Senator Bernie Sanders presents Tcherneva’s research to Show How Reagan Helped Destroy the Middle Class

By Michael McAuliff
(cross posted from Huff Post)

WASHINGTON — President Ronald Reagan remains a venerated figure in American politics, even as folks on the left have been taking a more critical look at his economic legacy in recent years.

So perhaps it’s not a surprise that Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders would not think well of the Gipper. But when Sanders took to the Senate floor Thursday evening to offer a broad vision for how to do something to help the declining middle class, he offered a stunning chart that showed just how poorly most Americans have fared during economic recoveries since the advent of Reaganomics.

The chart starts by showing that in the decades after World War II, the bottom 90 percent of the country captured most of the growth in income during rebounds from tough times. But then came the Reagan era, and what George H. W. Bush once dubbed “voodoo economics.” After Reagan implemented his policies, the top 10 percent grabbed nearly 80 percent of the growth in incomes coming out of the oil crises of the late ‘70s.

“Whoa! What happens in 1982?” Sanders said, noting the dramatic reversal in his diagram. “Well, Ronald Reagan is president, and the good news is we are into trickle-down economics.”

The socialist Democrat is certainly aware that other factors such as technology, the waning of the union movement and globalization all played their roles, but his data makes for an awfully stark portrait.

“Frankly, this is a metaphor,” Sanders said. “This is an example of exactly what trickle-down economics is all about.”

Watch Sanders, below.

13 Responses to Senator Bernie Sanders presents Tcherneva’s research to Show How Reagan Helped Destroy the Middle Class

  1. Erick Borling

    Having been edumacated in Murica, none of us electorates can answer any basic questions as to what is socialism or commonism. So why would he be called socialist. I object to any and all use of these “isms” in literacher what’s intended for the general audience. We’s all just Muricans tryin’a make sure everbuddy can acheive they’s birthrights. So, Bernie’s an Americanist. The republicans are anti-social. Now there’s the correck adjustment of the nomunclacher.

  2. Yeah, that good ole p’ss on my head and tell me it’s rainin’ economics.

  3. Erick Borling

    Margaret Atwood spake it aptly when she said something about how apt that it’s a trickle, not even a halfway decent flow. It reminds me of those old “amber vision” glasses that made me feel like someone was trickling on my eyeballs.

  4. How delightful to see Stephanie Kelton sitting beside Bernie Sanders as he does his presentation. Go Stephanie!!!!

  5. But don’t forget that Reagan (and Thatcher) also despised labor in general and unions in particular. So Reagan also played a big hand in destroying the labor movement which began with his firing of the air traffic controllers.

  6. roger erickson

    Nice to see Stephanie Kelton sitting in the Senate, as a staffer!

    Also note that the Chamber seems to be empty except for Bernie, Stephanie & the cameraman. Anyone seen this on the morning tv news? Any idea of how much reach this video has? The message is forming, & now it needs marketing & dissemination.

  7. It was awesome to see Stephanie on the floor with Bernie and it was a great speech. I had emailed Sen. Sanders many years ago begging him to contact UKMC and learn about how the economy works (at that time he was one of the “we can’t afford it” crowd). Looks like someone got to him. All I can say is “it’s about time”.

  8. And the legend of Saint Ronnie lives on; his Alzheimer’s enshrined and weaponized by a national political party that has frankly lost its mind.

  9. Interactive C-span…nice! Link to Sen. Sander’s full presentation http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4526006/senbernard-sanders

  10. Is that Stephanie Kelton at the table?

  11. Is that Stephanie Kelton looking on! Great!

  12. First the 2 Levy scholars being sent into government, (makes me extra excited to apply to the Levy program at Bard!) and now another being cited by Sanders? Superb!

    Let’s hope those on the left start to question the Reagan legacy, seems, painfully, obvious how it has gone…
    Exactly as the name implies, only trickles of growth get down to us, but it is more than that correct? The financialization of the economy, ongoing ever since the 80s, I thought was really to blame as they siphon wealth from us all, rack up debt and cause wages share of wealth to plummet.

  13. financial matters

    Very nice trifecta with Bernie Sanders powerfully presenting Tcherneva’s work with the powerful intellect of Kelton adding gravitas without saying a word. Forward!