RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Sanders writes: "Trickle down economics is a fraudulent theory designed by the rich and their think tanks in order to protect the billionaires and large corporations."

Bernie Sanders at a November rally on Capitol Hill for economic and social justice. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders at a November rally on Capitol Hill for economic and social justice. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Trickle Down Economics Is a Fraud Designed by the Rich

By Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders's Facebook Page

21 February 17


rickle down economics is a fraudulent theory designed by the rich and their think tanks in order to protect the billionaires and large corporations. At a time of grotesque income and wealth inequality, the rich do not need more tax breaks and working people and their kids do not need cuts to education or other basic needs.

I’ll be in Kansas on Saturday. The state is in real trouble because the governor, Sam Brownback, pushed tax cuts for the wealthy claiming it would boost the economy.

Guess what. It didn’t work! Kansas’s economy grew slower than the rest of the country and jobs did not come flooding in. What Governor Brownback did manage to do was create a billion-dollar hole in the state’s budget.

Now even some Republican state senators want to roll back Brownback’s tax cuts.

Let's be clear. Corporate America and the 1% want it all. They are not content with the top 1/10th of 1% owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Their greed in unquenchable. That is why we have got to stand together and demand a progressive tax system where the wealthy start paying their fair share of taxes. How absurd is it that our billionaire president doesn't pay any federal taxes! your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+74 # chapdrum 2017-02-21 17:18
Only if you're under 30 will this be news (and thanks to Bernie for unearthing it).
Those of us around for the first unicorns 'n' rainbows crock from the Reagan "revolution" are astonished to see how this utter trash still has resonance.
+5 # HowardMH 2017-02-22 10:17
chapdrum, it has resonance, BECAUSE of all the really ignorant people that are buying the Orange Headed Idiots BS.

Until they figure out he has been lying to them THE WHOLE TIME and start REALLY raising to serious hell at ALL the town meetings (both Republican and Wimpy Democrat)NOTHIN G WILL HAPPEN!

The American Spring will start when there are thousands of really, really pissed off people at the Capital (with 2x2s and baseball bats) all at the same time raising some serious hell against the Lunatics, and idiots absolutely nothing is ever, ever going to happen to these totally bought and paid for by the richest 400 families in the world that are becoming more and more powerful with each passing rigged election thanks to the stupid people.

So, scream, yell, chant, stomp your feet, threaten to hold your breath, and beat your drums so the media can show it on the evening news, while all of those who can actually do anything about it are home counting their donation money and laughing all the way to the bank.

How is that Hopie Changie been working out for you so far?

Yes there is still hope for the America we used to know, but I agree it is fading fast.

“Yes I am going to keep posting this until it happens!”
+5 # mh1224jst 2017-02-23 05:13
Soon, everyone will know the truth about economics. Here are the facts: Trickle-down is embedded in Samuelson's "neoclassical" perspectives, that now dominate the mainstream, and it has controlled AMERICAN ideology for over a century.

AND, the damage is much worse than we normally imagine. Kansas does not have an isolated economy, but its experience is informative. For the nation as a whole, higher inequality necessarily depresses income growth. Hence, more poverty, lower incomes, and reduced employment. The bottom 90% has been in a depression for about two decades.

Bernie has nailed the greed issue. Money corrupts the mind. I'm not a psychologist, but there has to be serious pathology associated with possessing a great deal of wealth.
0 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2017-02-26 14:15
Just one adjustment: the bottom 90% has experienced wage deflation in the face of productivity gains since 1972-73. Time is passing fast, but it is now more than FOUR decades since working Americans have made any economic gains. And yet, the country has produced magnificent overall financial growth.
+57 # CDMR 2017-02-21 18:50
"Trickle down economics" is also called Reaganism, Supply side economic theory (from the Austrian school), Neo-Liberalism, and Thatcherism. This economic practice was rammed down the throat of the world from Reagan and Thatcher to today -- about 40 years. It has been a total failure for 99% of the world's people. Now it is coming to an end. No one is fooled anymore, except maybe for the economics writers at the NTYTimes or Wall Street Journal.

