Crony capitalism: Stockman is disgusted with own party


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  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    I agree with just about everything that Stockman says. But, I am flabbergasted that Ms. Barker has the unmitigated hypocrisy to talk about the cronyism that Stockman is honest enough ascribe to parts of the Republican party, to which he belongs.

    As examples she includes quotes describing Reagan and Bush as among those whose cronyism drove up the national debt. However, she is completely silent about the insanely greater degree the debt has been raised as part of the cronyism abundantly evident in cases like Solyndra and other blunders (or worse)) under the administration of the current president and member of the Democrat party.

    I've never joined either part and doubt I ever will. I've seen too much cronyism coming from the partisanship in both parties to want to belong to either.

    For example, based on Ms. Barker's completely lop-sided take on this topic I strongly suspect that she, along with Bill Moyers, whom she mentions in the article, has compromised her journalistic objectivity because of the cronyism expected as another member of the President's Democrat party.

    I'm curious. Does anyone know if Ms. Barker belongs to the Democrat party?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 9, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    ThankProudDuck. I wish I could post a chart, as I modeled gdp growth as it relates to tax rate back to 1900. It is so cool all this data is so easily accessable now. Anyway, the coorialtion is so low that if you didn't know what you were looking at, you would assume the two had nothing to do with each other.

    And yes, intellectually we all know taxes impact behavior, But we have had times where people have amassed great levels of wealth during periods of 70 plus percent taxes rates on max earners, and we have had times of bust when taxes were less than half that. Tax policy alone is only a small part of the equation.

    Low taxes were a boon to Ireland, and then nearly killed the nation when cycle turned.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 8, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    BlueDevil, all things being equal (a phrase you see ad nauseum in economics textbooks), taxes are what's called a "deadweight loss" on an economy. Obviously you need taxes to finance basic infrastructure, but if you want to maximize economic output, you keep taxes as low as you can.

    As for the "economic boom of the 60s" -- I think you may be inadvertently making your opponents' point. The economic boom of the 1960s was in large part a direct result of John F. Kennedy's supply-side tax cuts.

    Economies are cyclical. They have booms and busts. Unless there are radical changes, it's correct that high taxes don't necessarily cause turns in the business cycle (which happen all by themselves). However, under classical economic understandings, taxes reduce the overall output across the whole course of the cycle. The peaks are lower and the valleys are deeper, under a high tax regime, than with lower taxes.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 8, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    I love how so many think taxes are the most significant influence on our nations economy. There are so many other factors that impact the economic performance, tax rate has such a low corollary that it amazes me to see these comments.

    Taxes didn't cause the crash of 2008, nor did they hold back the economic boom of the 60s.

    For example, since we have began lowering the max tax rate starting in 1988 - US GDP growth rate has declined. From '82 through '87 when the max tax rate was 50% - average GDP growth rate over that period was 7.37% For three years (88-90) it dropped to 28 percent, gdp growth rate dropped to 6.25%. Since the rate dropped to 35% in 2003, the average rate dropped yet again to 4.02 percent. Under Clinton and the 39.6% max rate - GPD growth was 5.2% average. The best years of the 35% rate don't even match the worst years of Carter when the rate was 70%. GDP growth rates dropped every year of the Bush administration until the recession of 2008 where growth hit -.92%.

    Its not the tax rate...

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    Aug. 8, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    Exactly right RBB. The most accurate response to this whole article. Leftists don't have half a clue!!

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 8, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    To "The Educator" unfortunately you are wrong, and the last 5 1/2 years are proof of that. If the economic boom was due to deficit spending, why is it that with the even bigger deficit spending under Obama we have very little economic growth.

    Since you are so enlightened, I am sure that your opinion of supply side economics will change once you read the following:

    "Do Tax Cuts Work? Just Look at the States" from the Cato Institute

    "Kansas Tax Cuts Are Working" at Americans for Tax Reform

    "Econ 101: How do Tax Cuts Work?" Media Research Center

    Tax cuts work best when accompanied by spending cuts. Just look at what JFK was able to do when he engaged in supply side economics.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Aug. 8, 2014 12:32 a.m.

    he interesting thing with many of the liberal comments is that they miss the irony of their comments. The war going on the Republican party is between the mainstream Republicans who are for crony capitalism and tea party/conservatives who want to eliminate crony capitalism. The reason that many Republicans (not true conservatives) want government to stay large is that is how the get their power. The less government spends, the harder it is to get deals for your buddies.

    As far the the complaints about Reagan and defense spending - defense spending increased about 40% during Reagan's two terms. Federal revenues increased by almost 80 percent during those same years. If you are honest, you cannot blame the increase in the defense budget or tax cuts for the deficits. While Reagan built up the military he also significantly increased revenues. Unfortunately, he really lost control of non-defense spending.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 11:56 p.m.

