The lefty Twittersphere is buzzing with a keynote speech Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered Wednesday at an AFL-CIO conference in which she lamented the way Americans workers have been the victims of the “supply side” economic philosophy ascendant for three decades, since Pres. Ronald Reagan touted tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy as the best way to spur broad economic growth. It was a popular pitch and it remains nearly universally popular among lawmakers on the right and with some lawmakers on the left as well. The problem is, it doesn’t work and it never has, said Warren.
“[T]here have been deep structural changes in this economy, changes that have gone on for more than 30 years, changes that have cut out hard-working, middle-class families from sharing in this overall growth.”
She said “trickle-down” deregulation and tax cuts have been doled out by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who argue the wealthy can “be counted on to create an economy that would work for everyone else.” That’s good politics, because corporations and wealthy citizens wield power, but it has bad policy because it’s based on false hope instead of solid economics, Warren said. Supply side has fueled inequality and shrunk the middle class, the real engine of economic growth and security.
Warren is one of a chorus of economic policy thinkers who have made these points for years, but she does it eloquently, in populist language, and she is becoming an increasingly popular political figure. Liberals this year have been urging her to run for president in 2016. So far, she has declined.
Her speech begins at roughly 1:06:30 in the video below.