The political party and individual politicians who can seize the next phase will control government in the West. Sanders is as usual right on the mark. He should be the new leader of the Democratic party. Why isn't he. Who the hell is Kieth Ellison?
+33 # jsluka 2017-02-22 00:06
As I recall, Reagan used some famous metaphor like "A rising sea raises all boats" to help sell the idea of trickle-down economics. One of my professors at Berkeley said this was like believing that if you put gas in the radiator of your car it will "trickle down" to the gas tank; that is, that the system simply doesn't work that way. (He added that what goes in at the top very strongly tends to stay at the top). Of course, some wag was quick to observe that "trickle down" was about the rich urinating on everyone below them. Both seem to be pretty accurate evaluations of the myth of "trickle down" economics.
+4 # RaW 2017-02-24 07:18
Trickle down is when the rich piss on you from above, and tell you that it's raining gold.
+21 # warrior woman 2017-02-22 06:22
Trump voters are still in the illusion.
+20 # chrisconnolly 2017-02-22 09:38
This economics, or Thatcherism, is really the disaster capitalism of the Milton Freidman school of thought. Naomi Kline covers it quite thoroughly in her book Shook Doctrine. This method of economics has crashed many a countries' economy while a US supported dictator takes over. Think Pinochet in Chile. Brutal economic take over of a democracy profits by extremes the few and destroys by extremes the many.
0 # moreover 2017-02-25 00:42
Correct spelling: Milton Friedman. And: Naomi Klein (and her book is the Shock Doctrine).
+3 # mh1224jst 2017-02-23 05:26
Great comment, CDMR. The NY Times is owned by very rich people, so its editorial policy for years has been to exclude taxing the rich from economic discussions.

Another way to look at Reaganomics: America's top wealthy people decided that rather than pay progressive taxes, they would lend money to the government. Now our national debt totals over $19 trillion, and the federal government is bankrupt!
+54 # moniker 2017-02-21 20:40
Been saying that since Reagan first walked onto the stage. Remember him? The poor would pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Well, you have to have boots first.

Yep, Reagan porked the poor. The Great Fornicator.
+51 # CL38 2017-02-21 21:17
I can't believe the 1% still get away with this. Can't believe that politicians do their bidding, at the expense of the rest of us--and they get away with THAT, and still get elected.
+26 # CTPatriot 2017-02-22 06:14
Part of how they do it is by screaming "Class War" any time someone tries to "redistribute their wealth". Never mind that the real class war was waged by them starting in 1980 with Reaganomics. Amazing how many in our country have been blinded by the corporate media to the real class war.
+29 # Realist1948 2017-02-22 06:46
The top 1% often claim that they are the "job creators" and are therefore contributing to the greater good by hoovering up the bulk of our nation's wealth. IMHO the arguments against this are too often made in abstract or statistical terms. Perhaps some concrete examples would help people see how absurd the trickle-down argument is.

Case in point: One of the wealthiest Americans is Larry Ellison of software powerhouse Oracle. One of the things Ellison did with his immense fortune was to commission construction of an enormous yacht, "The Rising Sun." This $200+ million plaything was built in Europe (no U.S. jobs were created).

When Ellison got bored with his toy, he sold it. It's this sort of extravagant waste of money that shows "trickle down" to be a hoax. In an economy where roughly 70% of activity is consumer spending, we need a more equitable distribution of income just to keep the economy humming, with spending by middle class and lower income citizens.
+18 # librarian1984 2017-02-22 09:22
This is where actual reporting might come in very handy, yeah?

Instead, the press focuses on politics as a business and entertainment story. They no longer inform US on policy. Fake journalists are celebrities, and content-free. Millionaires covering other millionaires.

But when it comes to our schools, climate change, health care, war, election integrity, wealth inequality .. We don't get stories about any of those things, about anything that matters. We are bombarded by propaganda 24/7/365. We are herded like sheep, manipulated by fear.

All of US, liberals and conservatives and everyone else, would benefit from rejecting the fear that has been driving us for so long. The oligarchs, using the media, divide us through fear.

