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News Republican-Democrat Cycle

  1. Jul 2, 2006 #1
    I recently emigrated to the US, and was doing some research in school when I realized the cycle of Republicans and Democrats.

    A Republican comes into office and offers tax breaks, which raises his public repuatation, while at the same time affecting the economy effectively. Then a Democrat comes into offices and increases taxes, making him unpopular, but saving the economy. And then a Republican comes in and so on.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2006 #2
    Actually, that's just a recent thing really, Reagan/Clinton/Bush. Nixon didn't do anything to kill the economy, and Carter can't be said to have "saved" the economy at all.

    Plus, Bush Sr. hiked up taxes.

    Really, I think instead of inferring a trend, it would be more apt to say "Reagan and Bush spent money like maniacs while cutting taxes, and Clinton got the budget under control."
  4. Jul 7, 2006 #3
    Two sides of the same coin, and I doubt whether the effects of a president's term are only limited to the time of his term. Who controlled the house and the senate during these years?
  5. Jul 7, 2006 #4
    I had no idea the president had control over our Non-Command Control economies. I know they claim to have control, but thats different.
  6. Jul 7, 2006 #5


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    Well if you look at Clinton's second term, the GOP had the House securely and a shaky hold on the Senate (killed eventually by a defection). If you look at the Constitution, money bills have to originate in the House, and in modern times the Congress has acquired a budgetary function and a bureauocracy (the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO) to support it. This is in addition to the budget functions in the executive branch controlled by the president. So the setup for budgetary conflict was there, and conflict happened. Out of this struggle came two things, that sex scandal, and the once-in-a-lifetime miracle of a balanced budget.

    Everything is more complicated than it at first appears.
  7. Jul 8, 2006 #6


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    The executive has the line item veto and general influence to balance the budget, along with raising/cutting taxes. The Feds control rates. These are pretty significant controls. Other than that, it is best to avoid wars of attrition and to be prepared for natural disasters.

    Regarding the OP, there is a cycle. It is another check and balance in the system related to limited terms of office.
  8. Jul 8, 2006 #7


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    The US president does not have a line-item veto. Clinton possessed one briefly and used it a few times but it was ruled unconstitutional in Clinton v. City of New York.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2006
  9. Jul 8, 2006 #8
    Right. But how do they control 'The' Economy?

    THis is inherent in our complaint; if 'the' economy is not producing enough 'good' jobs, then the fault is with the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, which is falling down in its implied role of running our Centrally Planned Economy.

    Well, of course we don't have a Centrally Planned Economy. Heh-heh-heh...but, don't let that stop us from selling it.

    After all, when it comes to running for the office of POTUS, the chief executive, "It's The Economy, Stupid!"

    But, we don't have a Centrally Planned Economy, because the jury has long been out on that, rest assured.

    Still, in our everybody agrees is not a Centrally Planned Economy, who is at the helm, 'losing' jobs, and/or failing to 'create' jobs?

    Or, better stated, in the Cargo Cult/base of the volcano economic high priest voodoo dance that is modern economic political debate, who can dance the dance?

    I don't buy the myth of 'the' economy in the United States, any more than I would buy the myth of 'the' weather in the United States. Tell me, what is 'the' temperature in the United States? Does America want 'the' thermostat warmer or lower today? Should all America take 'the' umbrella to work today? Silly? Then, what of 'the' unemployment rate or 'the' perfect OneSizeFitsAll interest rate? 'The' economy is what voodoo politico s refer to in order to convince the tribe that they have the first clue how to run 'it' for us, like emperors. It is, in fact, part of the myth that justifies things like 'the fed.' Does that help?

    GOP/Democrats...we got to 'somehow' get them all back to painting the double yellow lines down the middle of the road.

    Right; like that's going to happen.

    Nope. We'll try this, until and if the wheels fall off. Then, we'll watch them jockey for position in the wreck, "They did it!....No, they did it!"

    And, that is as good as it gets.
  10. Jul 8, 2006 #9


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    Historically the line item veto has been a power, but I should just say "veto" in general. To which:


    So some presidents just don't use their power in a beneficial way. And I did not say government can control the economy. I agree with you Zlex that no one can do that. However, something like raising rates does help to control inflation and the value of the dollar (though it would be preferable to address the root of inflation most specifically health care and education). Also, legislation such as removing the estate (death) tax could have more impact than one realizes. If other programs such as Social Security collapses, it will be because of measures such as this. IMO these are pretty significant effects.
  11. Jul 9, 2006 #10
    The problem with Social Security was much larger than that.

    The problem was that the bonds were self-bonds. If the bonds were liabilities on some third party's books, then they would have been actual assets for the gov't Trust fund.

    The flaw was that they were self-bonds; promises for the gov't to tax a future generation and pay them back(future assets, additional borrowing from future economies) not promises by another party to pay the government back in the future. 'Bonds' would have been an OK way to hold a present value and convert it into a future value. Spending it immediately was not.

    The flaw might have been doubly flawed, if the intent was to convert present value into future value. Future value doesn't exist yet.

