Via karoli’s blog on the website we learn a stunning bit of information found in a speech given by John Kerry to the Center for American Progress:

If the Clinton tax rates had remained in effect, the entire national debt would have been paid off by 2012

I had long wondered about something like this being true. Back in June of 2009 when I wrote: Whose Deficit Is It? I was stunned by the 673 billion dollar figure for the Bush contribution to the deficit in the NY Times How Trillion-Dollar Deficits Were Created chart (and I was also always bothered by the question ‘just who gives a tax-cut in the middle of a war‘ question too). I wondered had we not instituted those tax cut just where would we be today?

While just a great robust and informative speech that is well worth listening to in it’s entirety if you have only limited time listen to the section running from 24:00 to 30:00 in which the realization above about the Clinton tax rates appears and how we are ignoring the potential in the world’s future energy market and ceding the leading position to China.

Some excerpts from karoli’s C&L article and the video of the Kerry speech given in front of the Center for American Progress:

John Kerry Serves Up a Reality Check

by karoli

John Kerry gave a speech last week at the Center for American Progress that should become the marching song for every liberal in this country. He was clear: The last 10 years have cost us too much, and if the hyper-partisan tone doesn’t change to one of true concern for the direction of this country, we will cede any chance to lead to others.

He hits it all: Infrastructure, energy, debt, climate change. Every point. The one that hit home for me was when he talked about where we might have been, had Bush and the Republicans not unwound progress made during the Clinton administration.

Here’s an example. We talk about how the Clinton tax rates generated a surplus, but we stop there. We don’t talk about the fact that if the Clinton tax rates had remained in effect, the entire national debt would have been paid off by 2012. Imagine what a difference that would have made in today’s dialogue. And more importantly, why aren’t we hammering this home every single time one of those self-righteous Republican buffoons stands up and talks about how our national debt is killing the country?

Kerry points out that we would be at a point where our financial position would be at it’s strongest point ever. What would that have meant when (or if) the bottom fell out of the economy? Most assuredly, we wouldn’t have to be speaking of debt retirement and austerity.

We need to start going there. This shouldn’t be swept under the rug. I can’t recommend this highly enough. Take an hour out of your day and watch Kerry’s speech. He really hits hard on the cost of NOT investing in the country and how it puts us behind on a global basis every single day.

Check out this headline from January 26, 2000, just 11 years ago:

Consumer Confidence Hits an All-Time High; Jobs Called ‘Plentiful’ : Clinton Sees An Early Payoff of U.S. Debt

Compare it to today’s headlines (this one, from the Wall Street Journal, one of the biggest tax-cut pimps):

U.S. Ran $80 Billion Budget Deficit in December

I think we need to give Republicans full credit for everything they did for to us. We should be at least as loud as the anti-hcr folks are, and we should repeat it every single day in public, especially to anyone who still thinks Republicans are fiscally responsible.

On almost every front that I can think of Republicans have just plain old out-marketed Democrats and Liberals. They have a great talented team working on their messaging we know that. Frank Luntz* was the architect of the Republican talking points and language regarding global warming and the Frank Luntz term "Climate Change" and he most recently worked with them on their demonization of health care reform. From the Wikipedia article on Luntz:

"Luntz was awarded the 2010 PolitiFact Lie of the Year award for his promotion of the phrase ‘government takeover‘ to refer to healthcare reform, starting in the spring of 2009. "’Takeovers are like coups,’ Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. ‘They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom.’" — (PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year: ‘A government takeover of health care’)

Will Republicans now recruit him to work on their economic propaganda babble now too?

The Republican/Conservative trickle down economic meme that with tax cuts the rich will invest in business and create new jobs is just a discredited joke and Democrats and Progressives need to get that message out.

The key to our future is economic truths and embracing the a new age of not just energy independence but energy leadership and that means a better consistent and persistent marketing message from Democrats and Progressives.

(*— While yes Frank Luntz was the architect of the Republican message on global warming he later recanted and changed his position in 2006 FRANK LUNTZ RECANTS: Changes Position on Global Warming: Framing Science. Given that and what I wrote earlier about Wendell Potter I have to wonder will Frank Luntz again recant and change his position on health care and maybe even work for the "good guys" on the economy? Don’t count on it.)

Share This