President Ronald Regan was fond of citing "trickle-down" economic theory to bolster his yearly round of tax cuts for the richest people in America.
It stood to reason, he said - if the rich keep more of their money then that will somehow translate into more money and job creation for the American people.
The problem for the GOP is that it didn't, and it doesn't, and the American people may be finally catching on.
As if to underline the fact along comes billionaire businessman Warren Buffet this week, inserting himself into the most contentious tax debate doing the rounds: whether or not we should extend George W. Bush's so-called tax cuts for the rich.
Buffet made two points: Americans at the high-end of the tax bracket have never had it so good and the tax cuts as an economic public policy have not benefited the country.
"The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you," Buffet told the press. "But that has not worked the last ten years, and I hope the American public is catching on."
But are the American public catching on? Buffet said that we should keep the tax cuts for the middle class but America's richest could comfortably weather the recession and help cut the deficit by paying tax rates established in the Clinton era, which - incidentally - were still among the lowest tax rates on the rich in modern American history.
"If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further," Buffett said. "But I think that people at the high end - people like myself - should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it."
America's had ten years of Bush era tax cuts for the nation's wealthiest, and the time has come to ask where are all the jobs that were promised by the "trickle-down" theory? It's worth asking because "trickle-down" theory has been a sacred tenant of the Republican Party doctrine for decades. It's worth asking before we balloon the deficit for years to come to pay for it.
As The Wall Street Journal reported this week, President Bush has the worst track record for job creation since the American government began keeping records in 1939. The Bush administration created just 1.1 million jobs net, while the Clinton administration created 22.7 million.
So much for "trickle-down."
Aren't economic policies and tax cuts that boost broad-based consumer income and spending a better way forward than making the already unimaginably rich even richer?
Are we finally catching on?