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PUBLIC OPINION > Insourcing Could Bring Back Jobs

News 2012/02/17 14:00:00
With unemployment still in the red zone, outsourcing is a major part of the political debate. Why are companies like Apple employing thousands of manufacturers overseas when Americans need jobs? For many companies, it's the bottom line. That's why President Obama is trying to pull back jobs by removing tax breaks for outsourcing and offering incentives to businesses who put Americans first and bring the jobs back home. It would mean more spending, but if it means higher rates of employment, it could be worth it. We asked SodaHeads if they thought "insourcing" through incentives will work.

Will 'Insourcing' Incentives Bring Jobs Back Home?



60% Think It Could Work

It seems like it would make sense. Offer businesses more money for keeping it local, and they'll keep it local. Of course, there's no way to know at this point whether the incentives are going to be enough to match the edge corporations get from outsourcing labor-intensive jobs. Insourcing could help the problem, but that doesn't mean it would solve it. One commenter wrote, "We hope our country will thrive; but if we have no pride in our country, no patriotism, or willingness to work together for the common good; how will we win the war on poverty?"



Liberals Love It

A staggering 94% of liberal respondents voted in favor of the incentives, with progressives trailing by about 10%. Conservatives were less thrilled, with only 26% of them showing support. They were mainly concerned about the new incentives -- most comments still showed support for removing the outsourcing incentives.

Men Are More Divided

The gender gap wasn't very big, but male voters appear to be split on the issue with 54% support. Women helped pull the overall number up by its bootstraps with 63% support.



Smokers Say No

Technically, 47% in favor is withing the margin of error, but it's still evidence that smokers are less impressed with the idea than most. 62% of nonsmokers voted in favor of the idea, while smokers fell just short of supporting it. Drinkers were still in favor.


If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our original poll about insourcing. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • MW121 2012/02/17 21:46:23
    MW121
    +7
    It's not just incentives to keep jobs here, it's everything else.. Healthcare, regulations, taxes.. It just costs too much to hire anyone here in the states.. At the end of the day, it's all about bottom line and when administrations like this is anti buisness, there is no incentive to invest in more employment rather invest in ways to be effective, productive and profitable without having to hire full time.. That's what I've been doing.. Everything this administration wants to do is increase taxes.. There is no incentive to hire.. Everytime there's more and more increaseing in taxes or fee's or regulations, it just gets pushed down to the employees, in reduced wages, hours, benefits, increase in prices, etc.. How do you expect companies to keep hiring..

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  • WGN V~POTL~... 2012/02/20 19:51:46
    WGN
    But you make a point for what I am saying with your post. If, with laying off people they are making more profit, they could be still employing those people and making less profit, and still staying in business. It is the top that is getting the rewards from that profit, not those who will spend it and put it back into the economy.
    This is what is wrong with the current capitalism. It still believes that the top need to retain money and power in order for business to succeed. It just is not so, but they will try no other way as it means less money now and more later, and that is not what the greedy want.
  • Old Geecer 2012/02/19 17:59:07
    Old Geecer
    Corporations rule our Country and our Government, we have to much money setting in Wall Street and stupid regulations that our representatives have imposed upon us, instead of honoring commitment they made to we the people our Government is committed to large Corporations which is going to take us into bankruptcy and will be the end of the American dream. For the last two decades this Country has been in a destructive mote and it will completely destroy this Country. This is because our representative are more concerned about their own greed for wealth then the people they are supposed to represent, both parties are too blame because every time they start talking to the people its all for the parties and not what is good for "We The People" but is about how to make Corporations bigger.
    Unemployment to large Corporations (and our Government) is no concern to them as long as they are making money, as my grandfather once told me; "when we have ideas thinging for us we are in trouble", and Washington is over run with them!
  • william Matthews 2012/02/19 16:17:51
  • Chi~Cat 2012/02/19 15:31:22
    Chi~Cat
    Not for nothing: this was epidemic for decades. Really, who should be surprised? Visas paid for...Man, come on.
  • JanHopkins 2012/02/19 10:01:57
    JanHopkins
    +2
    I'm not a business person so I don't have the answer. Why not ask the corporations why they outsourced and try to work something out.
  • SaltySo... JanHopkins 2012/02/20 16:03:15
    SaltySodahead7
    When a system is CREATED that rewards screwing the American worker and skipping out on paying your share of taxes, you get this result. Its not overly complicated. Its far cheaper to use slave labor outside of the US. Now they are trying to kill the last of the unions so they won't have any resistance in bringing US into a slave economy.
  • He'a: ka'ka:' 2012/02/19 05:49:03
    He'a: ka'ka:'
    +2
    YES.I lost my job to outsourcing.
  • shadow 2012/02/19 05:45:54
    shadow
    +1
    Our current government is bent on dealing the final blow to break America's back. Out sourcing needs to stop. Period. We need to STOP gouging they eyes out of American businesses. If they intend to not return to the US then we need to levy a higher tax on the import of their products. If we had been reasonable about their taxes in the first place they would not have left. Bring our jobs back home or make them move out and let us establish our own companies again.
  • WGN shadow 2012/02/20 00:45:30
    WGN
    +2
    But it was Reagan who made outsourcing easier and more cost effective (1983), allowing for the loss of 12 million high paying middle class jobs. The current administration has had nothing to do with it.
  • shadow WGN 2012/02/21 04:39:37
    shadow
    While outsourcing was made easier under Reagan... it was under Clinton (1993 - 2001) where it exploded out of control...

    I appreciate your trying to twist the facts... but this is not the place to do it...

    http://www.rttsweb.com/outsou... This should provide you with plenty of accurate stats to chew on...
  • WGN shadow 2012/02/21 13:30:27
    WGN
    But we also had a balanced budget, a budget surplus, and more jobs created under Clinton, so outsourcing was not the broblem it is now, or was under Reagan.
    Statistics can prove any point, just change the wording.

