Will the Drunk Party go to rehab?

Republican officials and strategists debating how bad things really are for the Republican Party.  They break down between don't worry, we'll be fine and we've got a problem.  It is very instructive to note how they are divided, though...

GOP officials and strategists at party conferences last week offered sharply contrasting assessments of what went wrong, and of how difficult it will be to rebuild. Perhaps not surprisingly, the split tended to fall along generational lines.

Older party hands pointed to John McCain’s lackluster campaign and the difficult terrain on which Republicans found themselves battling this year, and they eschewed any sky-is-falling rhetoric.

The up-and-comers, meanwhile, sounded the alarm of impending permanent minority status unless the party changes.

The Republican Party is drunk.  They have gotten drunk on power, drunk on status, and drunk on their own BS.

The divide on the future of the Republican Party is not ideological (they basically agree on the core ideals), but between the old guard and the new guard.  This is ultimately a fight to maintain the status quo - to preserve the political fiefdoms of a party of drunks.

The old guard wants to maintain the status quo.  They believe a little "we've learned our lesson" will bring the pendulum swinging back to them.  That's been the approach for a long time now, and sometimes it has even gotten Republicans elected....though they never seem to make much progress with that political capital. 

The old guard is an alcoholic.  They don't need rehab; one more drink will ease the pain.

The new guard understands that Republicans didn't just have a difficult cycle.  They had a difficult cycle because Republicans have very real problems and merely waiting for a better political environment won't address those underlying problems.

The new guards are also alcoholics, but they are ready for rehab.

The new guard is right.  The questions are what kind of rehabilitation they have in mind, what the Republican Party looks like on the other side, and how sustainable a project that will be. 

The Drunk Party needs new ideas, not merely a new drug.

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Good call

The more I hear from conservatives that we are a "center-right" country, the less I believe it.  It sounds very defensive.  I don't think that Reagan's ideas are dead, but his coalition is.  Reagan was elected with a 90% white electorate.  Now, its just 74% and falling every year.  If we remain the party of old white guys, we have no future.

The New Guard is Coming

Palin age 44 (she's a woman and she talks funny, you know), Jindal  age 38 (he's Indian, you know), Steele age 50 (he's black, you know), Crist  age 52 (he's . . you know).

These are just some of the candidates, and they don't look like old white men.

The thing about old White Men...

...is they, in their youth, opted to put on a uniform and serve their nation. Unlike the self serving youth of today.  As a result we all have the freedom, for now, to get out here on comment boards and spew our opinions.   I, personally, don't expect that freedom  to last. 

How about you Lonestar Bill?  What have  you done?  Share with us what you have done for your Nation. Other than take from Her.    Please. 

I resent, in the strongest terms, the direction that this essay is taking the discussion.  Don't we have enough divisions?  Why begin throwing rocks at old folks?  This is a fight for the heart and soul of "our" GOP.  It has not one thing to do with age, race, gender, etc. 

If you don't want the contribution of  this "Old White Haired Guy" on your board, let me know Henke or Ruffini or any of the others who control this blog.   OK? You have access to my email, I'm sure.  Or the capabilities of blocking me. DO IT!    DD

Ho dare you DD

What have I done for my nation? Who the hell are you to ask!!!!????

While a spinal fusion at the age of 18 disqualified me from military service (I tried to join), I have always supported with my words and deeds those that do. My father, my Grandfather, my cousins, have all served and I am very proud of them.

My only son is currently a midshipman.

I have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and never asked for anything in return. I have never "taken" anything that this country has to give except for the opportunity is provides.

The weirdest thing about this rant of yours is that I'm on your side, stupid! I was pointing out to the author of the post that the ROP is changing in deed, not in word. We are electing the minorities. We are appointing blacks and hispanics to important positions.

I did not throw rocks at old white men. I am an old white man, jackass! I was pointing out that our (ROP) bullpen is full of up and comers that break the label that others put on us of being the party of old, rich white men.

I pity you and your misguided anger. Learn to read.

You have indeed asked for things in return

Like roads, police... i trust I needn't go on?

Maybe you haven't asked for anything special... ;-)


No need to point out the obvious. I think DD assumes I am taker of entitlements.

LS Bill, Yes, I accept your apology...