    RE: TheProudDuck "Thus, contrary to the leftist lie, fascism is not "extreme capitalism."

    I personally have never made that claim. I hold to the very nuanced view of fascism by Karl Polanyi who saw it in many different guises, and that it has occurred in diverse places from "Lithuania to Louisiana." Fascism sometimes is a mass movement and sometimes is just a "fascist move." Sometimes it has a strong economic component, sometimes not.

    Socialism on the other hand almost always is economics focused, but varies a great deal.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 10:52 p.m.

    "the newspapers that would do Hitler's bidding were allowed to exist and to make profit as long as they did everything the government wanted. If you fell out of favor or said something the government didn't like, you were shut down. Just look at the banks and newspapers that were out of favor with Hitler."

    You've stated this a few times and I don't think you know what a political spectrum is. You should google it since I cannot send you links. The right values tradition, classes, private property, and a one leader rule. The left, strives to act out against the cultures and traditions of the past, eliminate classes, absorb private property, and be led by the entire nation.

    Hitler shut down the banks (who were owned by Jews, the lowest class in their society) and the press (because he did not want freedom of the press). This was a means of political control not economic policy (see, you confused the 2).

    Fascism is the opposite of Communism. Just like right is the opposite of left. If you took a basic poly sci class, you'd learn this.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:41 p.m.

    2 bits,

    Though I think the Koch brothers are strong backers, I agree they are not the Tea Party.

    If we could now also agree that George Soros is not the Democratic Party. Al Gore is not behind the science of Global Warming. And vast sums of money sloshing around in front of politicians is a huge problem (one they have proven themselves incapable of dealing with in any reasonable fashion) and that the problem is independent of party affiliation.

  • WhatMe? Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:28 p.m.

    The main issue I have with the article and its summary of Mr. Stockman's book (I haven't read the book and therefore cannot comment if the article is an accurate representation of the book) is the inference that "crony capitalism" is the domain of the Republican party. This illness infects the power brokers of both parties equally and does damage to the principles of free market and true capitalism which has previously given our country the reputation of being the land of opportunity. Condemnation of "crony capitalism" should not lead to an automatic support of socialism.

    There are to my knowledge 2 things that control greed, fear of loss and a conscience. When government interference in the market removes the fear of loss, i.e. bailouts, too big to fail as alluded to in the article, we have only conscience to keep greed in place and for too many, that is just not strong enough. Government policies although in many cases well-intentioned that have removed the fear of loss need to be revisited along with for sure reigning in the spending habits of both parties.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:27 p.m.

    Mike Richards.... you are very wrong..... our grant has been paid back in the form of taxes many times over - taxes from international operations that would not be gathered if we did not exist. That grant was an investment from the government - to which it received research that increased crop yields, which benefited farmers throughout the southeast - research they could not have done on their own.

    No one likes taxes. No one raises their hand offering to pay extra taxes. But weather you like it, the government is a business - one set up to provide services to the citizens. We all contribute to these cost. No one is stealing your money. If you really want to get down to it, it is our taxes we pay here that subsidizes states like Utah that can't cover their own cost.

    My company repaid that grant in the form of product and services - those that the grant funded. We have also provided billions in tax revenue had we not existed. We are not alone. There are hundred of tax paying corporations and companies out there because of federal grants and contracts.... all paying taxes in far ub excess of their funding.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:05 p.m.

    "Ordinaryfolks," look up the word "corporatist." It doesn't mean what you think it means.

    "JoeBlow" -- Reagan presided over two major tax cuts, Kemp-Roth in '82 and the Tax Reform Act in '86. The latter lowered the top rate to 28%.

    When you speak of "Reagan's 50% tax rate," what you really mean is Kennedy's 50% rate (after he brought it down from 70%). And it's apples and oranges anyway, because virtually nobody paid the 50% rate, because of the deductions that the 1986 act took away.

    Obama's 38% top tax rate exists in a world where the deductions that were traded for the 28% rate in 1986 are gone. So it does represent a significant tax increase. I recognize that this is hard for non-tax accountants, but way too much of this debate occurs with misinformed sound bites.

    The bottom line is: Reagan cut taxes. Obama raised them. A lot.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 7, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    " When Reagan did what JFK also did, and cut taxes to make employees cheaper for businesses"

    And Reagan's federal tax rates (as well as JFK's) were significantly higher than they are today.

    Reagan's top tax rate was 50% for most of his presidency. And during the brief time they were lower, the tax brackets were such that they were STILL significantly higher than they are today.

