Martin Anderson, RIP

Martin Anderson, RIP

Revolution Martin AndersonOne of the architects of American prosperity died last week, economist Martin Anderson. He was a key architect of Reaganomics in the early 1980s, which provided the foundation of prosperity in America, and worldwide, until the 2008 Great Recession.

Anderson long was associated with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Shortly after I came to the Orange County Register to write editorials in the late 1980s, he stopped buy to discuss his new book, “Revolution,” detailing the economic, defense and other polices of the Reagan years. He was a real gentleman and helped us understand the economy. He became a source of mine on economics issues.

The quandary is why Republicans have not continued the Reagan-Anderson prescription for prosperity: Sound money, permanent tax cuts, spending cuts and de-regulation. Reagan-Anderson showed them how to do it, winning two landslides in the process. But Republicans, while citing Reagan as a kind of totem, have refuse to follow his actions.

And yes, Reagan wasn’t perfect. He increased some taxes and didn’t cut spending enough. But overall, taxes were cut. And as he left office, the budget deficits — created to increase defense spending to win the Cold War, which he did — were going down fast.

For example, President George H.W. Bush actually increased taxes in 1991, infamously breaking his 1988 election pledge, “Read my lips! No new taxes!” The economy crashed and in 1992 voters dumped him for Bill Clinton.

Later, President George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts had expiration dates on them — they weren’t permanent. That scrambled business and personal financial decisions as the expiration date approached: from about 2008 through Jan. 1, 2013, when some (but not all) the tax cuts finally were made permanent. This confusion was a reason, although not the only one, for the recession being the Great Recession.

In 2008, nominee John McCain had opposed even Bush’s inadequate tax cuts, while proposing a defective tax-cut plan of his own. And in 2012, nominee Mitt Romney was saddled with the massive tax increases to pay for the RomneyCare program he imposed in Massachusetts as governor, and which became the model for Obamacare.


In California, Republicans have had the misfortune that the last two governors they managed to elect, Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, in office increased taxes. The last tax-cutter elected was Gov. George Deukmejian, way back in 1986 — 29 years ago. In 1987, he even rebated a $1.1 billion surplus to taxpayers.

The party obviously has many problems, some of which it has been correcting the past couple of years. But a major remaining problem for the CA GOP is it has gone against its signature issue: tight-fistedness with the taxpayers’ money.

The Reagan-Anderson prescription for prosperity — and victory at the polls — still is out there waiting for some Republican candidate for president to use it in 2016, and for governor in 2018.


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  1. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 11 January, 2015, 11:32

    Another faith based “economist” with an Ayn Rand fetish. If you want to see how his economic theories work in a laboratory of democracy, just look at the current economic ills plaguing Kansas.

    Reply this comment
  2. Klubber
    Klubber 11 January, 2015, 12:15

    Did you read Ms. Rand’s book or Mr. Anderson’s? I doubt it, you are so much more intelligent than anyone who disagrees with your the perspective provided by your 71 IQ.

    Reply this comment
  3. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 11 January, 2015, 14:34

    Former Gov. Gray Davis is a better example of bad budgetary policy than Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas.

    Davis squandered a $25 billion (+/-) budget surplus that resulted in a budgetary crisis afterward. In addition he mangled the California Energy Crisis by putting a cap on retail power rates but no cap on wholesale power rates. Price controls never work and it ended up in an energy pricing crisis.

    Reply this comment
  4. T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
    T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 11 January, 2015, 16:19

    Martin was completely out of his league and over his head in many ways—he refused to see Rand for who she was personally, addict, mental patient etc…….but God Bless his soul—RIP

    Reply this comment
  5. T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
    T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 11 January, 2015, 20:33


    And don’t get me started with that bilious “there is no more poverty in America stuff……wow– Martin–were you high????

    Reply this comment
  6. T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
    T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 11 January, 2015, 20:38

    But seriously— Bless his soul………he tried…..

    Reply this comment
  7. Donkey
    Donkey 12 January, 2015, 07:43

    The usual RAGWUS trough feeders would never admit that less taxation is for the good of all. The only thought that enters their small minds is more for themselves. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 12 January, 2015, 09:31

    Donke…Compassionate Conservatism….read My Lips… Arnold and Maldo and Prop. 1A. Flat Tax the Rich, Flat Tax The Poor too.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 12 January, 2015, 12:52

      Ahual people are poor solely because of the cost of RAGWUS feeders. Without the RAGWUS people would have more freedom and money to go about their day unmolested by state busybodies that spend their time conjuring up new ways to steal from the workers in the private sector. 🙂

      Reply this comment
  9. Ted CWD
    Ted CWD 12 January, 2015, 11:27

    AR was an admitted speed junkie— what more do you need to know?

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 12 January, 2015, 15:19

      TCS, you are as ignorant as ntheoc, and just as uneducated. 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • Ted
        Ted 13 January, 2015, 09:00

        Duncey– you remain a birther and a denier– you should have an adult read to you.

        Reply this comment
        • Donkey
          Donkey 13 January, 2015, 17:56

          The leftist mantra that you post on here is laughable TCS, because on the left, people like you, have no logical thought process so you create halfwit minded stories to make it seem you are lucid and able to think deeply. Posting the talking points of Kos or Huff-post is not critical thinking my little parrot. It is showing the size of your little bird brain my pet. 🙂

          Reply this comment
          • T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
            T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 13 January, 2015, 21:42

            Obviously Duncey, what you’ve read wouldn’t fill a complete page. Please, there are adults talking out here. Stick to your jr. high race and sexist comments. It’s what you do best.


          • Donkey
            Donkey 14 January, 2015, 07:07

            I see you are doing the LE propaganda attack mantra TCS, belittle and lie, won’t work on this citizen my RAGWUS feeding parrot. 🙂

          • Ted
            Ted "Patriot" Steele 15 January, 2015, 19:26

            “belittle and lie”? LMAO like you race oriented and odd comments about Ms Harris? LOL

            Are you 12?

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