It’s been over three decades now since a prominent Republican politician referred to his competitor’s trickle down economic plans as a sham and gave them a deserving name: voodoo economics. After losing to the trickle down huckster in the primaries however, George H.W. Bush gladly jumped at the opportunity to join his opponent’s ticket in the VP slot and conveniently forgot all about his critique of voodoo economics; opting instead to support and promote those very policies for the next eight years as our vice president, followed by four more years as our 41st president.
That April 1980 slag during a stump speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he also referred to Ronald Reagan’s tax cut philosophy as “economic madness”, appears to have been the last time any prominent politician on the right dared to utter a word against an economic policy that soon became their mantra, their religion, their raison d’etre. Businessmen and economic experts still extol it, the Republican base consider it an Unwavering Truth on par with the Constitution and the Bible, and hapless media lapdogs parrot its points uncritically despite all evidence to the contrary.
So here we are, three decades later, with a thoroughly wrecked and twisted economy after following that foolish plan through five administrations. Record levels of national debt, record levels of wealth and income disparity, record levels of economic immobility for the American worker. And instead of questioning the very premise of its assertions, instead of drawing the obvious conclusions to be gleaned from the reams of data staring out at us, we continue to allow the crazed adherents of this cult to prattle on about it and give it legitimacy despite all evidence to the contrary.