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For the past 50 years, the Democrats — and many Republicans who should know better — have been wrong about virtually every major domestic policy issue. Let’s review some of them:
The bipartisan extension of the Bush tax cuts represents the latest triumph over the “soak the rich because trickledown doesn’t work” leftists.
President Ronald Reagan sharply reduced the top marginal tax rates from 70 percent to 28 percent, doubling the Treasury’s tax revenue. President George H.W. Bush raised the income tax rate, as did his successor. But President George W. Bush lowered them to the current 35 percent.
President Barack Obama repeatedly called the current rate unfair, harmful to the country and a reward to those who “didn’t need” the cuts and “didn’t ask for” them. If true, he and his party ditched their moral obligation to oppose the extension. But they didn’t, because none of it is true. Democratic icon John F. Kennedy, who reduced the top marginal rate from more than 90 percent to 70 percent, said, “A rising tide lifts all the boats.” He was right — and most of the Democratic Party knows it.
Welfare for the “underclass.”
When President Lyndon Johnson launched his “War on Poverty,” the poverty rate was trending down. When he offered money and benefits to unmarried women, the rate started flat-lining. Women married the government, allowing men to abandon their moral and financial responsibilities.
The percentage of children born outside of marriage — to young, disproportionately uneducated and disproportionately brown and black women — exploded. In 1996, over the objections of many on the left, welfare was reformed. Time limits were imposed, and women no longer received additional benefits if they had more children. The welfare rolls declined. Ten years later, The New York Times wrote: “When the 1996 law was passed … liberal advocacy groups … predicted that it would increase child poverty, hunger and homelessness. The predictions were not fulfilled.”
The federal government’s increasing involvement with education — what is properly a state and local function — has been costly and ineffective at best, and counterproductive at worst. Title I, a program begun 45 years ago to close the performance gap between urban and suburban schools, burns through more than $15 billion a year, and the performance gap has widened. The feds spend $80 billion a year on K-12 education, as if money is the answer. States like Utah and Iowa spend much less money per student compared with districts like those in New York City and Washington, D.C., with much better results.
Where parents have choices — where the money follows the student rather than the other way around — the students perform better, with higher parental satisfaction.
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