..."old white haired men" - we're people,  too! You do remember using that tacky terminology in your initial comment don't you?   As if there's something wrong with being one and that it "disqualifies" a person.   Don't try and deny that you were being disrespectful and downright snotty with your comments. Read your initial comment a few times.  If you're going to dish out harsh and unfair criticisms and stereotype then expect the same in return.  Whats the old saying?  "if you can't take it, don't dish it out".  And you continue with the name calling; "stupid"  and "jackass".  Don't you know that when you resort to name calling, you've lost the argument? 

This is not a battle between different age groups.  You'll find like minded people in all age brackets, genders, races, etc.  I'll wager, LS Bill that we would agree on much more than we disagree on despite our age differences.  So, yes LS Bill, I'll accept your apology.   I want you to get out a piece of paper and write 100 times, "I must eventually learn not to resort to the immature and snotty practice of name calling during a debate or argument". 

Also, the truth be known, I don't really have much hair anyway.  What little there is, is white however.  Don't you dare start talking bad about bald people now!  Ok?  I might get my feelings hurt all over again.  And then we'll have to start all over again and you'll end up having to apologize.  Again. DD 

Mr. Dowdy

I will repost my entire comment for your review:

"Palin age 44 (she's a woman and she talks funny, you know), Jindal  age 38 (he's Indian, you know), Steele age 50 (he's black, you know), Crist  age 52 (he's . . you know).

These are just some of the candidates, and they don't look like old white men."

I said they don't look like old white men, referring to the previous comment (first comment on the post). It was not me who broght it up originally.

I didn't say I don't like old white men.

I said nothing about hair. And now that I know you are folicly challanged, I will be sure to never bring up the subject of hair.

Can we agree that perhaps you misread my post and I over reacted? Sorry about the name calling but I felt you were challenging my patriotism.

Your apology is also accepted.


I opted to serve my country

They put me on welfare as a part of my paycheck.

I believe that other countries offer more to those who choose to serve.

RT its not too late to raise your right hand...

...and swear in.  Do it before Barry O guts the military and you no longer have the "opportunity" to fullfull your obligation.  You'll regret it one day if you don't.  DD

As Dr. David Brin, among others has documented

the military is already incapable of fielding one fully-staffed brigade.

And you think that Obama will somehow do worse than bush?

Give me a break.

Signing up for the military is the best thing I ever did

I've gotten to travel, learn a career, meet interesting people, and express my love for America and the ideals it represents.

The party needs to innovate

As we have seen in Ruffini's post: "Watch Obama Own the Internet All Over Again, the race is on over public networking.  And in this race there is only one rule: "He who has the bigger megaphone can proclaim the bigger truth." Obama and his team understand this rule very well, which is why they didn't allow web comments to his YouTube address. Even when they do eventually get around to allowing comments, it will not be on a public bases, but on a private, individual basis -- send me your comments @pres. obama.gov -- and thus lies an opportunity."

I would suggest the Republican Party create a public forum for the benefit of those sending in their unpublished comments to @pres.obama.gov. This public forum's intent will be to allow respondents to re-post their comments sent in to @pres.obama.gov on a public platform so that the public at large can form its own opinion on Pres. Obama's truths, and not simply have them shaped by the bigger megaphone.

ex animo



The Party Needs to Communicate

Jon, all fair comments but my question is, the country is 232 years old, how many new ideas can there be??  Sorry to say there are NOT new ideas, there are news ways to communicate to the American electorate old ideas.  Some are tried and true, others are not but enough time has passed that people forget or do not understand. Tell me what Barry has said over the past two years that is any different than what has been tried from Carter to FDR.  It has been repackaged and represented to the American people during times of crisis (where the dems capitalize the most).  Tell me how I am wrong.  Tell me how Barry won on NEW ideas and/or ideology.

On that note, things need to change but not the conservative ideology.



The old guard has tweeted

The old guard in a tweet:

On that note, things need to change but not the conservative ideology.


No, not the old guard.

Nice spin johnson, but you still haven't told me how Barry won on NEW ideas.  They are not new ideas!  Worst part of it all, he sold the electorate on the idea of tax cuts for 95% of the people. Wow does that smac of conservative ideology!! Of couse it is style over substance, because how to you give a tax cut to 45% of the electorate that pay no federal taxes.  Furthermore, when he lets the Bush tax cuts expire, that will amount to a tax increase. 

