The Slatest

Ted Cruz Promises Return to Sensible, Sustainable Economic Policies of the 1920s

Ted Cruz answered a question about economic growth at Tuesday night’s Fox Business Network debate in Milwaukee with a curious reference. Here’s his response to Maria Bartiromo’s query about how to get the economy humming:

If you look at the history of America, there are three levers that government has had to facilitate economic growth. The first is tax reform. And as you noted I have rolled out a bold and simple flat tax. Ten percent for every American. That would produce booming growth and 4.9 million new jobs within a decade. The second element is regulatory reform, pulling back the armies of regulators that have descended like locusts on small businesses. And the third element is sound money. Every time we pursued all three of those, whether in the 1920s with Calvin Coolidge, or the 1960s with JFK or in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan, the result has been incredible economic growth. We have done it before and with leadership we can do it again.

Ah, yes, the sound economic policies of the 1920s! Lower taxes on the wealthy, less regulation, and the dollar on the gold standard. Why didn’t FDR continue to pursue those sound policies? Let’s check the Wikipedia page for “Causes of the Great Depression”:

Screen shot/Wikipedia

Hmm. That’s just a snapshot of conventional wisdom, of course, but still: What you have in those three items is basically “low taxes on the wealthy, the gold standard, and unregulated financial institutions.”

Cruz also mentioned Calvin Coolidge. More from the same “Causes of the Great Depression” page:

Screen shot/Wikipedia

OK, so Coolidge served until 1929. Back to Wikipedia:

Screen shot/Wikipedia

Cruz 2016/1929!