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Bushenomics

Definition: the use of the government to take regular people's money and give it to rich people and corporations.

| Tue Nov. 15, 2005 4:00 AM EST
It is truly time to change the way we speak about this administration's economic policies. The old words -- conservative, liberal, Keynesian, stimulus, supply side, job creation, deficits, deficit reduction and so on -- just swirl around and help them hide the truth in the fog.

Bushenomics is something different. It is also very simple.

Bushenomics is the use of the government to take regular people's money and give it to rich people and corporations.

The genius of Bushenomics has been selling it to the voters as something that's good for them.

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Any appearance of benefits to low and middle income people -- or for that matter to the country as a whole -- is only there to sell the programs. Any actual benefits will be more than offset by increases in other taxes, the loss of services and by the accumulation of debts.

The story that tax cuts for the rich will stimulate the economy so much that it will solve all problems is bogus. It was originally called Trickle Down economics, an inadvertently apt right wing euphemism for piss on everyone else. It was changed to Supply Side Economics. The old Bush called it voodoo economics. The current Bush calls each tax cut a "jobs and stimulus" package.

This Bush even maintains that it works. In the words of the White House website, in bold face and using title case, "the president's policies have helped create jobs, growth, and opportunity."

Compared to what? The president would like us to compare it to an imaginary alternative world called how-much-worse-it-would-have-been-without-my-initiatives. But it makes more sense to look for some real world comparison. The closest thing in time and kind is the previous administration.

Under Clinton, 18,000,000 new jobs were created. The Dow Jones average was 320% higher when he left office than it was when he came in. The budget had gone from a record deficit to the first surplus since 1969.

Under Bush the only increase in jobs has come from government expansion. There has actually been a decrease in the number of private sector jobs. Adjusted for inflation, the Dow Jones has gone down about 8.6%.

Ronald Reagan changed course after one year. Bush's policies have failed to fulfill their promises year after year for five years.

Why does this administration persist? If we use their language -- stimulus and jobs and tax cuts lead to deficit reduction -- or the standard language of economics, the discussion disintegrates into a food fight, except that it's statistics and buzz words being thrown around the lunch room.

If we forget all that, just look at what they've done, then make up our own description, it's clear and simple.

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