But it worked for Barry didn't it??  Or you could say the liberal media establishment and the dems were so sucessfull at shaping such a strong hatred for Bush that Barry won on the hatred of Bush alone.  I am sure there is truth in that statement as well.  No, I am not old guard but, in the last two elections where we have thrown conservative ideology out the windows, we have gotten a genuine ass kicking now haven't we? 

you want new ideas?

1. Advanced Liberalism

2. Stem Cell Research

3. Not spending 10+% of our GDP on health care.

4. Acknowledging that Friedman's ideas are bunk, and shifting whole hog towards Keynesian economics (as Friedman's ideas were just implemented under Bush, this was the first true test of whether increasing liquidity would actually aid the economy at the precipice of a depression. didn't work).

5. Civil Unions

6. Clean Coal (currently a pipedream, but it sure sounds good)

7. Internetizing the transparency of Gov't.

8. Reducing the size of gov't by eliminating 7million tax returns.

9. Comprehensive Immigration Reform -- we haven't had good immigration policies since the early 1900's, well outside of your range of options. 

10. Cap and Trade for global warming (not completely sure on this -- might have been Clinton who started muttering about this).

Adapt or die vs. trying to revive a world that is gone

I figured since the liberal MSM seems to be in the tank and high on Obama fumes, I thought the title woud refer to them.

Drunk is the wrong word... had the power of GOP gotten to their heads, they might have DONE SOMETHING... but instead we had our own 5th columnist RINOs in Congress that managed to turn a GOP majority that should have advanced solid conservative reforms into a do-nothing circus, and a hapless administration who thought being a 'good man' was good enough to keep faith ... All gone. The incompetent leftwing Pelosi has screwed up many things but until now gets to blame Bush.

Now its on the Democrats.

The divide on the future of the Republican Party is not ideological (they basically agree on the core ideals), but between the old guard and the new guard.  This is ultimately a fight to maintain the status quo - to preserve the political fiefdoms of a party of drunks.

The old guard wants to maintain the status quo.  They believe a little "we've learned our lesson" will bring the pendulum swinging back to them.  That's been the approach for a long time now, and sometimes it has even gotten Republicans elected....though they never seem to make much progress with that political capital. 

I agree. I also agree that the question of 'were we too conservative' or 'were we not conservative enough' is the wrong question when it comes to this election. We lost the edge on COMPETENCE and when you lose that, it doesnt matter what ideology you are selling.

The 'old guard' reminds me of the quote Newt used against the Dems when they lost in the mid1990s repeateing the line used against the Bourbons. Wish I could remember the original author ...

"They learnt nothing, they forgot nothing, they were locked in a world that was dead."

The GOP is in a state where over-panic can be harmful (we will regain majority support if and when we have a compelling vision and sell it with the right candidates)... BUT ACTION AND CHANGE IS VITAL TO SURVIVE AND PROSPER.  Adapt or die. Thanks for making NextRight a hangout for the "NewGuard Republicans" sign me up as a believer/member.

My own thoughts on where to go in the future can be found here:


Old Guard/New Guard...

...and then there are the  "others" out here in flyover country.  Yes, the voters. Or regarding 11/7/06 and 11/4/08 you'd have to say the "Non-Voters".    The millions that Stayed at Home.  What about them?  Ever consider what they want?  Why the GOP is driving so many of them away?   Its not that complicated.   The GOP Hierarchy has their priorities all wrong.   They grovel on the ground before the democrats to win their favor.  Pandering to every group that hates them.  They worship before the throne of World Opinion and internationalism.  And now they've embraced radical environmentalism.   The average Middle American finds this behavior repugnant and  disgusting.   But when it comes time for the GOP elitists to grow a spine who do you think they lash out at?  Their own Base!   Suicidal, Lisa Nowak style behavior by the GOP Hierarchy.  The only reason they got the votes they did this time is because most conservatives were merely voting "against" Obama.  

The GOP must get its dysfunctional house in order and soon.  The new RNC chair  must get his/her fingers firmly on the pulse of the average Middle American voter.   We can't wait until 2012.  We need to take back the house, the senate or both in 2010.  Its do-able but we must "purge" the globalist scoundrels [both young and old!] and move back to a party that puts Nation first.   DD



Old Guard/New Guard...

Here Here.......... Well stated!

Untill someone presents actual data...

about this mythical "average Middle American" (p.s.: why the caps? We get it, they are "real-er" than those on the coasts), I don't see how one can give arguments like this much weight.  Rather than a tool to move forward, they feel like a toddler's blanket; comforting to the toddler, but fundamentally useless. It oversimplifies things to a frightening degree.