    It depends on how much faith you have in oversight over our non-centrally planned economies.

    Future value gets created in future economies. Not only the value that future economies need for future economies needs, but future value that future economies need to fulfill promises made by earlier economies, in exchange for then current value. So, by what alchemy do agents convert present value into actual future value?

    Well, winning WWII created future value.

    So did building the interstates, etc.

    An argument can be made that the government surcharge taxed an entire generation, then in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, did the equivalent of win WWII or build the interstate system (40s, 50s, 60s), and created the future economies that we will be entering, future economies that will be significantly equipped to produce future value because of government programs and actions.

    Well, if that is the case, then all we have to do is sit back and reap the benefits of those future economies that will be here Any Day Now.

    No, actually, even if the gov't did conduct a secret 40 Year Plan for us, in fact, all we need to do is get off our ass and go build those future economies. Apparently, to do that, as a good start, we need to be head-boppin' to lots of Ipods made in Taiwan. Maybe the Taiwanese gov't ran a better SS program than we did.

    Their cap is at $42,000 NT/yr.

    Did I say 42000 NT? I meant, $1200 US$/yr.

    The current 'bulge' in benefits definition was enabled by a temporary demographic happenstance that is unsustainable in its present form.

    It was a one time 'thank-you' to the Greatest Generation, as well as the ftinge hangers on who missed that nut busting cut but benefited from their 'thank-you' anyway,

    SS will revert back to FDR's original unabused vision. The current benefits schedule was a one time deal. A temporary demographic bulge was milked to:

    a] Say 'thank-you' to the Greatest Generation ... and others, totally by accident of birth, not deed.
    b] Buy votes cast long ago from old fogeys long dead.

    ...take your pick.

    The fact of its bulge was used as the very excuse to milk it.

    But stick a fork in SS "as it is," because "as it is" is unsustainable.
  12. Jul 9, 2006 #11
    If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would suspect that a deal was struck with the Republican leadership.

    A rubber stamp for a veto pen. :biggrin:
  13. Jul 10, 2006 #12
    The president can affect the economy, but private corporations produce jobs, unless you are an aroespace engineer then you probably rely heavily on government contracts. From what I remember, the 1990's (during Clinton's years) saw a huge increase in the number of computer related jobs and computer related consumer goods. Aside from hiring Al Gore who invented the internet, I don't think Clinton did too much to cause the increase.

    But the dot.com era of the late 90's did produce a digital style plantation economy where everyone had jobs, but no one was selling products or working. Pop goes the bubble (I suppose), 9/11 and a new global war on terror; we are at where we are now.

    Because of that we have had increases in the price of a barrel of oil and a gallon of gasoline. Doesn't the middle east mimmick a dune scenario: the only place we can buy oil seems to be from the middle east, and wasn't the planets name Iraqis? I think if you fill in the pieces you will see what I mean.
  14. Jul 10, 2006 #13


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    By retailing this long-exploded partisan canard you make me suspicious of everything you post.
  15. Jul 10, 2006 #14


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    Clinton was given the line-item veto by an unconstitutional act of Congress. Prior to that, no president ever had such an ability. You might be thinking of governors, many of whom do have the ability to perform a line-item veto. But yes, the president can veto individual spending or tax bills, or even an entire budget if he wishes.

    This ability is the major way in which a president can affect the growth or recession of the economy, by controlling tax codes. Though he does not draft legislation himself, he can obviously exert a large influence on what is drafted. We should note, however, that fiscal policy mostly deals not with taxation, but with spending. Government spending can have an enormous impact on not just the economy as a whole, but especially on localized sectors of it.

    The Fed is the other major way in which government can control economic growth, but we should note that, even though it is part of the executive branch, the Fed does not answer to the president. It sets monetary policy (which is not just restricted to interest rates, though they are the major tool) by itself.
  16. Jul 10, 2006 #15
    The Treasury Department is part of the Executive Branch, however the Federal Reserve is a different animal entirely.

    https://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/faq/faqfrs.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  17. Jul 10, 2006 #16


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    I stand corrected.
  18. Jul 24, 2006 #17
    Is there really evidence of such a cycle? By your criteria, we've only seen two crests and a trough (Reagan, Clinton, Bush II) and completely ignores Republican proposed or ascented tax increases in 1986 and 1990.
    Also, the US experienced net GDP, productivity, job and growth between 1981-1992 and 2001-2006. So exactly what do Democrats "save" the economy from?

    Back to the political point. Republicans have held the White House for fifty four percent of the years following FDR's death and since the rise of the tax cutting coalition the party controlled the presidency seventy percent of the time. If there's any periodicity worth commenting on here, I don't see it.
  19. Jul 24, 2006 #18
    Through fiscal and monetary policy.
  20. Jul 24, 2006 #19


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    Fiscal si, but monetary is in the hands of the Fed, which is about as unpartisan as any quasi-governmental agency can be. And frankly, most of the alleged control is in the eye of the beholder - or the spin of the doctor.
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