    So, the question is this. If Reagan's 50% tax rate was such an economy booster, why is Obama's sub 40% tax rate considered a job killer?

  • The Educator South Jordan , UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 5:18 p.m.

    "but trickle down does work. The economic boom that lasted from the early 1980's until 2008 is proof of that. The only thing that didn't work was the liberals attempts at sabotage by stacking up more regulation, taxes, and burdens on industry."

    Absolutely false.

    The economic boom can be attributed to Reagan's massive deficit spending (he greatly expanded government spending) and to the deregulation of wall street. This has led to short term "booms" but long term stagnation.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    As for all the "Tea Party is funded by the Koch Brothers wa wa"... (something you hear constantly on MSNBC).

    I dare you to google "Where does Tea Party get it's money" or just "Tea Party Movement" and read the history in Wikipedia. Read at least the first intro section before you give up.

    IF you look... You will see one paragraph on the Koch Brother's involvement. They agree with the Tea Party movement. They are "Libertarians"... and the Tea Party is mostly the Libertarian point of view... so why wouldn't they? One of them actually ran as the Libertarian VP candidate awhile back.

    But the Koch Bros wa wa... is mostly a red-herring thrown out constantly by Rachel Maddow and others to get their base riled up and hating the Tea Party people even MORE....


    I think Stockman would agree with the Tea Party more than he does the GOP today. They are NOT the same thing you know...

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    Most of us learned "morals" from the 10 Commandments given to Moses by Christ on Mount Sinai. We were told NOT to covet. That teaching seems to have been vacated by the liberals who march behind President Obama. They want wealth at the expense of others. They want to reap where they have not sowed. They want to receive a greater reward for "working" a few hours longer in the vinyard that those who were hired later in the day. Too bad for them, but they don't make the rules. They will receive little or nothing from Him who judges our hearts.

    Most of us learned to read early in school. We know the difference between an attorney general and a congressman. Some of us realize that NO congressman from Utah is under indictment. Some of us even remember that in America that we are all innocent until proven guilty; but, that means little to those who throw out the 10 Commandments and the Constitution. They will always blame someone else for everything.

    Everyone of us is rich beyond measure. How about sharing with other nations before you cry "foul"?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    To "The Educator" but trickle down does work. The economic boom that lasted from the early 1980's until 2008 is proof of that. The only thing that didn't work was the liberals attempts at sabotage by stacking up more regulation, taxes, and burdens on industry.

    You seem to forget that under Jimmy Carter we had stagflation, high unemployment, and a floundering economy. When Reagan did what JFK also did, and cut taxes to make employees cheaper for businesses, we saw the economy roar to life.

    If you want further proof that trickle down works, look at its opposite. Trickle up. Obama has presided over the worst economy since the Great Depression, yet it didn't have to be. Obama's policies of taxing the rich and attacking businesses has given us the lowest labor participation rate since the 1970's, coupled with depression era dependence on government handouts.

    How do you explain the nearly 30 years of economic growth in the US if it wasn't for trickle down?

    Also, Swallow isn't a congressman, he was the state AG. I would think that an educator would know the difference between an AG and a Congressman.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Aug. 7, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    You said:
    "Opposition to crony capitalism is the energy that drives both the Tea Party and its abortive..."

    Who do you think funded the Tea Party anyway? It was Koch Brother money, along with a bunch of other rich corporatists.

    Don't reinvent history.

  • The Educator South Jordan , UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    Anyone who thinks that trickle down is a good thing (Red, Mike, etc) has obviously forgotten about 2008. You folks are in need of a rude awakening. And Mike Richards talking about how our Utah Congressmen aren't corrupt gave me a nice giggle today. Aren't you Swallow's biggest defender here? I remember you for months bragging about how this was a witch hunt and how Swallow was innocent.

    How's that workin out for ya?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    To "Marxist" you really should look up and actually understand what Fascism is. It is the government micromanaging private businesses. That means that the businesses remained INTACT and PROFIT MAKING, but the government regulated and controlled them. If a business fell out of favor with the government they were shut down.

    For example, the newspapers that would do Hitler's bidding were allowed to exist and to make profit as long as they did everything the government wanted. If you fell out of favor or said something the government didn't like, you were shut down. Just look at the banks and newspapers that were out of favor with Hitler.

    I would go into greater detail, but why bother, you will just ignore it anyway.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 7, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    Marxist, were German corporations more or less free under National Socialism than before?

    German corporations were broken to the power of the state. (Along with everything else.) In socialism, government takes formal title to the means of production (or at least the "commanding heights" of the economy). In fascism, government stops just one step short of that: Economic assets are allowed to remain nominally in private hands, but everything is coordinated (the German word is "Gleichshaltung") for the alleged public good.