Meet the new boss...

Interesting comments all around...

First, the new guard/old guard thing. Since the new and old agree on core principles, I can only imagine that the difference is that the new thinks that they should govern based on those principles, and not just campaign on this princples, and claim conservative princples as they open the treasury to corporate cronies. Hear, hear. Let's just see if they can get elected without promising said keys to said cronies, or else we get... the old guard but a little less jowly.

As to the response to the suggestion that the Republican Party is a party of old white guys...

"Palin age 44 (she's a woman and she talks funny, you know), Jindal  age 38 (he's Indian, you know), Steele age 50 (he's black, you know), Crist  age 52 (he's . . you know)."

You have just named four ANAMOLIES in the Republican Party.

Today, only 2% of all GOP voters are Latino. Only 1% of Republicans are Black. Barely 15% of GOP voters are under 35, and .35% are gay.

The GOP is built on an aging white electoral coalition, and the more they appeal to diversity, the less appealing they seem to their base. If the Republican party principals were as broad as Republicans like to pretend, their base would include a lot more young, non-white, gay people, and as we have already discussed, the principals are not what's wrong with the party, it's, what, old drunken white guys who have abused power when they had it so we need to replace them with new younger white guys who you hope won't abuse the power when they get it?

I think the principals of the Republican party are fine, but the expression of those principles in policy are myopic, disengenuos, and most importantly, have proven in recent history to fail in achieving the goals they purport to seek.


"Worst part of it all, he sold the electorate on the idea of tax cuts for 95% of the people. Wow does that smack of conservative ideology!!"

Whoa there Kemo Sabi, tax cuts are not a conservative principal, tax cuts for the suppliers (as in "supply-side economics") is the conservative core value for the last 30 years. Taxes for the median workers have been going higher since Reagan dropped the top bracket from 70% down to 28%. Remember the other side of that coin, The "Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) raised taxes by $37.5 billion per year, or nearly 1 percent of the gross domestic product, with the bulk of those new taxes being paid by middel income Americans? Obama's promise of a basically fiscally neutral tax plan which lowered taxes for middle income workers and raised them for high income is a tiny move toward reversal of supply-side policy, and something John McCain might have approved of before he had to kneel at the alter of the party base.

Supply-Side economics is a core principle of the Republican party, and it failed. I think the logic behind it is good, but you can have too much of a good thing, and we got so much supply-side tax policy that our middle income workers are being crushed under the burden that the wealthy no longer pay. And for all the platitudes about how the wealthy create jobs, it's just a flat out farce. the wealthy don't create jobs, demand creates jobs, the clever, who are often the wealthy as well, figure out where to best capitalize on demand. But you may have noticed that in a down economy, the wealthy horde wealth in cash and the like, waiting for the tide to turn. The middle income workers, as much as they would like to save, are going to consume with nearly every dollar they earn, not because they want to, but because it costs them pretty much everything to sustain. And when the middle income gets a raise, they spend it, and when they spend it, demand increases, production ramps up, and the economy goes positive. There's going to be a million new job cuts in the near future as a result of reduced demand. If I handed a businessman $5 billion, in this economy, he's not going to hire any more people, he's not going to buy capital equipment, he's going to horde the cash as insulation, and he'll start spending when the demand comes back.

I'd quote Keynes, but Republicans have been taught that Keynes was a Marxist, so how about this one....

Who said this?
"The subjects of every state ought to contribute toward the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state ....[As Henry Home (Lord Kames) has written, a goal of taxation should be to] 'remedy inequality of riches as much as possible, by relieving the poor and burdening the rich'."
I have asked people who made this statement, or have sent it out without attribution, and invariably, people tell me that it is almost certainly a quote of Marx, Engels, or one of their ideological followers.
The author of this quote?
The author of this quote is considered the father of capitalism.
The author of this quote is Adam Smith, from his book, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776
Short title - The Wealth of Nations
The most influential book on the subject of capitalism ever written.

supply-side economics - if it hurts when you do it, STOP DOING IT

Meet the new boss...**NEW**


Whoa there Kemo Sabi, tax cuts are not a conservative principal, tax cuts for the suppliers (as in "supplyside economics") is the conservative core value for the last 30 years.