    You seem to confuse the idea of outsourcing with the NAFTA agreement. Outsourcing started long before Clinton and NAFTA.

    "Here is the most annoying fact: it was Reagan who legitimized deficit spending. It is under Reagan’s watch that the US deficit ballooned from $997 billion to $2.85 trillion dollars — more than all prior presidents combined. It is preposterous to ignore the origins of the issue and blame the sorry state of affairs on Democrats."

    How Reagan Sold The United States Piece By Piece
    February 8, 2012 by Harry Deshpande

    One thing that the libertarians are extremely good at is channeling the anger at Democrats for the Republican misdeeds. The methodology is rather simple and this is how it works.
    1.Take any action where the government made a big boo-boo!
    2.Keep talking about the mistake and how that mistake would not have happened if there was no government.
    3.The job is almost done when (2) is established since it is well known that every Libertine and a large section of Republicans are against government interference.
    4.Convert people’s mistrust of government ...









    But we also had a balanced budget, a budget surplus, and more jobs created under Clinton, so outsourcing was not the broblem it is now, or was under Reagan.
    Statistics can prove any point, just change the wording.

    You seem to confuse the idea of outsourcing with the NAFTA agreement. Outsourcing started long before Clinton and NAFTA.

    "Here is the most annoying fact: it was Reagan who legitimized deficit spending. It is under Reagan’s watch that the US deficit ballooned from $997 billion to $2.85 trillion dollars — more than all prior presidents combined. It is preposterous to ignore the origins of the issue and blame the sorry state of affairs on Democrats."

    How Reagan Sold The United States Piece By Piece
    February 8, 2012 by Harry Deshpande

    One thing that the libertarians are extremely good at is channeling the anger at Democrats for the Republican misdeeds. The methodology is rather simple and this is how it works.
    1.Take any action where the government made a big boo-boo!
    2.Keep talking about the mistake and how that mistake would not have happened if there was no government.
    3.The job is almost done when (2) is established since it is well known that every Libertine and a large section of Republicans are against government interference.
    4.Convert people’s mistrust of government into support for Republicans.

    Take the recent racist super bowl ad; this advertisement is an excellent example of Republicans selling their country and blaming it on Democrats. No one denies that there is some truth behind the accusations; Americans jobs are getting outsourced, it is not a fair competition, and some countries are getting richer at America’s expense. The question is why blame it on Democrats? After all, was it not Ronald Reagan who started the process of selling this country?

    It was Reagan who echoed Ayn Rand‘s philosophy that one who is poor is also lazy and one who is lazy is poor as well. Unemployment rates reached double digits during his presidency. The gap between rich and poor increased under his watch and it was his policies that essentially led to the stock market crash of 1987. While rightly complaining that excessive government interference leads to misallocation of resources, Reaganomics conveniently forgets that excessive reliance on private markets leads to misallocation in the form of large scale speculations. Speculations and get rich quick schemes become the way of life — exactly how the excesses of Wall Street we see today began under Reagan.

    It is not a coincidence that China’s progress started during Reagan presidency. It was Reagan who started the process of deregulation that ultimately resulted in American jobs being outsourced all over the world and, a by the end of his era, there was a large increase in crappy jobs for Americans.

    It’s not only China; when I look back on my child hood in India, I remember wealth flowing into the country at a rapid pace after 1980. From more than a dozen people living in three rooms, my extended family went to an apartment per family member within 20 years. Imagine this, and we are not even rich, we are still middle class. This growth was certainly not reciprocated in United States?

    Here is the most annoying fact: it was Reagan who legitimized deficit spending. It is under Reagan’s watch that the US deficit ballooned from $997 billion to $2.85 trillion dollars — more than all prior presidents combined. It is preposterous to ignore the origins of the issue and blame the sorry state of affairs on Democrats.
    (more)
  • shadow WGN 2012/02/21 22:42:18
    shadow
    I am not confused in the least.

    You, however, need to go back to school and learn how to properly quote. It is not enough to cite an article written my someone else and leave off the quotes, perhaps, in the hopes that someone or everyone will think at some point you are voicing your opinion. To do less than quote another's work properly is plagiarism and against the T & C of Sodahead. Go back and read the rules again.

    In addition, you must think that many people can not remember back to Clinton's rein. Was it not enough that he defiled the Office with his disgusting behavior and lies? Now you want to serve Wild Willy up as a saint just because he is a Democrat... You do make me laugh.

    Here are the undisputed facts of who did what...

    "President Party change in deficit years in office avg. change in deficit
    B.H.Obama D ($329,164,144,030) 2 ($164,582,072,015)
    G.W.Bush R $803,424,990,821 8 $100,428,123,853
    G.W.Bush R $397,130,927,169 7 $56,732,989,596
    1st 7 years
    W.J.Clinton D ($164,787,361,848) 8 ($20,598,420,231)
    G.H.W.Bush R $34,326,854,936 4 $8,581,713,734
    R.Reagan R $106,541,043,476 8 $13,317,630,435
    J.Carter D ($4,328,272,827) 4 ($1,082,068,207)
    G.Ford R $69,190,733,924 3 $23,063,577,975
    R.M.Nixon R $17,581,577,773 5 $2,930,262,962
    L.B.Johnson D ($2,146,225...








    I am not confused in the least.

    You, however, need to go back to school and learn how to properly quote. It is not enough to cite an article written my someone else and leave off the quotes, perhaps, in the hopes that someone or everyone will think at some point you are voicing your opinion. To do less than quote another's work properly is plagiarism and against the T & C of Sodahead. Go back and read the rules again.

    In addition, you must think that many people can not remember back to Clinton's rein. Was it not enough that he defiled the Office with his disgusting behavior and lies? Now you want to serve Wild Willy up as a saint just because he is a Democrat... You do make me laugh.

