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Old 07-06-2005, 04:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: G8 Summit - anarchy

Quote:
Originally Posted by root
personally I think that *most* of the G8 protestors do not actually understand what the G8 is all about...
OK, i admit that they dont, and are mostly a bunch of HIGH crazy hippys, but some do, and they are there to put pressure on the 8 to step up to the plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by root
it's not about capitalism, it's about the worlds 8 richest countries discussing world economic problems,
Such as world poverty/third world debt
and environmental problems and the possible solutions.
No crap, i was just saying what i think is the best government best. the 8 have the ability to stop poverty, but they need a little coaxing. its time for The 8to step up to the plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by root
people called for the disbanndment of the G8 don't fully understand what it is for or what it is about...
Who ever said that needs to shut-up, they are discussing a noble issue that needs to be addressed. Anyone who says governments should not end poverty is an idiot

Quote:
Originally Posted by root
IMHO Bob Geldoff prancing around africa in a brilliant white 4x4 does nothing to help or educate people either here or there.
Bob Geldof does not prance, he drove and flew around africa seeing the tragic things that go on every day in africa, and decided to try to put a stop to it. He is trying to do something right, dont insult him.
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Old 07-06-2005, 04:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: G8 Summit - anarchy

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Originally Posted by Giancarlo
Putting too much arbitrary regulation on capitalism could lead to future economic problems. That's why the Reagan adminstration got rid of much of the restraints FDR put on the economy during the 1930s (these were still in effect too and they were weighing down the economy).
Well, taking off outdated regulations is important, but ragannomics does not work, thats one reason the economy in the early 90's was bad, and clinton fixed that. Capitalisum itself is not bad, but the rich and powerful elite need to have regulations but on their businesses or things like Enron or adelfia happen. Power corrupts. Reagonomics does not work b/c if the economy is in ressesion then the ppl will not buy as much and save their money. They will not buy as much and no matter how much tax breaks you give to the wealth you will still not get pl to buy stuff if they are not secure in there market. If they dont buy things then businesses dont make money, and the whole system fails. The whole economic system is based on confidence. The only way to stimulate the ecomomy is to give tax breaks to the poor-middle class, so they can have more money to buy things. Thus giviong them some extra money and a little confidence. Then ppl start buying. what i dont understand is why make the rich pay less? They make alittle more they should be expected to pay a little more.
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Old 07-06-2005, 05:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: G8 Summit - anarchy

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Originally Posted by The_Necromancer
Well, taking off outdated regulations is important, but ragannomics does not work, thats one reason the economy in the early 90's was bad, and clinton fixed that. Capitalisum itself is not bad, but the rich and powerful elite need to have regulations but on their businesses or things like Enron or adelfia happen. Power corrupts. Reagonomics does not work b/c if the economy is in ressesion then the ppl will not buy as much and save their money. They will not buy as much and no matter how much tax breaks you give to the wealth you will still not get pl to buy stuff if they are not secure in there market. If they dont buy things then businesses dont make money, and the whole system fails. The whole economic system is based on confidence. The only way to stimulate the ecomomy is to give tax breaks to the poor-middle class, so they can have more money to buy things. Thus giviong them some extra money and a little confidence. Then ppl start buying. what i dont understand is why make the rich pay less? They make alittle more they should be expected to pay a little more.
The highlighted section is false. To stimulate the economy you have to give tax rebates to the middle-upper classes because they are the biggest spenders. That is why the Reagan plan worked. Saying it did not work is totally false, and a complete rejection of historical facts. The 83-89 boom was one of the longest lasting in US history.

Also the Reagan tax cuts were across the board like the Bush tax cuts, for all income brackets.

This is totally false. Reaganomics did work and here are the facts, Clinton never fixed anything. I'll post this report done by the CATO institute. The early 90s recession was mild and the economy took a breather because it would of over-heated if the economic growth continued like it did in the 1980s. Reaganomics did in fact work because it put money back to the people.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1120&full=1

"Economic Growth. The average annual growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) from 1981 to 1989 was 3.2 percent per year, compared with 2.8 percent from 1974 to 1981 and 2.1 percent from 1989 to 1995. The 3.2 percent growth rate for the Reagan years includes the recession of the early 1980s, which was a side effect of reversing Carter's high-inflation policies, and the seven expansion years, 1983-89. During the economic expansion alone, the economy grew by a robust annual rate of 3.8 percent. By the end of the Reagan years, the American economy was almost one-third larger than it was when they began. [13] Figure 1 shows the economic growth rate by president since World War II. That rate was higher in the 1980s than in the 1950s and 1970s but was substantially lower than the rapid economic growth rate of more than 4 percent per year in the 1960s. The Kennedy income tax rate cuts of 30 percent that were enacted in 1964 generated several years of 5 percent annual real growth.

