Anyone Have Wanniski's ORIGINAL "Two Santa Clause Theory" Article?

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We've all heard Thom refer to what Jude Wanniski supposedly wrote back in the 70's but I've yet to see the ORIGINAL article. I've searched various databases like Gale but they don't go back that far. I did find Wanniski referring to it in what must be a 1992 opinion piece here:

http://www.polyconomics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=252:on-the-other-hand-the-west-may-rise-again&catid=16:1992&Itemid=26

BILL CLINTON seems certain to be the nominee if Brown can't win enough of the remaining primaries to at least force a second ballot at the convention. Clinton will be a stronger contender than the White House seems to believe. I'm almost certain he will re-tool his economic policy positions once again to get closer to President Bush, seeming to be reasonable on taxation. The Democratic theoreticians are closely following my "Two Santa Claus Theory" in putting "middle-class tax cuts," "targeted capital gains tax cuts," and a $50 billion increase in infrastructure spending -- including education spending -- in his goodie bag. My 1975 Santa Claus theory held that the GOP could not allow the Democrats to be both the tax-cutting party and the spending party; there had to be a division of labor between offering the voters lower taxes or higher spending. With Treasury Secretary Nick Brady in control, George Bush has forgotten everything he learned about Santa Claus from Ronald Reagan and turned back to Scrooge. H. Ross Perot will almost certainly get into the race. With the right message he could pull enough of the white vote from Bush, especially across Dixie, to throw the election to Clinton. We have no idea what Perot's message will be, as there is not a whiff of information on who has his ear. With the right message and Colin Powell as his running mate, Perot might even win. (JW)
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Never mind... I think I found a reprint... or at least a 1976 update...

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1701/jude-wanniski-taxes-and-two-santa-theory

The problem is, I don't see where Wanniski is advocating using irresponsible GOP tax cuts to create massive deficits/debt all to force the Dems into cleaning up their mess once they're back in power. He really seems to believe that tax cuts WILL increase revenues.

What the GOP seems to have been doing since the Reagan era... minus Bush41, is more like a hybrid of Starve The Beast PLUS playing Santa Clause for the GOP's constituency through fiscal irresponsibility. It's as if this Supply Side fantasy that tax cuts for the rich didn't work in bringing in more revenue, but they could amplify Starve The Beast through irresponsible tax cuts as well as irresponsible spending. All these pieces come together in Bush43.

Which raises the obvious question… if what the GOP is doing is not purely "Two Santa" OR "Starve The Beast", where did this NEW strategy come from? I'd call it Starve The Beast On Steriods.

Has Thom been misrepresenting what Wanniski wrote or does the original article suggest using tax cuts to deliberately create more debt to restrain the Dems? I just feel that Thom is missing something here in blaming/crediting everything on Wanniski. I've gone out on a limb in postings to various forums using Thom's assertions… and now I'm not sure I should have.

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Perhaps Thom's version reads between the lines a bit. You couldn't have gone too far out on a limb if you have expressed the basic GOP sentiment of lowering taxes at any cost (even when it means spending money you don't have from taxes you should have collected if not for the excessive tax breaks).

There was a time when fiscal conservatism used to follow a simple equation: BUDGET = REVENUE - SPENDING, but today's conservatives focus on REVENUE as if it's in a vacuum and to hell with how it may influence BUDGET and SPENDING. Even if Thom has embellished the specifics of the 2 Santa story a little, he really has just massaged it to fit more neatly into the very real GOP game plan.

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Quote Laborisgood:

Perhaps Thom's version reads between the lines a bit.

I just prefer research to be a bit more precise. Ever since Thom mentioned TST perhaps 2-3 years ago I always wondered why he didn't have a link to the original article or at least have some excerpts. If it were the smoking gun, I wanted to read it for myself. I'm assuming if Thom's latched on to anything to it... it's this
But as the Two-Santa Claus Theory holds that the Republicans should concentrate on tax-rate reduction. As they succeed in expanding incentives to produce, they will move the economy back to full employment and thereby reduce social pressures for public spending. Just as an increase in Government spending inevitably means taxes must be raised, a cut in tax rates—by expanding the private sector—will diminish the relative size of the public sector.
But as a Supply Sider Wanniski isn't suggesting to use tax cuts or irresponsible spending to increase debt. He seems to believe those tax cuts WILL increase revenue as he claims they did in the 20s. He leaves out that little matter of the Crash of '29. He seems to want to shrink the public sector by having a more active private sector not by starving the beast... that's where Norquist comes in.

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This paragraph most harkens to Thom's version (in an inverted way):

"In learning how to play both Santa Clauses, the Democratic majorities in Congress grow larger and larger. They can alternate between increased spending and occasional tax cuts and take credit at the polls for both. The economy suffers, though, because the Democrats do not fulfill both roles with equal zest. They spend with exuberance and cut tax rates only when in doing so they can redistribute income from the middle and upper incomes to the less affluent. Americans, discouraged by ever-increasing tax rates, work less and invest less, devoting more time to leisure and a higher portion of their income to current consumption. Because middle- and upper-income Americans are the most productive (an engineer produces more than a ditch digger), taxing them the most has the effect of reducing economic output."