    Thus, contrary to the leftist lie, fascism is not "extreme capitalism." It's one of those "third ways" between capitalism and socialism that statists love and keep trying. It's closer to you than it is to us.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 7, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    Opposition to crony capitalism is the energy that drives both the Tea Party and its abortive counterpart on the other side, the Occupy Wall Street duds.

    A huge part of the crony-capitalist problem, and with the radically increased concentration of wealth that has occurred under President Obama, is a function of the Federal Reserve's and other central banks' expansionary monetary policy. On the one hand, it arguably staved off a full-scale depression. On the other hand, monetary policy, by its nature, tends to increase the economic share of the financial economy rather than Main Street.

    Stockman's "extremist" support for a return to the gold standard -- or something similar -- is actually a refreshing clue that he understands the origin of the fix we've gotten ourselves into.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    @RedShirt "We used to have another term for "crony capitalism" that liberals don't like so much these days. It used to be called FASCISM, which is just a socialism with a capitalist veneer."

    Well I don't know how liberals view this, but I, speaking as a real socialist, can tell you your assertion is nonsense. For example, under Hitler all of the great German corporations remained absolutely INTACT and PROFIT-MAKING (not socialism, not even close). Also, Hitler was put in power by German capital - surely you must know this. I could go into greater detail - hope this suffices for now.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    To "Pendergast" actually, the internet was not started by DARPA. The basic theories and ideas behind the internet were developed by J.C.R. Licklider, who was hired by DARPA afterwards to build the foundation of the internet.

    You see, the government took a private company's idea.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    The liberals are really funny here. We used to have another term for "crony capitalism" that liberals don't like so much these days. It used to be called FASCISM, which is just a socialism with a capitalist veneer. The liberals decry the very fruits of the system that they want to implement.

    These are the same people who want the government to fix everything, and when the government does fix things they complain that it went to the politically connected corporations. What did you liberals think was going to happen when you gave government all of the power that you did? Do you honestly think that that Senator Bob wouldn't steer contracts to Billy the Donation Bundler?

    The simple fact is that the more power you give government, the more corruption and favoritism you will get. You liberals want the government to take charge of everything, and will then be irate when you find out that it is the well connected companies that get special treatment.

    If you don't like fascism, don't give government more power, cut them back to Constitutional duties only and see if there are any businesses willing to buy a neutered politician.

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    to Mike Richards

    How exactly did the Internet get started? Hint: Darpa.

    How do you get from point A to Point B in your Auto?

    Did you get though school on a Pell Grant or Stafford loan?

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    re: SCfan

    "...This Stockman stuff is not old news, it's ancient history."

    It doesn't make it any less true, accurate, or relevant.

    Those who don't learn from history...

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 7, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    Hey 2 bits -

    "Reagan was President in the 1980s... that's 30 years ago!"

    And his legacy of low taxes for high earners is still alive.

    It is reality, the law of the land, and it is harming America . .

    . . . As is the anti-government sentiment he promoted.

    GW idolized Reagan too. In fact, GW's policies were all Reagan's policies . . . And GW FAILED miserably . . . which goes to show that Reaganism only works under the very best of circumstances.

    When Reagan was President, the price of world oil plummeted (no thanks to Reagan), and the economy took off.

    GW didn't get nearly that lucky . . . And he proved that Reaganism and Trickle-down economics does NOT work.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Mike Richards said: "Does money corrupt or do corrupt people demand money for favors? There is a difference. God is the richest of all. Is He corrupt? "

    Boy you said a lot there mike. I don't believe God has use for money, Couldn't he just use a miracle? But those who purport to speak for him sure like it.

    That being said, I work for my paycheck, I'm not given obscene amounts of money to NOT do my job, by simply saying NO to all proposals I'm told don't benefit my sponsor, oops, I mean lobbyist.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2014 11:36 a.m.


    Are you trying to pull my leg?

    Just what would you consider that grant to be if it was not start up capital taken from the citizens in the form of taxes so that you could make $3 billion a year?

    The good people of Mississippi, of Louisiana, of Utah and every other State funded your business. They were forced to pay Uncle Sam so that he could "give" you a grant.

    Uncle Sam has no money. He is over $17 trillion in debt and he owes another $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities. Your "grant" is part of that debt.

    Unless you directly service one of the 17 authorized duties enumerated in the Constitution, you are part of the reason that the US is going bankrupt, but since you're making $3 billion a year, I doubt that government spending bothers you.

    You may not agree, but that's what this taxpayer thinks about government "grants".