It is not easy to break free of it. It is frightening to find all your bellwethers are false. But it could be the beginning of a better age .. and what choice do we have?
0 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2017-02-26 14:18
Right on!

If not NOW, then WHEN?
+3 # Nino 2017-02-22 13:23
They still get elected because there is a large percentage of uneducated citizens
who do vote what their priest or preacher tells them how to vote and who to vote for.
As long as this large group of the population remains uneducated we will not see any change. Sorry to say but I do not see any sunshine in near future!
0 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2017-02-26 14:20
Well, keep in mind that the two major political parties perform a well-rehearsed Kabuki theater to distract us, give us the impression, day and day out, that they are both fighting on our behalf.

In the backrooms, they laugh at us and tip a cocktail to their success.
0 # jazzman633 2017-02-26 20:16
Golden Rule: whoever has the gold makes the rules.
+6 # Macserp 2017-02-21 22:25
Please take minute to read some interesting insight into trickle-down theory and the very foundations of our country:

Turns out we were doomed from the start.
+12 # Jaax88 2017-02-21 23:32
Taxes are a trigger for many people. It has a negative connotation for voters. That needs to be fought to inform voters what benefits they get for their daily lives from spending tax money.
+3 # Nino 2017-02-22 13:31
I agree: taxes, when well spent, are a great benefit for citizens.
Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, are spent for tiny pet projects by any and all Members of Congress.
+14 # kyzipster 2017-02-21 23:33
Trump campaigned very openly on tax cuts projected to add $5 to $10 trillion to the debt. Helping no one in the bottom 80%. Hardly anyone was talking about it before the election.

I hope Sanders focuses on red states that have eliminated the state income tax. Shifting the tax burden to the poor and working class. Raising the sales tax, taxing food, paying extra for fire protection and trash collection, cutting any service they can.

They want to pull it off at the national level with their "Fair Tax." It's their Holy Grail.

I heard a talk of a possible direction Trump may go with trade. They're considering tariffs for consumers to absorb while using the savings to cut corporate tax to 20%.

This is similar to the model of their Fair Tax, a federal tax on goods and services, eliminating corporate and personal income tax and the IRS.
+12 # m... 2017-02-22 00:12
Its great that Sanders is saying this from his powerful pulpit.
But, who doesn't already know this?
Like 'chapdrum' above said, maybe people under 30 don't know.
Maybe under 40 also. Maybe a lot of people who cannot make the personal comparison between life under Trickle Down and life under the New Deal. Maybe a lot of people who 'self-isolate' in like-minded communities listening to like-minded media. And, maybe a lot of single issue voters (ex. abortion or guns) who don't want to hear about it as long at they are 50 paychecks away from personal financial disaster.
Therein lies the conundrum; a conundrum that doesn't go over the heads of the CONServative 1% as they (as has been reported in Iowa and elsewhere) now demand that Universities pretty much grant 'equal time' for their agenda in classrooms. Demanded, even as they've been very busy gaining control over most media outlets and press in America and DE-granting equal time for 30 years. They began by ending The Fairness Doctrine under Reagan.
What Trickle Down is now, is Open, Right In Your Face Class WAR, complete with follow up spittle, sneering, snickering and arrogant contempt, being waged upon the overwhelming vast majority by the One Percent's bought and paid for battalions of 'Class War Media Mercenaries' and Legions of otherwise ignorant, stuck in the muddled minded of 'what can I do' and the many Americans who only know what they are told and see on isolated islands of a largely Trickle-tized media.
0 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2017-02-26 14:25
Yes, more and more people know it. And we must keep saying it and saying it...and getting locally momentum grows for a People's Party.

Consider attending or forming a local social justice group, like Democratic Socialists of America ( DSA membership has tripled since the election. In east central Texas, our DSA chapter regularly meets and coordinates action with other social justice groups. The movement IS growing. And while DSA itself is not political, we and our allies DO aim to start affecting elections as soon as 2018.
+10 # wrknight 2017-02-22 00:54
In "trickle down" economics, most of us know what it is that trickles down. For those who are not sure, it's liquid, yellow, slightly warm and smells like piss.
+12 # sharag 2017-02-22 01:10
I can't believe voters still let politicians get away with it. Keep electing these criminals. This is stuff the Mafia could only dream about. Or, it's now them in office.
+16 # walt 2017-02-22 06:49
Since America's earliest days the battle has been between the vested class and the common man. It has never changed except in nomenclature.

