Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Politics of Un-Memorable

People who refuse to use reason are called unreasonable.

People who refuse to use memory should be called un-memorable.

The political right wing in the US is un-memorable. Here is a bit from Paul Krugman in his NY Times blog to substantiate the claim:
Bruce Bartlett points out something I had forgotten: the 1993 Clinton tax increase wasn’t the first time conservatives predicted doom from any rise in tax rates. They did the same in response to the Reagan tax hike of 1982 — and yes, the sainted Reagan, after cutting taxes at the beginning, raised them repeatedly thereafter.

What actually happened, of course, was a V-shaped recovery — Morning in America — which was mainly due to Fed policy, but got credited to the 1981 tax cut. And the 1982 tax hike got sent down the memory hole.

The story I knew was about that Clinton tax hike, which was supposed to send the economy into a tailspin.

Let’s also mention the Bush tax cuts, which were supposed to produce a vast boom, and ended up being followed by the weakest recovery of modern times.

The point is that these people have been wrong about everything — and yet tax-cut magic is the official religion of the GOP.
"The failure to remember the past condemns you to hideous politics." Wasn't that the memorable quote of the philosopher Santayana? Or was it that "people who live in un-memorable houses shouldn't throw around big policy prescriptions"? I dunno. It was something like that.

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