Perhaps this was a subtle nudge to Republicans to do the same as he accuses the Democrats of? Clearly recent history has shown that the GOP has embraced the spending Santa with open arms ever since Reagan came along. Even if Wanniski was not intending on embracing the spending Santa, maybe this paragraph was the switch that lit a few lightbulbs over conservative heads as a means to their electoral success that had been on decline due to relying solely on the tax Santa.

Certainly, this article makes no mention of willingly entering into massive debt, but of course that would be required to satisfy both Santas on a grand scale. Wanniski even mentions that the Dems play to the tax Santa for electoral reasons, but it appears he doesn't see that as a sustainable plan (assuming a fiscally reponsible opposition party). Somewhere along the way, fiscal irresponsibility became acceptable to both parties as they allowed both Santas to flourish. When did Cheney say, "deficits don't matter"? He seems to have been an integral part of this mess.

The irony is that now the Dems are the party who needs to embrace Scrooge not only for short term electoral success, but for the long term success of our nation because the GOP is all in with the Tax Santa to the extent that the only way to reign in tax Santa is with equal measures of reigning in spending Santa.

We have been assuming that this version of TST is the original. Perhaps this is a cleaned up version that has been allowed to circulate more readily than a more explicit version that might be out there? Maybe Thom remembers better than we give him credit for and that other version needs to be unearthed. Either way, Thom's heart is in the right place and the general arc of the story is the same result whether Wanniski dreamed it all up in one fell swoop or it it got cobbled together along the way.

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Quote Laborisgood:Perhaps this was a subtle nudge to Republicans to do the same as he accuses the Democrats of? Clearly recent history has shown that the GOP has embraced the spending Santa with open arms ever since Reagan came along. Even if Wanniski was not intending on embracing the spending Santa, maybe this paragraph was the switch that lit a few lightbulbs over conservative heads as a means to their electoral success that had been on decline due to relying solely on the tax Santa.

I was going to quote that paragraph but it didn't seem to make the case either.

Certainly, this article makes no mention of willingly entering into massive debt, but of course that would be required to satisfy both Santas on a grand scale.
Not necessarily. At the time of this 1976 article in National Review the debt wasn't that high even with Democrats in control playing both Santa roles.

Wanniski even mentions that the Dems play to the tax Santa for electoral reasons, but it appears he doesn't see that as a sustainable plan (assuming a fiscally responsible opposition party). Somewhere along the way, fiscal irresponsibility became acceptable to both parties as they allowed both Santas to flourish. When did Cheney say, "deficits don't matter"? He seems to have been an integral part of this mess.
As a budget hawk I don't think the debt the Dems ran up going into 1981 (about 960 billion) proved they were totally responsible... but it wasn't going off the cliff like Reagan did. I wonder how much of this was the efforts of the Orwellian Right think tanks that provided the justifications for what were clearly irresponsible tax cuts... redefining them into their opposite: responsible policies that created a huge revenue boom. This ties into what David Stockman has said: tax cuts have become a religion for the GOP.

Somewhere during that Reagan era the old fashioned fiscal conservatives begin to lose out and we enter an era of fiscal schizophrenia in the GOP. Reagan passes some large tax hikes but seems more interested in tax redistribution from the top down and settles for big deficits. Bush1 does sign a tax hike to reduce deficits, and in the 90's Newt is trying to get a balanced budget even though once it's clear it will happen, he rushes to sabotage it by proposing tax cuts in 98 and 99. The fear the GOP then had was a bug surplus could be spent by the Dems. I think even Greenspan is of this opinion. Yet Bush runs in 2000 promising a tax cut yet to protect the surplus and pay down debt. So why does the GOP go insane in 2001 still insisting on a tax cut even when the surplus is disappearing. Matt Tiabbi blames Cheney in one of his Rolling Stone articles. By now the new strategy of Starve The Beast on Steroids… creating more debt with irresponsible spending, seems firmly entrenched. That metastasizes into even more insanity with the Tea Party to the point where all commonsense if now off the table and the GOP sees a two variable budget problem as only having one variable: spending.

We have been assuming that this version of TST is the original. Perhaps this is a cleaned up version that has been allowed to circulate more readily than a more explicit version that might be out there? Maybe Thom remembers better than we give him credit for and that other version needs to be unearthed. Either way, Thom's heart is in the right place and the general arc of the story is the same result whether Wanniski dreamed it all up in one fell swoop or it it got cobbled together along the way.

I've not been assuming this is the original though this version is also from 1976... but I do wonder if it's a bit longer than a WSJ editorial. Wanniski claims in my first link that his original idea was from 1975 not '76. I do hope someone can find that original article. Either way, Thom is not always the scholar I'd like him to be and often is sloppy or rushes to his own partisan spin. I fear this mights be one of those times.

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Feb. 29, 2012 1:19 pm

This is where I found it. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/01/26-0

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I hired a private investigator.Turns out Santa does exist, his name is really Sam and he is a crazy uncle that beats his wife. Those elves might be a pedophilia ring, too. They are all legal or they are all illegal, we couldn't tell, but Uncle Sam has some favorites of both sexes. Rudolph showed us his nose wasn't the only part of him that was red.

Most interesting was the cross dressed American that wanted us to call him Annie, his first name was Rudy [that's why he took a shine to Rudolph] We heard Blitzen use his middle name though and Julie was his real inner girl.

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The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

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