Economic Growth per Working-Age Adult. When we adjust the economic growth rates to take account of demographic changes, we find that the expansion in the Reagan years looks even better and that the 1970s' performance looks worse. GDP growth per adult aged 20-64 in the Reagan years grew twice as rapidly, on average, as it did in the pre- and post-Reagan years.

Median Household Incomes. Real median household income rose by $4,000 in the Reagan years--from $37,868 in 1981 to $42,049 in 1989, as shown in Figure 2. This improvement was a stark reversal of the income trends in the late 1970s and the 1990s: median family income was unchanged in the eight pre-Reagan years, and incomes have fallen by $1,438 in the anti-supply-side 1990s, following the 1990 and 1993 tax hikes. [14] Most of the declines in take-home pay occurred on George Bush's watch. Under Bill Clinton's tenure, there has been zero income growth in median household income.

Employment. From 1981 through 1989 the U.S. economy produced 17 million new jobs, or roughly 2 million new jobs each year. Contrary to the Clinton administration's claims of vast job gains in the 1990s, the United States has averaged only 1.3 million new jobs per year in the post-Reagan years. The labor force United States has averaged only 1.3 million new jobs expanded by 1.7 percent per year between 1981 and 1989, but by just 1.2 percent per year between 1990 and 1995. [15]

Hours Worked. Table 1 confirms that hours worked per adult aged 20-64 grew much faster in the 1980s than in the pre -or post-Reagan years.

Unemployment Rate. When Reagan took office in 1981, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent. In the recession of 1981-82, that rate peaked at 9.7 percent, but it fell continuously for the next seven years. When Reagan left office, the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. This reduction in joblessness was a clear triumph of the Reagan program. Figure 3 shows that in the pre-Reagan years, the unemployment rate trended upward; in the Reagan years, the unemployment rate trended downward; and in the post-Reagan years, the unemployment rate has fluctuated up and down but today remains virtually unchanged from the 1989 rate.

Productivity. For real wages to rise, productivity must rise. Over the past 30 years there has been a secular downward trend in U.S. productivity growth. Under Reagan, productivity grew at a 1.5 percent annual rate, as shown in Figure 4. This was lower than in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s but much higher than in the post-Reagan years. Under Clinton, productivity has increased at an annual rate of just 0.3 percent per year--the worst presidential performance since that of Herbert Hoover.

Inflation. The central economic evil that Ronald Reagan inherited in 1981 from Jimmy Carter was three years of double-digit inflation. In 1980 the consumer price index (CPI) rose to 13.5 percent. By Reagan's second year in office, the inflation rate fell by more than half to 6.2 percent. In 1988, Reagan's last year in office, the CPI had fallen to 4.1 percent. Figure 5 shows the inflation and interest rate trend.

Interest Rates. In 1980 the interest rate on a 30-year mortgage was 15 percent; this rate rose to its all-time peak of 18.9 percent in 1981. The prime rate steadily fell over the subsequent six years to a low of 8.2 percent in 1987 as the inflationary expectation component of interest rates fell sharply. The prime rate hit its 20-year low in 1993 at 6.0 percent. The Treasury Bill rate also fell dramatically in the 1980s--from 14 percent in 1981 to 7 percent in 1988. In the 1990s, interest rates have continued to migrate gradually downward, as shown in Figure 5.

Savings. The savings rate did not rise in the 1980s, as supply-side advocates had predicted. In fact, in the 1980s the personal savings rate fell from 8 percent to 6.5 percent. [16]In the 1990s the average savings rate has fallen even further to an average of 4.9 percent [17]--although the rate of decline has slowed. "

The only issue was savings, but everything else shows a good rise.
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: G8 Summit - anarchy

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Old 07-06-2005, 07:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: G8 Summit - anarchy

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Originally Posted by The_Necromancer
OK, i admit that they dont, and are mostly a bunch of HIGH crazy hippys, but some do, and they are there to put pressure on the 8 to step up to the plate.

