Elections have consequences and replacing the senate majority leader with an ideological demagogue would slow or stop economic growth in Nevada for years to come.
Sharon Angle, and other Tea Partiers, continue to hype the discredited supply side-economic theories popularized in1980 as Reaganomics while also distorting initiatives important to progressives and conservatives alike.
Economic downturns are cyclical, but Republican adherence to supply-side economic principles in the form of tax cuts, and economic incentives for the rich, coupled with huge spending increases while borrowing to pay for the deficits, has resulted in four recessions since 1980.
The latest economic cycle was driven into a recession in December 2007 by President George W. Bush’s $1.8 trillion tax cuts, a $3 trillion war in the Middle-East and Republican initiatives to deregulate Wall Street and the $1.5 trillion home mortgage market. The deregulation of the mortgage market eventually caused the related securities market to collapse.
While the recession officially ended in July 2009, middle class income and their investments collapsed while the wealth of a few grew exponentially. This created the greatest economic disparity in wealth since before the Great Depression and the greatest deficits ever in American history. Ultimately Congress was forced to fund the deficits with money borrowed from places like China and Japan
Eventually, consumer spending dried up, and the economy dropped into a recession which officially ended in 2009. Nevada, like the rest of the Nation, has been recovering ever since.
When the economy collapsed Republicans were forced to face the consequences and President George W. Bush signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). It’s primary focus was to keep the financial market from collapsing but TARP also served to hide Wall Street financial irregularities.
Under President Barack Obama, and the leadership of Senator Reid, borrowers are paying back their loans and investigations are underway into mortgage irregularities. Current estimates suggest a profit may be made from the loans.
While Angle, and others, disparage the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the legislation has saved or created 1.6 to 1.8 million jobs, and made over $3 billion in tax reductions, grants, loans, and entitlement funding available. This effort will return benefits to the treasury in terms of lower individual tax rates from a larger taxpayer pool.
Senator Reid, has directed some $1.5 billion in grants and loans from the Act to Nevada through tax relief, assistance to states with health care costs, incentives for small business lending and funding to jump-start highway construction, community revitalization and alternative energy initiatives. These initiatives have led to the creation or preservation of over 29,000 jobs in Nevada with more to come.
While Angle, and others, criticize recent health care reform as being too expensive, in fact, the net effect will be a reduction in the federal deficit by $143 billion over the first decade while both expanding health care and correcting deficiencies in that industry.
Certainly, a lot remains to be done, but Moody’s.com estimates that Nevada’s population will grow by as much as 1.2 million by 2030, an increase of about 45 percent because of low house prices and a large labor pool. This will attract and diversify Nevada’s business base and supplement Senator Reid’s Nevada based initiatives.
Republicans in general and Tea Partier Angle in particular want voters to believe that they would better serve Nevadans but a review of Bureau of Labor statistics shows that every Democratic reign, from 1948 to 2010, reduced unemployment and every Republican reign, except Reagan/Bush 41 (but not by much), increased it during their time in office. Carter might have had an opportunity to do better, but he only had one term to clean up Nixon’s disaster.
All the facts show that Majority Leader Reid is better at virtually every economic task that is important to both progressive and conservative Nevadans. If a voter finds the Tea Party and conservative mantra of lower taxes, smaller government, and a fast growing economy satisfying they should vote Democratic in general and for Reid in particular in the upcoming November 2nd election.
Michael M. McGreer writes on public policy. Join his blog at: http://www.generations.typepad.com/