    Here are the undisputed facts of who did what...

    "President Party change in deficit years in office avg. change in deficit
    B.H.Obama D ($329,164,144,030) 2 ($164,582,072,015)
    G.W.Bush R $803,424,990,821 8 $100,428,123,853
    G.W.Bush R $397,130,927,169 7 $56,732,989,596
    1st 7 years
    W.J.Clinton D ($164,787,361,848) 8 ($20,598,420,231)
    G.H.W.Bush R $34,326,854,936 4 $8,581,713,734
    R.Reagan R $106,541,043,476 8 $13,317,630,435
    J.Carter D ($4,328,272,827) 4 ($1,082,068,207)
    G.Ford R $69,190,733,924 3 $23,063,577,975
    R.M.Nixon R $17,581,577,773 5 $2,930,262,962
    L.B.Johnson D ($2,146,225,006) 5 ($429,245,001)
    J.F.Kennedy D $10,051,478,109 3 $3,350,492,703"

    http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloc...

    We do not need more government mis-management. We need less government PERIOD. Or, let me re-phrase that... We need less crooked government. We do not need government involved in teaching our children, managing our money or forcing us to purchase goods that they refuse to purchase themselves.

    I prefer NOT to deal with your opinions, but rather, the facts... just the facts...

    Let me stop now... you might be deaf... so are you hearing me yet?
    (more)
  • DTJ WGN 2012/03/04 19:33:34
    DTJ
    People keep repeating the lie that we had a surplus under Bill Clinton. There was never a surplus. Had there been an actual surplus of money we would have had no debt. You need to look up the meaning of surplus in the dictionary.
  • WGN DTJ 2012/03/04 22:45:52
    WGN
    It was a budget surplus meaning that the proposed expendatures (out go) were less than what the tax revenue (income) was estimated to be.
    In actuality, the revenues did no decreased, the surplus income was applied to the existing incurred debt (money that is borrowed to meet expenses). And, under Clinton, the tax revenues were up even with a higher tax on the wealthy.
    Under Bush, the tax revenues were LESS (Why? Maybe because he spent too much on the war, or gave big tax cuts to those who did not need it) than needed to meet the budget, and so, more money was borrowed to cover the short fall- a budget deficit.
  • DTJ WGN 2012/03/10 17:39:35
    DTJ
    If you would look at the history, the only reason there is always a short fall is that the government spends too much money. The war was expensive but war is not the only thing the government spends money on. The government wastes money on everything they touch. It is their own little scam of trying to buy our votes with our money. Words mean things, that's why we have dictionaries. There has been no true surplus in decades and there won't be for decades to come. The government can't stop themselves from spending. When they fail, they just spend more. We have got to rise up and put a stop to it one way or the other. They had best remember that the reason we have the right to bear arms is so we can protect ourselves from the government.
  • WGN DTJ 2012/03/11 14:25:12
    WGN
    Then you would agree that the 1.4 trillion that Bush (the government) gave away in tax cuts was wasteful spending? If we had not had them (tax cuts), we would not be nearly as bad off as we are now.
    The disparity between income and spending is always the question, but conservative economic polocies only make it worse.
    Take a look at history and the spending of 1932-1938, and how it solved the Depression, and actually (in the end) created a surplus.
  • DTJ WGN 2012/03/17 18:29:20
    DTJ
    Tax cuts are not government spending. You need to look at your history much more closely. Tax cuts ALWAYS lead to the government having more money. What is wasteful is that government spending increases needlessly on stupid BS projects to pay back large contributors. The more money they get the more they overspend. Liberal policies are failed policies and are the same policies of Greece and other European Union nations. Liberals never learn from their mistakes. They just think that the only reason they fail is that not enough money was spent. So they decide to spend more money to make their failures even bigger. All the while they continuously lie to groups of people, promising the moon, if they will just keep them in power. And many people fall for their BS and re-elect the same people that make the same promises over and over again but nothing ever changes. The government wastes more money, insists we have to pay more in taxes. Obviously you have bought into the great lies of the political machine and their supportive politically biased media. Too bad you don't have a mind of your own.
  • WGN DTJ 2012/03/17 19:19:54
    WGN
    Every tax cut has led to recession. The money that was NOT collected (as the tax was cut) is a LOSS of revenue (just as uncollected taxes are).

    "Tax cuts from Reagan: The tax cuts came in 1981, Reagan's first year in office. The administration's plan slashed corporate and individual income tax rates, with the biggest cut in the top rate. The Reagan team promised that their tax cuts would jolt the economy back to life because, as the Wall Street Journal's editors put it, "high taxes interfere with natural human creativity and drive." And the true believers went so far as to suggest that the economy would grow fast enough that tax revenues would actually rise, making the tax cuts painless.
    The results never came close to measuring up to the supply-side rhetoric. For starters, the tax cuts busted the federal budget. The federal deficit ballooned from 2.7% of GDP in 1980 to 6% of GDP in 1983, the largest peacetime deficit in history, and was still 5% of GDP in 1986. Tax revenues did pick up, especially after the 1983 payroll tax increase kicked in, reducing the deficit somewhat. Still, tax revenues grew far more slowly over than the 1980s business cycle (2.5% from 1979 to 1989) than they did in the 1990s business cycle (4.1% from 1989 to 2000)."

    The LONG term effects of massive tax c...




    Every tax cut has led to recession. The money that was NOT collected (as the tax was cut) is a LOSS of revenue (just as uncollected taxes are).