No crap, i was just saying what i think is the best government best. the 8 have the ability to stop poverty, but they need a little coaxing. its time for The 8to step up to the plate

Who ever said that needs to shut-up, they are discussing a noble issue that needs to be addressed. Anyone who says governments should not end poverty is an idiot

Bob Geldof does not prance, he drove and flew around africa seeing the tragic things that go on every day in africa, and decided to try to put a stop to it. He is trying to do something right, dont insult him.
why should the 8 "step up to the plate"? just because they can?
the money borrowed in the firs place was spent improoving lives, building damns, buying medicines...

then it was wasted on guns, there was aprogram on tv, (with that git bob in it) where he went to an african village, there were women and children working grinding corn, whilst a man stood nearby holdnig a gun, (though not threatening the workers)...

there was another program a few days ago on the aids epedemic, when questioned about the use of contraceptive most of the peoples attitude is they don't see why they should bother...
and of that most... half don't bother because hey don't think they will catch aids...
the other half already have aids and have the attitude that if they are going to die then they don't care who else dies.

my point here is that a lot of people in this third world do not have the mental state that they can be helped. they are too fixed on themselves and do not think of the consiquenses of their actions.

dropping the debt is a good idea, but it has to be done with conditions and clauses to make sure the money saved is not wasted as it was in prevfious aid efforts.

the 8 are talking a stand, and I'm fairly sure that whatever they decide will be what they consider the best, and certainly not the choice of Geldofs ranting, and his millions rioters (sorry, marchers).


the people who said that the g8 needs dsbanding are some of the million marchers, to me this is proof that they don't even know what they are marching about... IMHO the problem with this free society is everyone has a voice. even if it's not worth hearing.



bob drove flew and generaly scruffed his way round africa making us all feel sorry for the people there...
if he'd have really wanted to make a difference he'd have gone out ther with a boring machine rather than a camera crew and made a well...

the prancing (as I put it) is not limited to sir Bob...
IMHOP africa needs grass roots projects, like village schools/wells/medicines, delivered to the affected areas.

not a bunch of money given to a government who will use it to make the middle class lives beter.

what you need to realise is that not all of africa is a squalid swamp or dessert land, there are 'well off' parts, and sadly those well off parts are more likely to get the money that the shanty towns and villages we are all watching on TV...


On the subject of sir/saint Bob, he was the one who invited a million people to march on Edingburgh,
-notably he didn''t go through the proper channels and as such he should be charged with insightment to riot.
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Old 07-06-2005, 07:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: G8 Summit - anarchy

Support for Reaganomics
The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please view the article's talk page.
A study from the Cato Institute (a Libertarian think tank, which supports many of the premises that lie behind Reaganomics) said:

Real economic growth averaged 3.2 percent during the Reagan years versus 2.8 percent during the Ford-Carter years and 2.1 percent during the Bush-Clinton years.
Real median family income grew by $4,000 during the Reagan period after experiencing no growth in the pre-Reagan years; it experienced a loss of almost $1,500 in the post-Reagan years. (source)
Laffer and Reagan were vindicated by the results of the Reagan tax cuts. Real per capita GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.6% from 1981 to 1989, after languishing at a 1.6% rate during the Carter years of 1977 to 1981. Citation: Louis Johnston and Samuel H. Williamson, "The Annual Real and Nominal GDP for the United States, 1789 - Present." Economic History Services, March 2004, URL : http://www.eh.net/hmit/gdp/


Reagan's supply-side model changed the paradigm of government involvement in the economy. Keynesian economists were at a loss to explain why the aggregate demand increases of the 1970's did not result in improved national economic performance. Likewise, they could not explain how to reverse the shift in the Phillips curve. The Reagan-Laffer-Volcker-Milton Friedman model of improving economic performance by reducing government involvement in the economy has since gained wide currency. President Clinton ran as a "New Democrat": fiscally conservative and trade-friendly. Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Serbia, Romania, Georgia, Ukraine, as well as Russia and Iraq have variations of the flat tax. Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico cut personal income taxes in 2003 "to spur growth and investment". [1]