Two and a half centuries after the constitution was written the people are still having to fight for basic rights and the oligarchs use their big money to squelch them.

The only answer is for people to start voting in their own best interests. For those who voted for Trump and doubt this, note that he is a billionaire, his entire cabinet is made up of millionaires and their goal is to take from the people so they can have even more.
+4 # hd70642 2017-02-22 07:13
This. idealistic. elitism. has. not. produced. . a higher. standard. of .living
nor. has. produced.any. superior. individuals. as envisioned. by lowlife. weirdo. cackpot ayn rand if. there. If. there. is an afterlife. she is far too nasty for heaven and too imbecilic. for. hell well maybe in limbo. which she. was in her own limbo anyway. in a comatose zombie like state anyway
+15 # ddd-rrr 2017-02-22 08:15
THIS is the truth of economics, and the truth about what
happens when one even just "leans" toward "pure capitalism"!
How many times do we need to "rediscover" this truth before
people understand the consequences of going this route?!?!
Look at history for when the majority of people were LESS
well off, and you will find that it generally corresponds with
when capitalism was "unleashed" during periods of low
regulation and with taxation that favored the wealthy over
most others. It's "simple": the wealthy use money to make
more money in money markets (such as Wall Street), rather
than for making money in ways that are helpful for the general
populace. Why? It's an easier, faster, and more reliable way
to increase your wealth!
+12 # giraffee23 2017-02-22 08:36
Make sure Fox "news" tells the truth and more than 1/2 USA citizens will KNOW trickle down doesn't work. Then and only then the likes of Fox news will not feel these people "false news" and then we won't have the crooks in Congress passing these laws allowing Rich to grab all our assets/money.
+6 # David Starr 2017-02-22 10:17
Trickle down economics is comparable to a monarchy throwing crumbs to the peasants. Or not even that.
+5 # dotlady 2017-02-22 11:02
Doesn't matter much who you elect - they might come in strongly well-intended but if they don't play the game they are gone. They are shaped by the bribery system of capitalism. We need to change corporate law - the leaders of corporations should be held responsible for certain protections for their workers, and the workers should have a share in the profits.
+3 # Robbee 2017-02-22 13:38
it gets better! - brownback says he will veto repeal of kansas tax cuts!

may repukes rot in the cesspools they dig!
+3 # C.H.Winslow 2017-02-22 22:35
It might be, Bernie, that our "billionaire President" did not pay any taxes because he owes more to banks (especially Russian banks and oligarchs) than is his net worth. I really would rather he did have the vast wealth he claims that he has. Perhaps it would be harder for the Russians to blackmail him then. But we really do not know because his taxes are permanently under audit.
+5 # 2017-02-22 23:50
I think "Trickle Up" would work much better than "Trickle Down." If poor people have more money, they will spend it. That money will eventually get to the folks who produce, advertise, and sell the stuff.
+3 # dusty 2017-02-23 16:29
THE TRICKLE DOWN THEORY IS LIKE EVERY OTHER WAY THE RICH SEEK TO CONFUSE, DIVIDE AND CONQUER THE 99%. It comes to us that the rich realizes that we are the pillars of society through our work that creates the wealth -- which they grab. Then they sidle up to the pillars, and pee on them and the trickle down is what we are supposed to accept as our fate. We need to sterilize the rich and go on from there including Dems who sidle up to the rears of the rich and kiss them.
+4 # dusty 2017-02-23 16:52
Never use Reaganomics! Why? Because inexplicable he is still popular though he knew basically nothing about economics. Continue to call it trickle down or doesn't work economics.
0 # tpaillet 2017-02-24 18:51
Absurd and stay on them Bernie!

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.