The Republican promise is to cut taxes and regulation. But the statistics show just how badly that argument has failed

With the recent US supreme court decisions gutting federal enforcement of civil rights and business regulation, and the public hearings of the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack, economic news has been pushed out of the center of public conversation. That’s a shame for two reasons.

First, Joe Biden appears to be centering his presidency around the idea of rebuilding the middle class through government investment in ordinary Americans. This is a major shift – a sea change – from the past 40 years of Republican policy that says the economy would prosper if only the government slashed taxes and regulation, leaving more money and power in the hands of business leaders, those “makers” who would invest in new industries and provide more jobs. Watching the effect of his policies is a window into what works and what doesn’t.

Heather Cox Richardson is an American historian and professor of history at Boston College. She is the author of Letters from an American, a daily newsletter about American politics and history. This article originally appeared in her newsletter

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