[edit]
Replies to this Defense
The arguments quoted above from a Cato study show the importance of not drawing conclusions from a cursory analysis of a small subset of the available data. The study calculates the average real GDP growth during a pre-Reagan period (1974-81), Reagan period (1981-89), and post-Reagan period (1989-95). The averages from the 1996 Economic Report of the President are 2.8, 3.2, and 2.1 percent, respectively. Updating them from Table B-2 in the 2005 Economic Report of the President, the averages are 2.97, 3.55, and 2.37 percent, respectively. In looking at all of the data, however, it appears that the economy has been following a 10-year cycle during the past several decades. There were recessions in 2001, 1990-91, 1980-82 (a double-dip recession), 1974-75, 1969-70, and 1960-61. Hence, except for the recession in the mid 70s, the recessions have come at the beginning of each and every decade. For this reason, it makes more sense to measure the average growth in GDP over 10-year periods since 1960. Doing this gives average GDP growths of 4.21 percent (1960-70), 3.23 percent (1970-80), 3.28 percent (1980-90), and 3.29 percent (1990-2000). Hence, this measure suggests that GDP growth was stronger during the 60s but was about the same in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

An even more surprising result comes from looking more closely at real median family income. The Cato study states that it experienced no growth during the pre-Reagan period, grew by $4,000 (1994 dollars) during the Reagan period, and shrunk by almost $1,500 dollars during the post-Reagan period. Looking at recent census data, real median family income did grow a mere $55 (2003 dollars) from 1973 to 1981, grew $5,740 from 1981 to 1989, and shrank $335 from 1989 to 1995. However, Figure 2 in the Cato report shows the reason for this. During the Reagan period, the author is measuring very nearly from a trough to a peak in family earnings. This means that the pre-Reagan period is measuring TO a trough and the post-Reagan period is measuring FROM a peak. In fact, real median family income has been reaching a peak about every ten years since about 1969. It reached peaks in 2000, 1989, 1979, and 1969. Measuring the growth every ten years since 1969 gives growths of $5,426 (1969-79), $3,025 (1979-89) and $4,887 (1989-99). Incidentally, the growth from 1959 to 1969 was $11,539. Hence, over the four decades since 1959, this measure gives the growth of real median family income during the Reagan decade to have been the lowest, not the highest.

Much of the liberalization (telecoms, break up of AT&T, air travel etc.) that many claim helped to reinvigorate the American economy was initiated in the 1970s under President Carter and received broad bipartisan support. For example, deregulation of the airlines was initiated under the leadership of Alfred Kahn in 1978. It can also be argued that liberalization has increased the amount of insecurity suffered by the average citizen, while encouraging wage cuts, the decline of unionization, the rise of profits, and the like.

Reagan's tax policies were accused of pushing both the international transactions current account and the federal budget into deficit and led to a significant increase in public debt. Advocates of the Laffer Curve contend that the tax cuts did lead to a near doubling of tax receipts ($517 billion in 1980 to $1,032 billion in 1990), so that the deficits were actually caused by an increase in government spending. However, Historical Table 1.3 in the 2006 U.S. Budget shows that revenues had likewise doubled (or better) during every decade since the Great Depression. They went up 506% during the 40's, 135% during the 50's, 108% during the 60's, and 168% during the 70's. At 96 percent, they nearly doubled in the 90s as well. Furthermore, according to Historical Table 2.1, the receipts from individual income taxes (the only receipts directly affected by the tax cuts) went up just 91 percent during the 80's. Meanwhile, receipts from Social Insurance, which is directly affected by the FICA tax rate, went up 141 percent. This larger increase was largely due to the fact that the FICA tax rate went up 25% from 6.13 to 7.65 percent of payroll. Hence, the increase in revenues in the 80s was no larger than other recent decades and a portion of that increase was arguably due to the FICA tax hike.

In addition, old-fashioned Keynesian economics has argued for many decades that any fiscal stimulus helps "pay for itself" by increasing aggregate demand and gross domestic product and lowering unemployment. These forces automatically raise tax revenues and lowers transfer payments such as unemployment insurance. No supply-side effects are needed to understand this story.

The disinflation had been initiated by Fed chairman Volcker before Reagan assumed office. An anti-inflation monetary policy program had been begun by Fed Chair Volcker in the latter days of the Carter administration, but it took awhile to take hold, so that inflation was still near a historical peak around the time of the 1980 elections.