    "Tax cuts from Reagan: The tax cuts came in 1981, Reagan's first year in office. The administration's plan slashed corporate and individual income tax rates, with the biggest cut in the top rate. The Reagan team promised that their tax cuts would jolt the economy back to life because, as the Wall Street Journal's editors put it, "high taxes interfere with natural human creativity and drive." And the true believers went so far as to suggest that the economy would grow fast enough that tax revenues would actually rise, making the tax cuts painless.
    The results never came close to measuring up to the supply-side rhetoric. For starters, the tax cuts busted the federal budget. The federal deficit ballooned from 2.7% of GDP in 1980 to 6% of GDP in 1983, the largest peacetime deficit in history, and was still 5% of GDP in 1986. Tax revenues did pick up, especially after the 1983 payroll tax increase kicked in, reducing the deficit somewhat. Still, tax revenues grew far more slowly over than the 1980s business cycle (2.5% from 1979 to 1989) than they did in the 1990s business cycle (4.1% from 1989 to 2000)."

    The LONG term effects of massive tax cuts, or trickle down economics, has never been good for the country as a whole.
    The liberal policies FDR fixed the result of the conservative economic blunders of 1920-1931, and the next 45 years (with a top tax rate above 75% and most of the time at 90%) were economically sound and created the American middle class with a viable economy.
    The conservative economic policies of Reagan started our down hill slide, and going back to that is just lunacy.

    "Reagan instead of creating a strong free market economy created rampant inflation, false growth with no monetary backing, increased foreign support, a huge wealth gap between the rich and poor, farmers being paid not to farm, and of course the biggest recession since the nineteen twenties." (until Bush's recession that we are still in)
    Conservative economic policies DO NOT WORK!!!
    (more)
  • DTJ WGN 2012/03/24 19:04:59
    DTJ
    YAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNN!!!
    Too bad your facts are wrong.
  • WGN DTJ 2012/03/25 18:46:03
    WGN
    What can you say to a dim light bulb? Nothing.
    Try, just try to disprove any of my facts with something aother than the usual inane conservative rhetoric. (if you can, or even dare to try)
  • DTJ WGN 2012/04/08 23:53:18
    DTJ
    That's why I didn't respond. I'm tired of wasting my valuable time on not just a dim bulb, but a bulb that has gone completely out.
  • WGN DTJ 2012/04/09 11:48:32
    WGN
    What you really mean is that you have no proof and are just a mouthpiece for the inane conservative rhetoric.
    Get a clue!
  • DTJ WGN 2012/04/16 01:42:44
    DTJ
    OK Jackass, the facts are that tax increases ALWAYS result in an economic downturn, loss of jobs, and less revenue for the government. ALWAYS. EVERY TIME. Check your history if you dare. No government on the planet has ever taxed its way to prosperity. The problem is that liberals never learn that they can't keep spending money. They believe that the reason they've failed is because they didn't borrow and spend enough money in the first place. Liberals are the definition of insanity. They do the same things over and over again and expect the results to be different. Put on your big boy pants and accept the FACT that you and your liberal friends are wrong. Always have been - Always will be. The true facts - not the liberal slanted facts - speak for themselves.
  • WGN DTJ 2012/04/16 13:28:51 (edited)
    WGN
    Sorry, but the facts do not support your assumptions.
    tax table
    The top tax rate instituted in 1932 by FDR (69%- later raised to 95%) got us out of the great depression. The tax rate in the 1920's was next to nothing and look where that got us- the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. Reagan lowered the top tax rate and we got the recession of 1986-1988 and the stock market crash of 1986 along with the sharpest increase in the number of people living at or below the poverty level.
    Clinton raised the tax and we had great growth and a budget surplus. Bush lowered the top tax rate and we had the Recession we are in today.
    By the way, the top tax rate of the Eisenhower years (70 % or so) build the middle class and we had continual economic growth. With a high tax rate from 1932-1972, we had steady economic growth, so what you have posted does not fit in with history.

    "The right's economic policy positions are seldom, if ever, based on evidence. Their's is a belief system, like a religion. So it cannot be disturbed by objective evidence, facts, data."
  • DTJ WGN 2012/04/21 20:07:32
    DTJ
    You fail to look at all the facts.

    Fact - When Reagan took office the unemployment rate was near 10%.
    Fact - The prime lending rate was at 20%
    Fact - lowering taxes caused the unemployment rate to fall like a rock as businesses were finally encouraged to try to grow their businesses.
    Fact - lending rates also fell
    Fact - more people were back to work and the government received a glut of money to spend on their programs as always happens when taxes are reduced.
    Fact - no recession yet / the economy boomed.
    Fact - Even with all the additional money coming into the government the congress, controlled by democrats as it had been for decades, couldn't stop at spending what they had.
    Fact - The democrats in congress spent 169% of the money they received.
    Fact - The democrats in congress borrowed more and more money which at the time was more than ever.
    Fact - The out of control spending and borrowing threw the brakes on a booming economy and caused recession.
    Fact - Congress raised the debt ceiling 18 times during this period even though they had more revenue than ever before.
    Fact - Obama and he other liberal cronies in the congress are now wanting to raise the debt limit yet again.
    Fact - The actions of continuously borrowing shackles the efforts of economic recovery.
    Fact - Te democrats hav...



    You fail to look at all the facts.

    Fact - When Reagan took office the unemployment rate was near 10%.
    Fact - The prime lending rate was at 20%
    Fact - lowering taxes caused the unemployment rate to fall like a rock as businesses were finally encouraged to try to grow their businesses.
    Fact - lending rates also fell
    Fact - more people were back to work and the government received a glut of money to spend on their programs as always happens when taxes are reduced.
    Fact - no recession yet / the economy boomed.
    Fact - Even with all the additional money coming into the government the congress, controlled by democrats as it had been for decades, couldn't stop at spending what they had.
    Fact - The democrats in congress spent 169% of the money they received.
    Fact - The democrats in congress borrowed more and more money which at the time was more than ever.
    Fact - The out of control spending and borrowing threw the brakes on a booming economy and caused recession.
    Fact - Congress raised the debt ceiling 18 times during this period even though they had more revenue than ever before.
    Fact - Obama and he other liberal cronies in the congress are now wanting to raise the debt limit yet again.
    Fact - The actions of continuously borrowing shackles the efforts of economic recovery.
    Fact - Te democrats have learned nothing from their failures.
    Fact - Their economic polices failed miserably under Jimmy Carter and they have failed under Barack Obama.
    Fact - No matter how much democrats get of other people's money they always demand more.
    Fact - Liberal economic policies have failed everywhere in the world they've been tried yet liberals keep wanting to continue the. They think we just haven't spent enough.
    Fact - Liberals always fail to included facts that prove their failures.
    (more)
  • WGN DTJ 2012/04/22 01:19:49
    WGN
    What you have posted are facts, but you still are missing the other "facts", the ones that show the LONG TERM effects of the Reagan presidency, and what he did not do to make America better for most of the people.

