Back Talk: The Rich Were Better Off Under Clinton Than Bush

My main point is that the Democrats’ claim that the Bush tax cuts helped only the wealthy does not square with the facts, and I am both astounded to discover that this is true and discouraged to know that there is no possible way the American public will ever appreciate it. If the media hasn’t figured it out by now, they never will.

Source: Back Talk: The Rich Were Better Off Under Clinton Than Bush

This article was written by a professor who describes himself as a “registered Democrat, a liberal by most measures, but a radical conservative relative to the large majority of my colleagues.” I added this article because it was an interesting analysis of the effects of taxing policy. The professor substantiated his position by providing a link to the Tax Policy Center site which provided the raw numbers for his conclusions.

I have been skeptical that the tax cuts favored the rich based on my non-scientific polling of rich friends. If this was such a bonanza my rich friends were sure doing a fine job of keeping their new wealth quiet. Typically I will find someone who can not control their enthusiasm and will spill the beans.

I have a similar issue with the complaints about the Halliburton contracts. If Halliburton is getting such sweet deals from the government, their earnings should be going through the roof. Historically almost all of their earnings has come from the non-governmental side of the business, oil well servicing. Their stock price does not reflect any new found wealth from government contracts. Early in my career I worked for Bechtel when they had a “cost plus” contract to manage construction of the Washington Metro. I learned that “costs plus” contracts were used when the risks are large or difficult to control. The client assumes the risk. The client makes all of the key decisions. The contractor gets a smaller than normal profit and normally keeps their mouth shut. Talking about risk or bad decisions with the press is typically a lose-lose proposition. I have to assume the the Army has control over the decisions and is assuming all of the risk for the contracts in the war zone.

I also worked for Brown and Root early in my career. Brown and Root is the subsidiary of Halliburton actually doing the work for the Army. Brown and Root and the Army have a long working relationship going back to the Vietnam war. It is ironic that back in the 1960’s Brown and Root was closely linked with LBJ and the Democratic party. Herman Brown, LBJ, and several other mover and shakers in Texas politics used to have a regular card game in a hotel in downtown Houston.