Not so fast Pilgrim.  While I agree with you in part and my comment was perhaps a bit too broad with respect to Obama pitching conservervative ideology, you are making statements that just are not based on fact. 

i.e. "Taxes for the median workers have been going higher since Reagan dropped the top bracket from 70% down to 28%" and "Supply-Side economics is a core principle of the Republican party, and it failed."

The fact is per the IRS publication that you can check for yourself in the link provided below, the rich has always paid there fair share of taxes and in fact, has steadily seen an increase in the share of federal taxes paid every year since 1986 (including the W years).  This clearly shows the top 5 percent of income earners paid 60 percent of all federal tax collections and the bottom entire 50 percent have steadily paid less through the years and now stand at 3 percent of federal tax collection.  Source: IRS, Statistics of Income Division, January 2008.  www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/05in05tr.xls

Here is another example:

This is the politics of envy the libs and dems are using it to buy votes. 

Your comments "[As Henry Home (Lord Kames) has written, a goal of taxation should be to] 'remedy inequality of riches as much as possible, by relieving the poor and burdening the rich'."  As the IRS data indicates, the bottom 50% pay no federal income taxes with the current system we have.  So STOP spreading the politics of envy.  You have your wish, the bottom 50% have no stake in the Federal system.

I agree with your Adam Smith comment that this is both not conservative and Un-American.  This is where you lose me becaue you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. Our forefathers must be rolling in their graves as they believed everyone that recieves benefit from the Federal Govt should have a stake in it and help to pay for it. 

As far as supply side economics go, first of all let me say that I personally know of NO poor person that has created a job. That being said, economic growth can be most effectively created using incentives for people to produce (supply) goods and services by optimizing the marginal tax rates of those with high-incomes and capital who are deemed as most likely to increase supply and thus spur growth.  Supply side economics is the engine for increasing productivity and creating the capital investments  that further spur economic growth and improvements to technology that further improves productivity.  Do you really believe it was the poor people that advanced computers and technology that helped to fuel the growth cycle the past 30 years? Where do you think the 30 year growth boom came from my friend.  It wasn't Keynesian macroeconomic policy my friend.

Best regards,

Doug Peterson


that ain't the middle class

middle class starts at $200,000. Get your numbers straight. I see no reason that the working class, who keeps on getting poorer, should have to pay more EVEN THOUGH there is continuing stratification of our society. Force them to pay too much, shut down the hope of advancement, and the wealthy will burn. For it is not the absolute poorness that caused the French Revolution, but the relative decline of the middle class.

Supply side economics is idiotic and hasn't worked since JFK (when the rich had a marginal tax rate of 90%, mind). If you give a rich person a hundred dollars, they are likely to intelligently invest it. WHICH WON'T BE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Golly gee, ain't that funny. Developing economies have a higher rate of return.

This is really not rocket science, and it is backed up by the stock market indices (leave out the last year or two and the destabilizing effect of food riots).

That ain't the middle class - Where the hell are you coming from

Good golly RisingTide......YOU are the one that needs to get your numbers straight.  I try like hell to be diplomatic but.......I cannot be civil any longer.  You surely are a liberal hack and a not very smart hack at that.  But, in the interest of serving the handicapped (as in mental midget) I will make a few counter points. 

 - $200,000 would put you in the top 3 percent of AGI.  Look at the tax tables from the IRS.

 - Supply side is what fueled the great expansion and major strides this country has made in productivity over the past 30 years.  Further, this is called return on investment as business used the supply side tax incentives to purchase new equipment, modernized their factories, and was the catalyst for the advancement of computers in the work place that also allowed business to make significant gains in efficiency.

 - Lastly, emerging economies has historically paid higher returns you idiotic moran.  The reason is the high degree of risk involved when investing in emerging economies. 

GO back to the Daily KOS where you belong.


as our society grows ever more pyrimidal

it should not surprise any of us that the threshold for middle class changes. I'm using an admittedly older idea of what middle class is, and you can blame California for the virtual income trap (who ever said all the income would be reported?).


In terms of financial wealth and income, the professional middle class fits in the top third, when excluding the top 5% of American society.[13] According to sociologists such as Dennis Gilbert, James Henslin, Joseph Hickey, and William Thompson, the upper middle class constitutes 15% of the population.[2]

The upper middle class has grown… and its composition has changed. Increasingly salaried managers and professionals have replaced individual business owners and independent professionals. The key to the success of the upper-middle-class is the growing importance of educational certification… its lifestyles and opinions are becoming increasingly normative for the whole society. It is in fact a porous class, open to people… who earn the right credentials.