    Debunking the Reagan Myth
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    Published: January 21, 2008
    "Historical narratives matter. That’s why conservatives are still writing books denouncing F.D.R. and trying to re write the history of the New Deal; they understand that the way Americans perceive bygone eras, even eras from the seemingly distant past, affects politics today.
    The fact is that how we talk about the Reagan era still matters immensely for American politics.
    Bill Clinton knew that in 1991, when he began his presidential campaign. “The Reagan-Bush years,” he declared, “have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.”
    Reaganomics failed. The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little or no sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class i...








    What you have posted are facts, but you still are missing the other "facts", the ones that show the LONG TERM effects of the Reagan presidency, and what he did not do to make America better for most of the people.

    Debunking the Reagan Myth
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    Published: January 21, 2008
    "Historical narratives matter. That’s why conservatives are still writing books denouncing F.D.R. and trying to re write the history of the New Deal; they understand that the way Americans perceive bygone eras, even eras from the seemingly distant past, affects politics today.
    The fact is that how we talk about the Reagan era still matters immensely for American politics.
    Bill Clinton knew that in 1991, when he began his presidential campaign. “The Reagan-Bush years,” he declared, “have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.”
    Reaganomics failed. The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little or no sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen.
    When the inevitable recession arrived, people felt betrayed — a sense of betrayal that Mr. Clinton was able to ride into the White House.
    Some good things did eventually happen to the U.S. economy — but not on Reagan’s watch.
    For example, productivity and growth, there wasn’t any resurgence in the Reagan years. Eventually productivity did take off — but even the Bush administration’s own Council of Economic Advisers dates the beginning of that takeoff to 1995.
    Similarly, if a sense of entrepreneurship means having confidence in the talents of American business leaders, that didn’t happen in the 1980s, when all the business books seemed to have samurai warriors on their covers. Like productivity, American business prestige didn’t stage a comeback until the mid-1990s, when the U.S. began to reassert its technological and economic leadership.
    I understand why conservatives want to rewrite history and pretend that these good things happened while a Republican was in office — or claim, implausibly, that the 1981 Reagan tax cut somehow deserves credit for positive economic developments that didn’t happen until 14 or more years had passed. (Does Richard Nixon get credit for “Morning in America”?)
    Nothing lends credibility to this rewriting of history — particularly right now, when Reaganomics has just failed all over again?
    Like Ronald Reagan, President Bush began his term in office with big tax cuts for the rich and promises that the benefits would trickle down to the middle class. Like Reagan, he also began his term with an economic slump, then claimed that the recovery from that slump proved the success of his policies.
    And like Reaganomics — but more quickly — Bushonomics has ended in grief. The public mood today is as grim as it was in 1992. Wages are lagging behind inflation. Employment growth in the Bush years has been pathetic compared with job creation in the Clinton era. The odds now are that we will have a full blown recession.
    This is, in short, a time when progressives ought to be driving home the idea that the right’s ideas don’t work, and never have."
    (more)
  • WGN DTJ 2012/04/22 01:28:08
    WGN
    The first of two:

    Ronald Reagan's Legacy
    His destructive economic policies do not deserve the press's praise.
    by John Miller
    Dollars and Sense magazine, July / August 2004
    "Two days after his death, the Wall Street journal ran a lengthy editorial tribute to Ronald Reagan, in the editors' estimation the most important president since FDR. In their paean to the fortieth president, Reagan gets credit for everything from winning the Cold War to renewing a sense of optimism at home. Oh, and he gets extra kudos for doing it all with that famously sunny disposition.
    On economic policy, as the journal tells the story, by tying the hands of meddlesome government bureaucrats and cutting taxes, Reaganomics ignited an episode of miraculous economic growth that restored prosperity to the U.S. economy. But like much of what Reagan had to say while he was president, what the journal offers is just so much happy talk that masks a mean-spirited, economically unsound, and socially destructive policy agenda.
    First off, claims that Reagan's economic agenda restored prosperity are overblown. The so-called Reagan boom was in fact a rather middling episode of economic growth. Shorter than either the 1960s and 1990s expansions, the 1980s economic expansion was still the third longest on record. But it was...













    The first of two:

    Ronald Reagan's Legacy
    His destructive economic policies do not deserve the press's praise.
    by John Miller
    Dollars and Sense magazine, July / August 2004
    "Two days after his death, the Wall Street journal ran a lengthy editorial tribute to Ronald Reagan, in the editors' estimation the most important president since FDR. In their paean to the fortieth president, Reagan gets credit for everything from winning the Cold War to renewing a sense of optimism at home. Oh, and he gets extra kudos for doing it all with that famously sunny disposition.
    On economic policy, as the journal tells the story, by tying the hands of meddlesome government bureaucrats and cutting taxes, Reaganomics ignited an episode of miraculous economic growth that restored prosperity to the U.S. economy. But like much of what Reagan had to say while he was president, what the journal offers is just so much happy talk that masks a mean-spirited, economically unsound, and socially destructive policy agenda.
    First off, claims that Reagan's economic agenda restored prosperity are overblown. The so-called Reagan boom was in fact a rather middling episode of economic growth. Shorter than either the 1960s and 1990s expansions, the 1980s economic expansion was still the third longest on record. But it was hardly robust. The economy grew much more slowly in the 1980s than during the 1960s, more slowly than the postwar average of 3.6% annual growth, and no faster than in the 1970s or the 1990s. Nor did Reagan administration regulatory rollbacks unleash a productivity boom. Productivity gains in the 1980s failed to match those in the decades before and after, and couldn't hold a candle to the productivity gains of the 1960s boom.
    The Reagan years showed mixed results on a number of other economic measures. The "great American jobs machine," missing in action since George W. Bush took office, was up and running during the Reagan administration. The rate of job growth was higher in the 1980s than in the 1990s-but lower than in either the 1960s or the 1970s.
    In addition, unemployment rates remained quite high throughout the decade: 5.2% at the boom's end in 1989, well above the 3.5% and 4.1% rates achieved at the end of the 1960s and 1990s booms. The 1980s economy did more to improve the purchasing power of the median family than the 1990s boom. But again, those gains were extremely modest compared to what the 1960s boom did for that representative family.
    None of this speaks to the lopsided distribution of the benefits of Reagan era economic growth. Investors made out during the 1980s, while workers lost out. After seeing their investments lose value during the 1970s, shareholders enjoyed real returns (i.e., adjusted for inflation) in the 1980s that rivaled those of the next decade's stock market bubble and far outdistanced the returns of the 1960s. Real weekly wages for nonsupervisory workers, on the other hand, took a beating, declining even more quickly than they had during the 1970s. Today, the average real earnings of nonsupervisory workers remain far below those of 30 years ago, despite healthy wage gains in the second half of the 1990s expansion, when unemployment rates dropped toward 4%.
    Nor did Reagan era growth do much to alleviate poverty. The poverty rate in 1989 at the end of Reagan's two terms was still 12.8%. That was just one percentage point lower than at beginning of his administration. In contrast, the 1990s boom knocked three percentage points off the nation's poverty rate, while the 1960s boom nearly cut it in half.
    Reagan administration economic policies did not result in a 1960s-style prosperity, when workers' real wages went up in tandem with the value of stock holdings-just the opposite. Since 1980, the gains from U.S. economic growth have gone overwhelmingly to the well-to-do, and economic inequality has steadily worsened. By 2000, the ratio of the family income of the top 5% to that of the bottom 20% stood at 19.1, a dramatic rise over the 1979 ratio of 11.4. Reagan's economic policies ushered in the return of levels of inequality unseen since the eve of the Great Depression.
    In one area the 1980s boom did post genuinely outstanding numbers: reducing inflation. But Federal Reserve Board chair Paul Volcker, not the Reagan administration, administered the fight against inflation. Voicker's tight monetary policy induced the 1982 recession and helped keep a lid on wage growth. Thus the credit for breaking inflation goes more properly to the workers who endured a decade of declining purchasing power administered in the name of price stability.
    But what about the particulars of Reaganomics (or supply-side economics), which in practice meant large tax cuts targeted at the rich, a military buildup, and slashing social spending? That too is a disturbing story.
    The tax cuts came in 1981, Reagan's first year in office. The administration's plan slashed corporate and individual income tax rates, with the biggest cut in the top rate. The Reagan team promised that their tax cuts would jolt the economy back to life because, as the Wall Street Journal's editors put it, "high taxes interfere with natural human creativity and drive." And the true believers went so far as to suggest that the economy would grow fast enough that tax revenues would actually rise, making the tax cuts painless.
    The results never came close to measuring up to the supply-side rhetoric. For starters, the tax cuts busted the federal budget. The federal deficit ballooned from 2.7% of GDP in 1980 to 6% of GDP in 1983, the largest peacetime deficit in history, and was still 5% of GDP in 1986. Tax revenues did pick up, especially after the 1983 payroll tax increase kicked in, reducing the deficit somewhat. Still, tax revenues grew far more slowly over than the 1980s business cycle (2.5% from 1979 to 1989) than they did in the 1990s business cycle (4.1% from 1989 to 2000).