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    @2 bits
    Actually the national unemployment rate is 6.2. If you want to throw out numbers to support your arguments the best ones to use are actual ones. Certainly can't blame or credit Raygun for the 6.2 unemployment rate. But you could blame politicans for embracing his policies of deregualtion and deficit spending that are still embraced today.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    Excellent piece and kudos to the DN for exposing it. Corporations are the new Kings and our politicans have made us their serfs.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 11:07 a.m.


    Every free economy (controlled by natural economic forces, not government mandates) has cycles.

    How do you blame 7% unemployment TODAY... on Reagan?

    Reagan was President in the 1980s... that's 30 years ago!

    You're blaming jobs today (when Obama is President today) on REAGAN>? (who was President 30 years ago)

    When are you going to let President Obama stand on his own 2 feet, and accept responsibility for what's going on during HIS Presidency?

    Why always blame everything on Reagan (President in 1980s, dead now), Ayn Rand (1950's novelist, dead more than 30 years), or the rest of your boogy-man list... Koch Brothers, Bushs, etc...

    Seems like when a Democrat is President (and they control the Congress)... everything bad is the Republican's fault. And when a Republican is President... it's still the Republican's fault.

    When will we see that it's not just a Republican thing? Never I suppose...

    It's always the OTHER party's fault. Never have to fix our OWN party...

    BTW... Stock market hit all-time-highs, and unemployment hit all-time-lows during the Bush Administration. Who gets blame for that? Reagan???

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 7, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    SCfan, now that's some serious cherry picking. The Laffer curves says that at a given point on the revenue curve you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point on the revenue curve. It's a curve It purports that there is a point where maximum tax revenue meets minimum taxes.

    It says nothing about economic growth. You make the jump in logic that an increase in tax revenues equals an increase in economic growth.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    It's so sad to see my fellow American brothers and sisters sell their birthrights for the instant gratification of pottage.

    Yes, tax cuts, deregulation, anti-government sentiment sounds nice. And in the short-term it can be extremely profitable. But in the long haul? It gives us economic crashes, crony capitalism, and wealth inequality.

    If we want to return to a robust and healthy economy, we need to get back to the economic policies and tax rates of the 1950s.
    If we want to continue with the trickle down nonsense, then let's stay the course and allow the rich to become richer while the rest of us see our wealth and dreams melt away.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 7, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    2bits, Did you conveniently overlook this line of mine?

    "While the GOP leads in promoting and protecting this arena, rest assured that the Democrats are willing participants and benefactors."

    Yes, both are complicit, but the GOP is at the forefront of resisting campaign finance reform and lobbyist reform. And lets not forget their support for Citizens United which has put crony capitalism on steroids.

    Mike Richards says "Are you corrupt when you receive a paycheck? Is the Deseret News corrupt for accepting advertising revenue to promote businesses and services?"

    No these are not corruption. I have performed work for a paycheck and the DN provides a service for the money.

    Now, lets look at our politicians. What are corporations and unions getting when they spend millions in lobby and campaign contributions?

    Why does Walmart restrict their employees from taking meals and trips from vendors? Tell me Mike, why is that?

    You write " Here in Utah, not all are corrupt." How do you know? How do you know that a congressman did not have his vote swayed by money? I contend that you don't.

    Congress is supposed to operated "without any appearance of impropriety". That line is crossed daily.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 7, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Hey 2 bits –

    “Who asked CEO of GE (Immelt) to be in his cabinet?”

    Nobody did. Immelt was never part of the President’s Cabinet.

    Hey SCFan –

    “Check out the Laffer curve?”

    Yes, the Lauffer curve really is a laugh isn’t it?

    It’s basically a reformulation of the law of diminishing returns . . . Nothing new there.
    Yes, taxes can be too high. That’s just intuitive, isn’t it? If taxes are a hundred percent, then the motivation for making money goes out the window.

    But back when the highest tax bracket was 90 percent, during the Eisenhower administration, we built the interstate highway system, fought the cold war, and still balanced the budget because we had enough REVENUE. When the high tax bracket was 71% in 1969, we fought the cold war, the Vietnam war, and went to the moon . . . And STILL had a budget SURPLUS because we had enough REVENUE.

    Reanomics/trickle-down economics/supply-side economics was supposed to create jobs. WHERE are the jobs? We still have low taxes for high earners and low revenues. That needs to change ASAP.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    RE: Mike Richards "Put blame where it belongs - on the government."

