We Americans have a liking for snake oil. No matter how unreasonable or bizarre an idea, we are often willing to embrace it for a time. Here are some examples:
- Domino Theory justified Viet Nam war
- JFK’s missile gap
- Trickle down
- Lower taxes increase revenue
- Star Wars Spending
- Small Government is best
- Balance Federal budget in good times and bad
- Myth of the Welfare Queen
- Iraq was responsible for the attack on the WTC.
- Quick and easy war for oil in Iraq
- Taxes are now higher than ever
- Cutting benefits reduces unemployment
- Rescinding environmental regulations creates jobs
- When government gets out of the way and stops imposing leftist ideology, things will get better.
Some of the above are plausible but unproved, some are silly, some are simply false. Nevertheless, we have swallowed such stuff in the past and are likely to do so again.
When something seems wrong, it probably is wrong. So when we are told that lower tax rates will result in increased revenue, that cutting benefits to the unemployed will help them find jobs, or that rescinding environmental regulations creates jobs, we ought to be skeptical.
Tom Reed says he seeks common sense in government, but then he feeds us the GOP party line–nonsense like much of the above. There is no common sense or any sense in that.
© William Hungerford – April 2014