    Nor did the claim that tax cuts would encourage work effort, savings, and investment, the central premise of Reaganomics, hold up. When mainstream economists, such as Barry Bosworth and Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution, checked out the effects of the 1981 tax cut, they found that something quite different had happened. After the tax cut, men didn't work much more at all; although women did work longer hours, their earnings failed to improve. And relative to the size of the economy, net investment declined and savings plummeted. The Economic Policy Institute, a labor-funded think tank, reports that the annual increase in real investment in the 1980s business cycle (2.5% per year) was less than half of that during the 1990s business cycle (5.9% per year).
    Worse yet, most low-income taxpayers missed out on the Reagan tax cuts. The bottom 40% of households paid out more of their income in federal taxes in 1988 than they had in 1980. Increases in the payroll taxes that finance Social Security and Medicare, which made up a far higher portion of their federal tax bill than income taxes, swamped what little benefit these taxpayers received from lower income tax rates. For the richest 1%, on the other hand, the Reagan tax cuts were pure elixir. This group saw their effective federal tax rate drop from 34.6% to 29.7%, according to a recent study conducted by the Congressional Budget Office. As these numbers suggest, Reagan left a far less progressive federal tax code than he found.
    While the Reagan military buildup kept overall government spending from shrinking, Reagan's budgets slashed social spending. Domestic discretionary spending, which includes just about all non-defense spending outside of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, was the special target of Reagan's budget cutting. Relative to the size of the economy, one-third of domestic discretionary spending disappeared: it fell from 4.7% of GDP in 1980 to 3.1% in 1988. Hardest hit were programs for low-income Americans, which in real terms suffered a withering 54% cut in federal spending from 1981 to 1988. After correcting for inflation, subsidized housing lost 80.7% of its support, training and employment services 68.3%, and housing assistance for the elderly 47.1%. These programs have never returned to their pre-Reagan spending levels. In fact, under the Clinton administration spending on domestic discretionary programs continued to decline relative to the size of the economy.
    Reagan's economic legacy endures. Government continues to turn its back on social spending for the poor in favor of ineffectual tax giveaways for the rich, at same time that it finds unlimited monies for military adventures. Lopsided economic growth showers benefits on stock investors while doing precious little for workers or-not an entirely separate group-the poor. And today's Depression-level inequality is not mitigated as much as it once was by the tax code
    Ronald Reagan did profoundly alter the economic policy agenda of our nation. But the Reagan legacy ought to be condemned, not celebrated. And we continue to do battle with its crippling effects."
    (more)
  • DTJ WGN 2012/04/21 20:10:41
    DTJ
    We never had a budget surplus under Bill Clinton or anyone else. Your chart shows that the era of the most GDP was during the Reagan administration. GDP dropped during the Clinton years. That is what your chart shows. You need to look at your own data.
  • seekthe... WGN 2012/02/21 04:51:11
    seekthetruth
    1983. Really? Fast forward to 2012 - 'now' time. There is enough past blame to go around for all former presidential/congressional screwups. We need solutions now. We do not need finger pointing or 29 years ago statistics.
  • WGN seekthe... 2012/02/21 13:33:18
    WGN
    But what we see in the proposed solutions by the GOP is just a repeat of those things that got us here in the first place. If you do not learn from your history, you are forced to repeat it, so knowing who and what CAUSED the problem is necessary in order to find a solution and not make the same mistakes again and allow the conservative economics that caused the problem to come again.
  • DTJ WGN 2012/03/17 18:38:34
    DTJ
    What we really see is that most recently the policies promoted and passed by Mr. Hussein Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi has dug our hole even deeper. Jimmy Carter proved that more government spending doesn't lead to prosperity. Just like after Obama's first term, things after Carter's first term were much worse than when he took office. Even Bill Clinton realized that he was going to have to be more conservative in his policies or things would collapse. Unfortunately, he helped open the door to the economic collapse by requiring banks to make loans to people who couldn't afford to pay them back. Then when democrats took control of congress again during the Bush years they ignored Bush, now fewer than 17 times, to put Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac on a leash. It was the liberally controlled congress that kept the door open to allow the financial institutions to continue to sell to each other worthless mortgages until it all came to its inevitable end. Liberal policies are the mistakes of the past that do not need to be repeated. They have failed everywhere in the world they've been tried. Too bad some people never learn.
  • WGN DTJ 2012/04/16 13:37:57
    WGN
    It was Bush who ignored the situation: "Much of the unprecedented wealth destruction in 2007 and 2008 can be traced back to failed economic policies under President George W. Bush, when opportunities to put the economy and the labor market on the right track were ignored."