    No, put blame where it belongs - on capitalism in its current state of development. Government is now largely a tool of capitalism.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    The contradictory element regarding taxes is this: the federal government (via the Federal Reserve, the Treasury department and congress) has enabled high debt accumulation instead of high taxes to pay for social programs, corporate welfare and wars. These are programs promoted by both Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. This is the very essence of crony capitalism. Stockman, on the other hand, advocates a PAY-AS-YOU-GO tax policy, which could solve so many of our current problems. Crony capitalism would shrivel up and die if pay-as-you-go were implemented. War would be an action of last resort. The stock market would return to its former role as a provider of conservative investments and risks, and banks would offer safe and attractive savings rates for the general consumer.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    I hate to break it to folks like Mike Richards, but Reagan was a complete and utter disaster. He empowered Iranian radicals, blew up the deficit, and took us onto this moral less crony capitalism spiral. You see, Reagan believed in the Greenspan/Ayn Rand philosophy of deregulation. She was an atheist so no wonder why she had no morals! This allowed for vital regulations to be eliminated. Then, Bush, put in horrible justices to create a godless Supreme Court that has ruled time and time again against the middle-class.

    These activist justices have declared that bribery is a form of free speech. The savior wouldn't have agreed with that.

    Now, we have a crony capitalist system. Where hose that can buy off legislation, win big. While the rest of us suffer. All of which can be attributed to the disastrous regimes of Bush, Presidency of the actor, Alan Greenspan, and the atheist Ayn Rand. I'm convinced that you cannot be a good human being and be a fan of Rand.

    We need to then this around and quick!

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    The Educator

    Sorry, but when taxes are raised too high, businesses stop hiring, and even reduce workforce. Common sense. How does one create a "lack of demand"? By creating less employment or underemployment (which by the way is a lot of what Obamas job creation has been). Therefore, raising taxes too much on persons takes away their purchasing power. Raising taxes too much on businesses does what I said before, lowers employee numbers and or wages. This is not rocket science people. And if you would keep the politics out if it, it may clear up for you to see. But since many people are so invested in the liberal/Democrat way of seeing things (i.e. big government socialist spending) simple economic truths to you are like Kryptonite to Superman.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    "3. All businesses require start up capital, either from the proprietor or from stock holders, who become the owners via their capital."


    Mike Richards... my company was founded on a grant from the federal government. We now do over 3 billion a year in products and services. We are a privately held firm. No wall street funding. We actually don't even have any debt. What you describe is some fantasy version of a capitalist ferry tail.

    Tell me, how did the Continental congress first fund its operations? It had no power to tax. It had no income. Where did those funds come from? The revolutionary war cost the Continental congress over $400 million in salaries alone. Where did those funds come from? Again, not taxes from businesses, but loans from the French and Dutch. This nation had a national debt before it had an national income or tax system.

    The rhetoric all sounds good... but it isn't as accurate as you make it sound.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:49 a.m.


    Does money corrupt or do corrupt people demand money for favors? There is a difference. God is the richest of all. Is He corrupt? Are you corrupt when you receive a paycheck? Is the Deseret News corrupt for accepting advertising revenue to promote businesses and services?

    In my opinion, your premise is incorrect. Corrupt people can be bought. They hold out their hands for money in exchange for ILLEGAL favors.

    Maybe where you live, all politicians are corrupt. Here in Utah, not all are corrupt. Not all take a false oath. Not all sell themselves for money.

    Only government can pass laws. Remember that. Only government can regulate.

    Every business will go where it is welcome. The administration has made businesses unwelcome in the United States. Other countries welcome business. Other countries are prospering.

    Prosperity cannot be legislated. Businessmen must decide that the risk is worth taking. They must buy equipment and hire people. When taxes are too high and regulations too strict, they will move their company offshore, just like people who move from New York and California to Florida and Texas where taxes are lower.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    JoeBlow - "Protecting and furthering Crony Capitalism has become a platform of the GOP"...

    GarryO - "I'm ashamed of Republicans too"...

    Happy Valley - "the shift away from reality by the republicans"...

    ordinaryfolks - "Paying attention Republican/Tea Party folks?"...


    I pasted the above comments to show I didn't start it. I'm responding to this mindset (that it's just Republicans).

    I hate to break it to you but... Republicans AND Democrats do Crony Capitalism.

    Big corporations know they need Government on their side. They donate to BOTH parties campaigns. They own them... REGARDLESS of which side wins.

    The big companies I'm talking about are the ones that advertise during Meet The Press. GE, Chevron, Boeing, Goldman Sachs, etc.

    Google "Obama White House Full of Wall Street Executives" (FactCheckDotOrg)...

    "Obama's 2008 campaign received $42 million more than any other candidate in history from Wall Street bankers and financial insiders" ...

    Who asked CEO of GE (Immelt) to be in his cabinet... a DEMOCRAT (who promised there would be no CEOs in HIS cabinet (during his Campaign). Who appointed a Goldman Sachs guy to run the IRS... Democrat.

    Still think Democrats don't do Crony Capitalism?

