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YAWIIN (Yet Another Week In Idiot Nation)

Via Digby, a recent Rasmussen Reports survey of voters indicates that:

“62% (of voters) believe tax cuts are a better way to create jobs and fight unemployment. Only 21% believe that additional stimulus spending is a more effective tool.”

Now it’s one thing for the average American to not be able to comprehend Keynesian economics. That’s understandable, and that’s a huge, huge problem right now. Any sane economist will tell you that the only way out of this recession is via significant government spending. But most people aren’t going to understand that, and will have to take it on faith. And that can be hard, particularly with the right-wing pounding away at the idea that what we really need are tax cuts. Of course, no one seems to realize that the people promoting that idea are the ones who still have very comfortable jobs and incomes of more than $250K, and who indeed would benefit from those tax cuts while the other 98% of us would continue to have to struggle while the economy continued it’s nosedive.

But here’s the thing — you don’t need to take it on faith. Just look at the good old facts. Bill Clinton increased taxes in 1993 (mainly on the upper income groups it should be noted), and what happened over the next eight years? The U.S. saw the strongest surge in the economy in the history of the country. The stock market set all time records, median household income went up, unemployment hit record lows, new jobs were created at record levels — you can go on and on. Good times for everyone. Plus, what had been a huge government deficit was turned around to a surplus, the largest in history. And the national debt was actually paid down!

Now compare that to what happened when George Bush cut taxes by some $2 trillion. We immediately went from the most prosperous period in U.S. history to the worst period since the Great Depression. The economy did a complete 180 degree turnaround from what we had during the Clinton years. The stock market tanked, median household income stagnated, unemployment soared, job creation disappeared. And of course the budget surplus turned right back into a huge deficit, and the national debt was again hitting record levels.

So this isn’t rocket science here. Increase taxes and use the additional revenue wisely and the economy sky rockets. Decrease taxes and all hell breaks loose. It couldn’t be more obvious. And yet 62% of Americans can’t see that. Idiot Nation, indeed.