cents to 11.18
Clinton signs Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 August 10, 1993
Dec 1994 wages rose 29 cents to 11.47
January 1995 Republicans take control of the House and Senate
Dec 1995 wages rose 34 cents to 11.81
Dec 1996 wages rose 44 cents to 12.25
Dec 1997 wages rose 50 cents to 12.75
Dec 1998 wages rose 46 cents to 13.21
Dec 1999 wages rose 49 cents to 13.70
Dec 2000 wages rose 58 cents to 14.28
GW BUSH takes office in Jan 2001
Bush Signs Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 June 7, 2001
WTC and Pentagon attacked Sep 2001
Dec 2001 wages rose 47 cents to 14.75
Dec 2002 wages rose 46 cents to 15.21
Bush signs Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 May 28, 2003
Dec 2003 wages rose 26 cents to 15.47
Dec 2004 wages rose 39 cents to 15.86
Dec 2005 wages rose 50 cents to 16.36
Dec 2006 wages rose 69 cents to 17.05
Dec 2007 wages rose 64 cents to 17.69
Dec 2008 wages rose 69 cents to 18.38
January 2009 Obama takes office, keeps GW Bush tax cuts

Emile Pope

Maybe you could show the nation's debt during the Republican and Democratic administrations...

Carlos Ponce

Barack Obama matched the entire National Debt from George Washington to George W. Bush.

Emile Pope

Wrong Ponce. The debt you are talking about was from Bush administration, debt that they incurred but hadn't been entered yet.

Carlos Ponce

Emile, you are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts.
President Bush added $5.849 trillion, the second-greatest amount.
Under President Obama, the national debt grew the most dollar-wise. He added $7.917 trillion
When Ronald Reagan Left office the total debt was $2,698 billion
George H.W. Bush Total debt: $4,188 billion when he left
Bill Clinton: Total debt: $5,728 billion when he left
George HW Bush Total debt: $10,627 billion when he left
Barack Obama Total debt $19.573 trillion when he left
Current National Debt $20.593 trillion

Emile Pope

So, tell me how cutting the estate tax, tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals, and keeping the same loopholes that the wealthy use is going to decrease the national debt? Because we all know how the deficit decreases after tax cuts...

Carlos Ponce

"So, tell me how cutting the estate tax, tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals, and keeping the same loopholes that the wealthy use is going to decrease the national debt? Because we all know how the deficit decreases after tax cuts... - Emile
Basic economics. The wealthy either spend money or invest money. Spending money helps the businesses selling the goods or services. Let's say a wealthy man buys a mansion. The mansion requires upkeep. If the mansion if large enough it requires servants. People are employed. They pay income taxes, even the groundskeeper. The wealthy individual doesn't hide his earnings in offshore tax shelters. Cheaper to keep it at home. The wealthy individual pays property taxes which helps the local taxing entities leading to road construction or repair, city and school facilities. All of which employ people who pay income taxes.
Investments have a similar effect not just for the wealthy and his broker but for the businesses they invest in.
Corporations likewise shelter their income out of country to avoid the high corporate American tax rate. Reducing this rate will make it easier to keep trillions of dollars in country.
Not all loopholes are kept. A few will be dropped under this tax plan. Be patient. The tax plan is NOT "trickle down" nor "supply side economics" but it's better than the huge mess we have today. It is a step in the right direction. A real "Supply Side Economy" proposal will drive the Liberals into a massive hissy fit.

Mark Aaron

Emile: [ Trying to cover up poor Republican policies by trying to spread blame around never works with people who take time to learn the facts. ]

Thanks for the clarifications Emile.

Doyle Beard

in case you are not aware its tit for tat

Curtiss Brown

The Democrats "tax and spend" for government programs to provide for the public welfare.
The Republicans "borrrow and spend" to provide advantage for their rich buddies.

Yeah, they are both the same.

Doyle Beard

yep my grandfather told me in the 1940s "not a dimes worth of difference" back then when news was scarce with no 24 hrs day news coverage. most got their news from the radio which had morning and noon news. They knew back then about the politicians and not hit from 24 hr coverage.

Charles Olsen

People like Carlos and Emily are exactly what's wrong with American today. Blinded by party propaganda not facts.

Carlos Ponce

Charles, will you point out what is not a fact? The rest is my opinion. That's what these forums are for. As for party propaganda, Conservatives don't put out a list of talking points except for the Constitution and the law.

Jarvis Buckley

Carlos liberals will never ever change.

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