Dennis Gilbert, The American Class Structure, 1998.[14]

As we've seen more social stratification and the erosion of lower middle class jobs, the threshold for what middle class is has shifted.

As a sidenote, and a warning that averages are kinda silly... Physicists are the highest earning professionals. That's above doctors and lawyers. ;-)

I'm sure that I can get a better estimate by looking at wealth and not income. Because that's a better indication of how stable a household is -- *cough* tv writers are NOT stable, no matter the income.


If something will advance productivity at minimal expense, a company will buy it. This is why a lot of well-run small businesses still run on 486s. And why businesses never buy new cars. I'd wager money supply has a lot more to do with how much investment a business does than tax breaks. If you can show otherwise, please post the statistics of commercial paper usage versus tax cuts.

From what I've seen, the risk in investing in American blue chips seems about as equivalent as investing in the developing markets. In good times, there is no risk, in bad times, well, everything is a bad investment.

and you thought our bailout was a failure (which it was)

the Europeans are guaranteeing all deposits -- thus providing all of the wealthy with safe havens for hiding their money until the deflation stops.

December is Deflation Day, when all the hedge funds burn.

Good Job DP

Now why in the HELL can you express that so clearly and simply and John McCain could not?

As far as this comment (from CS):

"The GOP is built on an aging white electoral coalition, and the more they appeal to diversity, the less appealing they seem to their base."

Insulting to those of us in "the base". And total BS. Sara Palin turned that thinking on its ear. A young woman fired up the base, not an old white man. The implication that the GOP base is racist is just dead wrong. Anyone that can articulate conservative principles has a shot.

And I do not know why we don't point out that there is not an elected black governor or senator (once Obama gives up his seat) in the US today from either party.

That came from a liberal troll!

His so-called economic anaylsis, and his hateful comments about the GOP base or simply regurgitated DNC talking points.  He thinks if dresses this up differently and begin with a Lone Ranger quote, that it will make us believe them.  He wants us to believe that the One (who is yet to actually do anything) has simply created permanent majority for the Dems. Lets look at 2010 and 2012 before you liberals start making grandiose claims.

SOME of the gop base is racist

elsewise Corker's ads wouldn't have worked. The southern strategy worked. Otherwise, the southern states, who voted with FDR and really haven't changed their views on Oz or other economic populist ideas, would be voting Democratic.

Saxby Campaign

Great post and comments guys.  One thing though, we need to get active for an upcoming election, the GA Senate race.  We've got to get involve and do all we can to prevent a Democrat-controlled Congress.  This firewall NEEDS to hold.  It's likely our last hope this cycle. 

I'm a poor graduate student, but I'm giving $5 a week at Saxby.org to help out in my small way.  I'm in the Midwest, but I've got friends in GA.  I'm calling them and emailing them to do my part to get out the vote to keep this seat.  Everybody, this is our chance, we've got to help out.

The Drunk Party


Once again, you are spot on!  What I am not yet hearing from anyone, however, is any kind of real idea for how the GOP can regain its lost ground among suburban voters (now including the Southern suburbs) and among the educated, entrepreneur/creative classes.  These should be our people--they used to be--but they no longer are and no one seems to really be asking WHY.

It seems to me that any effort at rebuilding or getting out of our present hole must address this adverse trend which has been evident at an accelerating rate since the 1992 election.

You have decided to pander to the haters

(Borderers, in the more common parlance).

You have failed to produce anything approaching a sound economic policy -- and twenty years later, we're wise to you.

We, the creative class, are falling more behind -- and the rich keep on getting richer. Our society is stratifying.

Oh, and to top it all off, you guys want to spy on us!

I like to vote for a pragmatic party, and that's simply not a Southern trait (both white and black southern culture is very romantic). The midwestern base, the new england base of the former republican party went Democratic. They like good fiscal policy, a LOT. They don't particularly care about socially divisive issues.

So give us some good ideas, and we'll listen.

(you is the general, global you. not a personal attack)

Supply-side failure

you are making statements that just are not based on fact. 

i.e. "Taxes for the median workers have been going higher since Reagan dropped the top bracket from 70% down to 28%" and

"Supply-Side economics is a core principle of the Republican party, and it failed."