A recession occurred in 1982, his second year in office. Almost no one blames this on the Reagan administration. Instead, it was central to Volcker's campaign against inflation: applying either the Phillips Curve or the NAIRU theory, high unemployment (almost 10 percent of the labor force in both 1982 and 1983) undercuts inflation. Reagan benefited from the fact that Volcker relented (shifting to more expansionary monetary policy) after inflation had largely been beaten. Further, the sudden fall in oil prices around 1986 helped the economy attain demand growth without inflation in the late 1980s.
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Old 07-06-2005, 07:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: G8 Summit - anarchy

this was taken from wiki
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Old 07-07-2005, 04:16 AM   #18
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Necro: NO! You are taking things wrong and posting things wrongly. I know that wikipedia has issues with stating things properly and has a left slant. This is quite obvious. Take the facts from someone who understands them:



(Notice unemployment was rising since 1979, in which Carter was responsible, not Reagan)



The utter ridiculous nature of the naysayers of Reagan is noted by the expansion in the global economy during the 1980s, too. This era was marked by great expansion in China, that led to further expansion in the 1990s and beyond.

As far as i'm concerned, wikipedia is a pile of junk. It says CATO did this, but really CATO only took facts and figures provided by the government over an extended period of time.

Quote:
Much of the liberalization (telecoms, break up of AT&T, air travel etc.) that many claim helped to reinvigorate the American economy was initiated in the 1970s under President Carter and received broad bipartisan support. For example, deregulation of the airlines was initiated under the leadership of Alfred Kahn in 1978. It can also be argued that liberalization has increased the amount of insecurity suffered by the average citizen, while encouraging wage cuts, the decline of unionization, the rise of profits, and the like.
This is false. Carter allowed further unionization. Unionization never declined, and profits never rose. In fact unemployment was on the rise. So this is a pure misconception.

"The gains in incomes of all income groups is all the more impressive when we examine data on income mobility. Tens of millions of Americans moved up the income scale in the 1980s--an economic fact that is obscured when only the static income quintile data from the start of the decade to the end are examined. Figure 12 shows that 86 percent of households that were in the poorest income quintile in 1980 had moved up the economic ladder to a higher income quintile by 1990. Incredibly, a poor household in 1980 was more likely to have moved all the way up to the richest income quintile by 1990 (15 percent) than to still be in the poorest quintile (14 percent)."

Wikipedia obviously has issues with the facts and has an obvious left wing slant.

More facts to dispute the wikipedia nonsense:

"Contrary to popular rhetoric, the wealthiest Americans did not pay less taxes; rather, they paid more taxes after the income tax rate cuts in 1981. In constant dollars, the richest 10 percent of Americans paid $177 billion in federal income taxes in 1980 but paid $237 billion in 1988. The remaining 90 percent of households paid $5 billion less in income taxes over this period. [52] They earned more and they paid more. In fact, Federal Reserve Board member Lawrence Lindsey has shown that taxes paid by the wealthy were substantially higher than they would have been if the top tax rate had remained at 70 percent.[53] Figure 14 shows that the share of total income taxes paid by the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans actually rose from 18 percent in 1981 to 25 percent in 1990. The wealthiest 5 percent of Americans saw their tax share rise from 35 to 44 percent. So the rise in the deficit was clearly not a result of "tax cuts for the rich."
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Old 07-07-2005, 04:22 AM   #19
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Default Re: G8 Summit - anarchy

More facts disputing Necros stance:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/BG1414.cfm
Many critics of reducing taxes claim that the Reagan tax cuts drained the U.S. Treasury. The reality is that federal revenues increased significantly between 1980 and 1990:

Total federal revenues doubled from just over $517 billion in 1980 to more than $1 trillion in 1990. In constant inflation-adjusted dollars, this was a 28 percent increase in revenue.3

As a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), federal revenues declined only slightly from 18.9 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 1990.4

Revenues from individual income taxes climbed from just over $244 billion in 1980 to nearly $467 billion in 1990.5 In inflation-adjusted dollars, this amounts to a 25 percent increase.

Federal spending more than doubled, growing from almost $591 billion in 1980 to $1.25 trillion in 1990. In constant inflation-adjusted dollars, this was an increase of 35.8 percent.6

As a percentage of GDP, federal expenditures grew slightly from 21.6 percent in 1980 to 21.8 percent in 1990.7

Contrary to popular myth, while inflation-adjusted defense spending increased by 50 percent between 1980 and 1989, it was curtailed when the Cold War ended and fell by 15 percent between 1989 and 1993. However, means-tested entitlements, which do not include Social Security or Medicare, rose by over 102 percent between 1980 and 1993, and they have continued climbing ever since.8

Total spending on all national security programs never equaled domestic spending, even when Social Security, Medicare, and net interest are excluded from domestic totals. In addition, national security spending fell during the Administration of the senior President Bush, while domestic spending increased in both mandatory and discretionary accounts.9 (See Chart 1.)