    The Consequences of Conservatism
    Loss of Wealth Stunning During Great Recession

    The 2012 presidential primary season is already upon us and the Grand Old Party is, not surprisingly, engaged in a grand old opportunity to rewrite history about the causes and consequences of the Great Recession. So it’s time, once again, to set the record straight.
    The Great Recession was so great not just because of very sharp unemployment increases but also due to an unprecedented decline in wealth—as the Federal Reserve detailed in a report released this week. That wealth destruction is key to understanding the Great Recession since massive house price drops led to a foreclosure crisis that then fueled massive layoffs. Much of the unprecedented wealth destruction in 2007 and 2008 can be traced back to failed economic policies under President George W. Bush, when opportunities to put the economy and the labor market on the right track were ignored.
    Incoming President Barack Obama’s hand was thus forced to first pass the American R...












    It was Bush who ignored the situation: "Much of the unprecedented wealth destruction in 2007 and 2008 can be traced back to failed economic policies under President George W. Bush, when opportunities to put the economy and the labor market on the right track were ignored."

    The Consequences of Conservatism
    Loss of Wealth Stunning During Great Recession

    The 2012 presidential primary season is already upon us and the Grand Old Party is, not surprisingly, engaged in a grand old opportunity to rewrite history about the causes and consequences of the Great Recession. So it’s time, once again, to set the record straight.
    The Great Recession was so great not just because of very sharp unemployment increases but also due to an unprecedented decline in wealth—as the Federal Reserve detailed in a report released this week. That wealth destruction is key to understanding the Great Recession since massive house price drops led to a foreclosure crisis that then fueled massive layoffs. Much of the unprecedented wealth destruction in 2007 and 2008 can be traced back to failed economic policies under President George W. Bush, when opportunities to put the economy and the labor market on the right track were ignored.
    Incoming President Barack Obama’s hand was thus forced to first pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to save the economy from sliding deeper into an economic hole amid rising job losses, and to then tackle the problems that had been ailing the economy and American families—low incomes and rapidly rising prices for health care and energy—for the previous eight years.
    Wealth destruction probably doesn’t adequately capture what happened in the early stages of the crisis. Wealth was vaporized at a breathtaking, eye-popping speed. American families lost a total of $19.4 trillion (in 2010 dollars) in household wealth from June 2007 to March 2009, when the stimulus started to take hold. First it was the housing market, and then it was the housing and the stock market together that tanked. American families lost $6.4 trillion in home value during this period.
    Trillions of dollars are sometimes hard to grasp, so think of it this way: One complete house (at 2008 prices) was lost every 1.7 seconds during the Great Wealth Destruction. And this doesn’t even count what happened to American families’ rainy day funds and retirement savings.
    The story of the Great Recession unfolded very quickly after that. The drop in home values meant that fewer people wanted to build and buy new homes, putting a lot of construction workers out of work. And the drop in home values put many borrowers underwater, meaning they owed more on their mortgage than their house was worth, precipitating a massive wave in foreclosures. This ultimately threatened to bring down the entire U.S. financial system but it also tightened credit such that businesses couldn’t expand, even if they wanted to. Jobs disappeared across all industries, not just in construction, leading to the highest unemployment rate in almost 30 years.
    This crisis did not fall from the sky. We saw it coming. My colleague Scott Lilly and I pointed out in 2004 that the economic trends that ailed the economy and led to the sharp rise in household debt were unsustainable. American workers lived through the weakest labor market since the Great Depression after the previous recession ended in November 2001. Yet prices for key household items such as health care, energy, transportation, food, and housing rose, often at runaway speed. American families only managed to pay their bills by borrowing on their credit cards, for large consumer items and on their homes. The massive debt boom was a reflection of the economic squeeze American families were in during the 2000s.
    The sad part is that the Great Recession could have been prevented. The George W. Bush administration had several opportunities to seriously address the unfolding crisis.
    There were several chances to promote faster growth. The first opportunity came early in 2001 when Congress negotiated a tax bill pushed for by the newly inaugurated president. Rather than shovel enormous amounts of money to the top income earners with a tax bill that cost well more than $1 trillion in the first 10 years, the money could have been used to stimulate economic growth by giving middle-class families a boost and by investing in needed infrastructure such as new energy sources.
    OK, so policymakers missed the boat on this one. But Congress had another chance to address the looming crisis when President Bush pushed for another tax bill in 2003. This one was intended to stimulate growth through cuts in taxes for dividends and capital gains, among other things. The bill was derided by many economists as a woefully ineffective way to turn the economy around and to bring stronger job growth to American families. And true to this prediction, the years after the bill’s passage were marked with job growth that was about one-third below its long-term average.
    And there were opportunities to start to tackle high costs, particularly in health care and energy. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, a key piece of the Bush policy agenda, which added prescription drug benefits to Medicare, explicitly excluded two mechanisms that could have helped lower costs—allowing drug reimportation from other, cheaper countries such as Canada, and permitting Medicare to use its market power to negotiate lower drug prices.
    In addition, several versions of an energy bill that would have brought more alternative fuels and promoted greater energy efficiency were negotiated but never passed—in large measure because President Bush either did not make energy reform his priority or because he directly opposed the upfront costs necessary to invest in the country’s energy future.
    We are now climbing out of the hole that the failed economic policies of the Bush administration created. That’s why the more proper name for the Great Recession should be the Bush Recession.
    Indeed, President Obama took office and led the economy out of recession in June 2009, though much more remains to be done. Household wealth has been growing, at least outside of housing wealth, because the stock market has been doing OK. American families are now down only $12.8 trillion from where they were in June 2007. Job growth has come back for more than a year but we still have more than 7 million fewer jobs than at the start of the recession in December 2007. And the unemployment rate has been gradually declining from a high of 10 percent at the end of 2009.
    Wealth would be much lower and unemployment much higher without the constant policy attention of the Obama administration. The administration took massive quick steps necessary to prevent another Great Depression with the passage of the stimulus packet in early 2009. It also paid constant attention to economic growth and the labor market with support for small businesses that couldn’t get credit; with a health insurance bill that promises to lower health care inflation; with a financial regulatory reform bill that will shine some lights on the shadier players in the financial market; with a push for an energy bill that would have promoted alternative fuels and increased energy savings; and with extended unemployment benefits for those caught in the mess due to no fault of their own.
    As bad as the Great Recession was, it could have been much worse, even though that seems hard to believe. Remember that when conservatives try to run from the record of the Bush administration’s failed economic policies while also trying to reintroduce the very same failed policies. The consequences of conservatism were dire then and would be again.
    (more)
  • ProVega 2012/02/19 00:03:49
    ProVega
    +1
    I'm not sure but we have to try to find out.
  • Catch224u 2012/02/18 23:43:27
    Catch224u
    +3
    The economy will change for the better when the business community can have confidence in their President's leadership. This hope and change ain't working.
  • sbtbill 2012/02/18 18:48:56
    sbtbill
    +2
    We need higher tariffs. We need higher wages. We need government subsides. We need people to boycott foreign made products. Do those things and we will have more US jobs.

    Upper income tax cuts actually reduce the incentive for business to provide jobs because labor is a tax deduction. Higher taxes make deductions more attractive so people tend to hire more.
  • Wayne sbtbill 2012/02/19 15:58:29
    Wayne
    You need to see a shrink because your statement is crazy talk. LOL! Wrong on so many levels.
  • sbtbill Wayne 2012/02/19 21:52:29
    sbtbill
    +3
    Tariffs increase the price of foreign made goods. If the price of these goes up people will have an incentive to make things in the US. Most nations we currently trade with have higher tariffs then we do. The Smoot/Hally argument both misses that and assumes that tariffs which were the primary source of government revenues for over a centry must be high enough to eliminate international trade. That is not the case they only need to be high enough to encourage domestic production.
  • sbtbill Wayne 2012/02/19 21:56:04
    sbtbill
    +2
    The best resent example of government subsidies is GM. The government has recouped most of the investment and stand to recoup a lot more in the future as it still holds 8% of GM stock. Thousands of jobs all over the country were saved. Those people are paying taxes instead of collecting welfare and unemployment. It has been a big win for the vast majority of us. It is iffy that the bond holders would have done any better under a traditional bankruptcy. Certainly the large holders thought they wouldn't.
  • Catch224u sbtbill 2012/02/20 00:41:41
    Catch224u
    The GM deal was pay back to Obama supporters. GM still owes the tax payers, but gives a $7000.00 bonus to all its workers.
  • SaltySo... sbtbill 2012/02/20 16:06:01
    SaltySodahead7
    The GM bailout resulted in tax dollars being used to move GM factories OUT of the US. HOW did this help us?

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