  • The Educator South Jordan , UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    @ SC fan

    Is this the same Laffer Curve that Bruce Bartlett (former cabinet member for Reagan) said that indicated that taxes needed to be raised? Yeah, just a few years ago he produced a book which used the Laffer Curve. It showed that our poor job creation isn't due to high taxes (as you suggest) but due to lack of demand (the middle class lacking purchasing power). Time to get informed! I suggest you break free from Fox News and use more reliable news outlets.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    Gary O

    Check out the Laffer curve in economics. It proves that raising taxes reaches a point where it stops economic growth. Ronald Reagan went by that, and we had a great 80s economy. Taxes only work to a point, one which most Democrats will take the country way beyond, which causes downturns. That's why Reagan cut taxes, and caused more money to go into the treasury. It is a simple principle that has been proven.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic

    I suggest you watch Fox News, to see what the left/Democrats have done and are doing in the country these days. They are not the Democrats of Ronald Reagans era. If you are only watching the DNC (Democrat News Channels), you are missing a lot of what is happening in our country, as there is a big reason 75% of Americans don't think Obama is up to the job. That by the way is polling data, not opinion.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    "5. Corrupt politicians disregard their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution when they favor one business over another, when they give special breaks to one business over another, when they sell themselves to the highest bidder."

    You just described every politician. When they take campaign contributions, it inevitably buys "special breaks"

    If we do not allow our politicians to receive ANYthing from Anyone, then we are assured that they are not "selling themselves to the highest bidder"

    Tell me Mr Richards. Would you favor that, or do you prefer to allow them to keep getting money and HOPE that it does not corrupt them?

    A judge could not preside over a case where someone had paid him anything. Why not the same standard for our politicians?

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    Mike Richards: are you talking about Stockman or Mary Barker? Stockman is NO ivory tower pontificate. He has learned how things work as an insider. In fact, some call him an insider's insider! His book exposes crony capitalism down to its rotten core. He demonstrates step-by-step how people like Mitt Romney (the quintessential crony capitalist) obtain wealth at the expense of others while dismantling the capitalistic system he purportedly defends. Read the book.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    Brilliant article! Nailed it! Amen and amen!

    Conservatives today are being exposed for the hypocrites that they are. They aren't against big government and spending as long as it goes to big military industrial complex. We need more awareness! Methinks once more people see the GOP for what they truly are they'll lose even more elections. They'll be forced to change, which will be wonderful.

    We just spend so much on weapons and in defense it's silly! I want my country back!

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    There was a time when conservatives believed in policies that Stockman espouses. That was the pre-Buckley era of the early 1950's. William F. Buckley, Jr., and his National Review staff hijacked the conservative movement and veered it off into the neoconservative era, something very different from that exemplified by "Mr. Republican" Robert Taft. Taft and Stockman would be very much in agreement. Buckley and his acolytes are mortified (as illustrated by some comments above). Stockman detests what neoconservatives have done to both the Republican and Democratic parties (yes, it infects BOTH parties!). By the way, Stockman is a strong critic of both Hoover and FDR in their handling of economic crises in the 1930's and 1940's.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 7, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in an ivory tower and pontificate about the art of business without having ever owned a business?

    1. Private businesses pay all taxes. Any government entity that pays taxes to another government entity first has to take that money from the private industry.

    2. All jobs are created by private business. Without tax revenue, there would be no government jobs. All tax revenue comes from private business.

    3. All businesses require start up capital, either from the proprietor or from stock holders, who become the owners via their capital.

    4. All regulations, tax breaks, handouts, come from government, not from business. No business can legislate itself a tax break, bail itself out with tax payer money or give itself special favors from government.

    5. Corrupt politicians disregard their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution when they favor one business over another, when they give special breaks to one business over another, when they sell themselves to the highest bidder.

    Put blame where it belongs - on the government.

    Give credit where it is due - to businesses, large and small.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Hey SCFan -

    "David Stockman was against Ronald Reagans tax policy from early in Reagans first term."

    And he was and is absolutely right in despising Reagan's tax policy that has done so much harm to this nation.

    Reagan's trickle down economics does not work, and it has NEVER worked.

    The only reason the economy rebounded during the Reagan administration is because the price of world oil dropped to less than 1/3 of what it had been during the Carter administration. That economic rebound was certainly not due to Reagan's tax policies.

    Think about it and make comparisons. We experienced a WORLD WIDE recession back then (except for OPEC countries), and then a WORLD WIDE economic rebound . . . That coincided with plummeting oil prices. Attributing that economic recovery to Reagan's policies is ridiculous.

    Reagan's trickle down economics has done NO GOOD for the vast majority of America. Only a small percentage have profited at the expense of everyone else.