In 1991, after the Reagan rate cuts were well in place, the top 1 percent of taxpayers in income paid 25 percent of all income taxes; the top 5 percent paid 43 percent; and the bottom 50 percent paid only 5 percent.13 To suggest that this distribution is unfair because it is too easy on upper-income groups is nothing less than absurd.

The proportion of total income taxes paid by the top 1 percent rose sharply under President Reagan, from 18 percent in 1981 to 28 percent in 1988.14

Average effective income tax rates were cut even more for lower-income groups than for higher-income groups. While the average effective tax rate for the top 1 percent fell by 30 percent between 1980 and 1992, and by 35 percent for the top 20 percent of income earners, it fell by 44 percent for the second-highest quintile, 46 percent for the middle quintile, 64 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and 263 percent for the bottom quintile.15

These reductions for the lowest-income groups were so large because President Reagan doubled the personal exemption, increased the standard deduction, and tripled the earned income tax credit (EITC), which provides net cash for single-parent families with children at the lowest income levels. These changes eliminated income tax liability altogether for over 4 million lower-income families.16

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/...9541_db038.htm

Reagan was responsible for boom of 1990s, not Clinton

"On Aug. 13, 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation that defined his vision for the U.S. economy. The Economic Recovery Tax Act, also known as the Kemp-Roth bill, slashed taxes for many individuals and corporations and ushered in a new era. From that date on, government would play a far smaller role in the economy, and markets would reign supreme.

Just the previous day, with far less attention and fanfare, IBM (IBM ) announced the introduction of its first personal computer, the IBM PC. Powered by a microprocessor from Intel (INTC ), which then had revenues of less than $1 billion, and sporting an operating system by a virtually unknown company called Microsoft (MSFT ), the IBM PC, and the machines that followed, took the country by storm.

TAX CUTTER. In a way that few have realized, Reagan's economic legacy is inextricably interwoven with the Information Revolution that the IBM PC helped kick off. His message of competitive markets, entrepreneurial vigor, and minimal regulation found a willing audience in an era of rapid technological change, where innovation was opening new opportunities seemingly every day. Reagan's first term saw the creation of such future giants as Sun Microsystems (SUNW ), Compaq Computer, Dell (DELL ), and Cisco Systems (CSCO ) -- the greatest entrepreneurial burst of new companies since the early 20th century.

It's likely that those companies would still have been founded, and would have prospered, even if Reagan hadn't been elected. Moreover, some of his policies, such as reduced support for nondefense research and development, were negatives for a tech-driven economy.

But the Californian's program of slashing taxes was perfectly suited to -- and helped foster -- the new environment, with its emphasis on investment in human capital and ideas rather than heavy equipment. His tax bills -- including the 1981 legislation and the major 1986 Tax Reform Act -- whacked the marginal tax rates on top earners from 70% to about 30% and made it far more attractive for people to raise their incomes by getting more education or taking the risks of starting a company.

FOSTERING INNOVATION. In addition, Reagan's 1986 tax-reform bill had another major impact. The new law helped support "idea-based" industries such as software and financial services. It lowered corporate tax rates for those companies while cutting or eliminating provisions in the tax code, such as the investment tax credit, that had primarily benefited old-line industries like utilities and railroads. The effect on corporate tax bills was immediate: Oracle's (ORCL ) average tax rate fell from 44% in 1986 to 32% once the law took effect. Microsoft's taxes saw a similar decline.

Taken together, the changes Reagan championed in the tax system fostered innovation and entrepreneurialism even as they encouraged the development of venture capital and investment in human capital. And Reagan's willingness to push for more flexible labor markets and less regulation helped companies react faster to economic changes, including new technologies.

As a result, the impact of the policies Reagan set out in the 1980s, which slowly worked their way through the economy, helped lay the groundwork for the Information Revolution of the 1990s. That's nothing to sneeze at, especially since technology has been the major factor driving the U.S.'s rapid productivity growth since 1996.
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