by Charles Mombo
Credit for this article goes to Thom Hartmann; because, it was through him that I first heard about and got to understand Wanniski’s Two Santa Claus Theory. Hartmann is one of my favorite progressive hosts. In my opinion, he is one of America's greatest talk radio hosts.
While President Obama pussyfoots around with ‘chained CPI’ and with America’s social capital, social security, I can only hope that he is bluffing. From every indication it appears that the House Republicans are looking to divide and conquer with their progressive attacks against Obama as they force him, a Democrat, to shoot Santa Claus and kill off America’s social capital – Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The Two Santa Claus Theory was first introduced by Jude Wanniski (June 17, 1936 – August 29, 2005). Wanniski was an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal. He was described by some as a conservative commentator and a political economist. Wanniski is the author of the book, "The Way the World Works".
On March 6, 1976, Wanniski wrote an article, “Taxes and a Two-Santa Theory,” which published in the National Observer. In his article, he said,” The only thing wrong with the U.S. economy is the failure of the Republican Party to play Santa Claus.”
Wanninski also added,
Two Santa Claus Theory is this: For the U.S. economy to be healthy and growing, there must be a division of labor between Democrats and Republicans; each must be a different kind of Santa Claus. The Democrats, the party of income redistribution, are best suited for the role of Spending Santa Claus. The Republicans, traditionally the party of income growth, should be the Santa Claus of Tax Reduction. It has been the failure of the GOP to stick to this traditional role that has caused much of the nation’s economic misery. Only the shrewdness of the Democrats, who have kindly agreed to play both Santa Clauses during critical periods, has saved the nation from even greater misery.”
“It isn’t that Republicans don’t enjoy cutting taxes. They love it. But there is something in the Republican chemistry that causes the GOP to become hypnotized by the prospect of an imbalanced budget. Static analysis tells them taxes can’t be cut or inflation will result. They either argue for a tax hike to dampen inflation when the economy is in a boom or demand spending cuts to balance the budget when the economy is in recession, said Wanniski.
In the video below, Hartmann eloquently explains Wanniski’s “Two Santa Claus Theory”.
According to Hartmann:
“Republican had this brilliant idea – that was picked up by Reagan – that Republicans could play Santa Claus – just like Democrats always did – by giving people something – in this case, tax cuts.
He knew that Democrats historically did well at the polls because, like Santa Claus, they give people stuff like Social Security – Medicare – Medicaid – unemployment insurance – food stamps – all that kind of stuff, you know.
And so, he said, Republicans could play Santa Claus, too – by giving people the gift of tax cuts.
And, as an added bonus for Republicans, the more tax cuts they gave people – particularly rich people – then the bigger our national debt would get, eventually getting so bad that it would force Democrats to shoot Santa Claus – to kill off social programs – because they just can't afford it anymore.”
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Thom Hartmann eloquently explains Wanniski’s “Two Santa Claus Theory”