    We need to raise taxes for high earners back to Pre-Reagan levels ASAP.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    No reasonable person can deny that the American way of life is under direct attack by those who seek to replace it with European style post Christian socialist dogma. That is evidenced here.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    Thank you DN for continuing to publish Ms. Barker.

    So blame aside we know we have a corrupt financially driven economy that produces nothing of value just creates wealth for a few while shutting out everyone else. In addition we have a bought and paid for Congress that not only enables this but actively propagates it and this situation is at least three decades old. Now what?

    How do you convince many of the posters on this thread that kids don't have jobs coming out of college not because Obama is a socialist but because the emphasis of the economy is to create financial wealth not jobs.

    How do you fix a bought and paid for Congress when half of the country has been convinced that the culprit for all of our woes is a single person?

    How do you fix an infrastructure that couldn't support an industrial revival even if it did occur when half the nation is convinced debt is bad, wars are good, and military spending is sacred?

    Just asking.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    It's so good to see an article written in the Deseret News about Stockman's marvelous book. It's an incredible read. Mary Barker does an admirable job of summarizing Stockman's message.
    The only thing I would add are his view of past and current chairmen of the Federal Reserve. He has high praise for William McChesney Martin and Paul Volcker, but is merciless in his criticism of Arthur Burns' support of LBJ's "guns and butter" polices, as well as Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke for their "too big to fail" policies and their role in turning the stock market into a casino. Of course, there's much much more, but this article is a good start. The book is a "must read!"

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    SCfan "This Stockman stuff is not old news, it's ancient history."

    Yep, and he was right then, as he is now.
    More people need to be aware they aren't alone in noticing the shift away from reality by the republicans.

    Might I suggest watching "outfoxed" which will give some insight into the shift.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    Amen and amen.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    "David Stockman, a former congressman and director of the OMB under President Reagan, is disgusted with his party. "

    I understand that. I'm ashamed of Republicans too.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    How dare Mr Stockman tell the emperor he has no clothes. He will now be banned from the tent.

    There are so many gems in this article.

    Crony capitalism .... depends on sweetheart deals in the corridors of Washington.

    It is only open to "those with sufficient resources to fund campaigns, pay lobbyists "

    Crony capitalism means that profits are garnered through the manipulation of power and influence rather than through ingenuity and contributions to the real economy.

    Mr Stockman hits the nail on the head. While the GOP leads in promoting and protecting this arena, rest assured that the Democrats are willing participants and benefactors.

    I am yet to see anyone who is anti capitalism. Unfortunately, in this day and age, capitalism is anything but a free market. It has been purchased by large corps and unions. This is what people are against.

    I am still amazed that both R and D alike do not come together in meaningful campaign finance reform and lobby reform. The politicians wont do it on their own.

    Protecting and furthering Crony Capitalism has become a platform of the GOP.

    Proof will follow. Just read the comments...

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    David Stockman was against Ronald Reagans tax policy from early in Reagans first term. That was way back around 1983. He soon left the administration and wrote the requisite bite the hand that feeds you book. This Stockman stuff is not old news, it's ancient history.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Aug. 7, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    Amen, Mr. Stockman, Amen.

    It usually takes "one of your own" to show the truth about things. Paying attention Republican/Tea Party folks?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 6:09 a.m.

    God bless you Prof. Mary Barker!

    and my the DN have the good wisdom to see past their Neo-Con filters and keep you,
    better yet - give you a raise for doing such fine work!

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Aug. 7, 2014 5:27 a.m.

    "President Eisenhower’s preference for balancing the budget over tax cuts...and slashing of defense budgets, warning us of a rising "military-industrial complex"."

    Excellent article illustrating that it's hard, even for conservatives, to determine "which" conservative to follow. From Eisenhower to Reagan to Ted Cruz is a bumpy road to travel and proof that the word conservative has been abused by anybody with an agenda different from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

    Why is it necessary for us to spend more than $200B every year - not on military personnel - but on weapons and the research and development of them. Who in the world has weapons (I'm talking about fighter jets, submarines and tanks) as sophisticated as we do and if we just kept those same weapons and DIDN'T spend another $200B on new weapons next year, who would be ahead of us then?

    And that is just the military industrial complex. Think of all the ways the government can stop subsidizing business (think of Walmart's typical worker qualifying for food stamps and subsidized housing) and start helping people that really need it. Just where are the conservatives of today?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 12:08 a.m.

    I recommend one and all to stream from PBS the Frontline episodes "Money, Power and Wall Street" It's four hours worth of outstanding reporting and analysis.

    It documents that the center of American capitalism is a thoroughly corrupt banking system which is little better than a casino.

    It had to be rescued to save capitalism, though. Too bad.

    The casino is still intact and threatening.