You're right, my statement, as it stands, is inaccurate. The total federal tax rate for median workers has gone down from around 18% to 14% since Reagan took office.  I should have been more precise as to why I believe the middle income workers are being squeezed by supply-side policy. The result of supply-side policy has been decent GDP growth and a dramatic increase in the earnings of the top earners, 221% for the top 1% (80% for the top quintile), while at the same time, median wages have increased by only 21%. Both groups are paying lower total federal tax rates, but because of the deficit spending that came along with supply side policies, we have a hidden tax born by all American but weighing most heavily on middle income incomes, this is the increase on the proportion of the federal expenditures that go to debt service, and the decrease in infrastructure spending, all serving to push down wages, or keep them down as it were. Coupled with another aspect of supply-side policy, the decided antogonism toward labor groups, have all come together to create a squeeze on the middle class. And while the middle income groups tried hard to do it's part, spending more in the face of stagnant incomes, it's finally broken down with the credit crisis, because for the last few years, income growth went from being small to being negative, and consumers, which account for 70% of our economy, were actually borrowing money to increase consumption, and consumption has slowed down painfully, and there is no money to spark that consumption, except for short term stimulus and massive long term infrastructure projects with labor paid for by deficit spending. Deficit spending which should of course be the order of the day when facing a recession, but made harder when he have spent trillions over the budget during periods of decent GDP growth.

If supply-side theory worked, the 231% increase of income of the top 1% would have trickled down to create significant wage growth in the middle, expanding the tax base, precluding the need for deficit spending, but those wage earners between the first and fourth and fourth quintiles have seen slow relative wage or negative real wage growth for the last 30 years.

Compare this to wage growth prior to the wholesale application of supply-side policy

It wasn't always this way.  During the period between the end of WWII and the 1970s, the poor and middle-class did well in America.  The group that saw the greatest growth over that period was the bottom quintile, which grew 120%.  The top 20% saw their income grow 94%, the least of any quintile. Still, every income category grew robustly during this period, when laws promoted labor protections and taxed the wealthy at substantially higher rates. 

I know readers are going to cry "class warfare, who cares how much wealthier the wealthier are getting as long their income is growing, that's the politics of envy." In point of fact, it's not. The problem is simple, pragmatic, sustainability, or in the case of supply-side theory, unsustainability. When 70% of your economy is based on consumption, you cannot continue to favor the suppliers and expect consumption to continue to grow. This is not milking the cow, this is killing the cow. Suppliers are not the engine of our economy, consumers are. Suppliers can address the demand of consumers and grow extremely wealthy, and that's great for our economy, but if the governmental policies are such that they reduce the long term ability of consumers to continue growing consumption, the overall economy will spiral, slowly or quickly, downward.

Supply-side policies aren't all bad, and I don't suggest going back to the 1950's when the median fmaily paid 10% in total federal taxes and the top 1% paid 76%, but there needs to be a balance. We can't continue with this policy of pushing back at workers at every turn, from antagonism toward labor groups, to tax policy, to offshoring, to a failure to address skyrocketing healthcare costs, education costs, and energy costs, borrowing costs. Virtually everything is working against American workers, who, for their part are working more hours per day, and more days per year than ever before, and are more productive than they have ever been.

This isn't class warfare, if it were, the rich have already won. This is not about envy, for my part I'm well into the top quintile. But I recognize that my income is dependent on the economy, and the economy is dependent on consumption growth, and consumption growth is dependent on real income growth of the consumption class, and that income growth is dependent on policies that favor not the suppliers, but the consumers.

Supply-side economics failed because the trickle never happened, workers enjoyed slower wage growth under these policies than at any time since the Great Depression. It's time for some demand side economic policies. Just 21% in total real wage growth since Reagan started the supply-side express (most of those gains occurred under Clinton) when the median income rose 104% in the period between 1945 and 1973. Prior to the application of supply-side theory as an economic policy, American workers wages kept pace with the per-capita GDP, since then, it has fallen off signficantly.

Republicans can, and should continue to be the pro-business party, but it's not in the interests of America's businesses to crush the life out of the engine that keeps those businesses running.

It's time for demand-side policy.

Re:Will the Drunk Party go to rehab?

This is a nice comparison between the old and the new and it really is a great one hanging around the key rehabilitaion .



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