Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity — trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results — is now fairly well-known, but it nonetheless seems to be at an epidemic level among our political leaders.
The best two examples are the “war on drugs,” which both political parties are still wedded to after at least 40 years of complete failure; and “trickle-down economics,” which the Republican Party, both nationally and state-wide, continues to cling to in spite of its massive failure during the Bush administration and more recently in states like Kansas.
As Ken Abraham eloquently pointed out in these pages, the war on drugs has caused untold damage to our entire country for decades, has clearly been a disaster in every respect, yet, the city of Dover actually has decided that in order to deal with the problem of increased violent crimes, the solution is — to crack down and make more arrests related to the drug trade!
Insanity is too mild a word for the imbecility of this policy. If this state and our city would get their heads on straight and start actually thinking instead of merely reacting, we might make progress on making our streets safer; but this mindless doubling down on a policy that is clearly a failure is a textbook example of Einstein’s definition.
Similarly, it is clear that our state Republican legislators have drunk the poisoned punch of the supply-side, “trickle-down,” “free market” GOP orthodoxy, even though this economic policy has produced nothing but disastrous results, from the Great Depression of the 1930s to our Great Recession of more-recent years, with the near-destruction of our middle class.
Minority Leader (Daniel) Short, in spite of the fact that wealth distribution is now skewed more toward the 1 percent than at any time since the 1920s — on the eve of the Great Depression — with almost all increases in income in the past several decades having gone to that same 1 percent — says that increasing income tax rates for higher incomes is a “non-starter.”
He maintains that we dare not raise taxes on our “job creators,” even though when federal taxes on upper incomes were raised in 1993 (under Bill Clinton) and 2013, job creation expanded both times. He is undoubtedly unaware that the time when income tax rates for the wealthy were the highest — the 1940s and 1950s — was the greatest era of job creation in American history. He probably believes corporations are people, as well. I just hope that he doesn’t believe that climate change is a hoax. That would cause Mr. Einstein to roll over in his grave.