Immediately following President Bush's introduction of his economic growth package last week, large gaseous clouds floated up from Capitol Hill. Senator Daschle, lately majority leader, now minority leader, took the high ground, calling it "obscene." It was downhill from there. By the weekend, "experts" (i.e., Clinton and Carter Administration alumni) were weighing in with sonorous predictions of the end of civilization as we know it. Now you can match wits with those experts, as well as the giants of Capitol Hill, the Congressional Democrats. Take this three-minute quiz:
1. Who is more ignorant about basic economics?
A. Congressional Democrats
B. The reporters who cover them
C. All of the above
D. This is an outrageous question.
2. When people get tax cuts, what do they do with the money?
A. Invest it
B. Buy things
C. Pay down debt (a form of savings)
D. Put it under a mattress.
3. Senior citizens own what percentage of U.S. stocks?
A. Five percent
C. Approximately 33 percent
4. When you invest money in stocks, bonds and other things, what happens to it?
A. It becomes capital by which the company whose shares you bought expands by buying more equipment, building new plants, hiring new people.
B. It proves you are a plutocrat.
C. It disappears.
5. What percentage of U.S. income taxes are paid by the top five percent of taxpayers?
A. Over 50%
C. 15 percent
6. When across-the-board tax cuts are proposed (historically they generate economic growth), the top five percent of taxpayers should receive
B. Their proportionate share
7. When tax rates are reduced, whose money is involved?
A. The government's
8. Where does capital come from?
A. Funds invested by shareholders, bondholders and commercial-paper holders
B. Borrowing from banks and other lenders
C. The Tooth Fairy
9. During the 40 years the Democrats controlled the House of Representative, federal deficits often ran 2-3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. This was
B. Immoral; a heinous crime
10. This year, with a Republican Congress and White House, there will be a projected federal deficit amounting to 1.5 percent of GDP. This is:
B. Immoral; a heinous crime
11. The TV networks, the New York Times and the Washington Post, in their coverage of the Bush plan, select story angles and experts to quote that shows they are
A. Objective and neutral
B. Biased against tax cuts, "dynamic" projections of taxpayer behavior when getting tax cuts, and supply-side economics in general.
12. Never mind long-term growth, the plan was billed as providing necessary short-term stimulation to the economy. It will
A. Provide zero "stimulus"
B. Pump an additional $59 billion into the economy this year.
13. Congressional Democrats
A. Are fiscally prudent at all times
B. Never met a tax cut they liked
C. Never met a government program they didn't like.
Congressional Democrats: 1 - D; 2 - D; 3 - B, 4 - B, C; 5 - B; 6 - A; 7 - A; 8 - C; 9 -A; 10 - B; 11 - A; 12 - A; 13- A.
Correct answers: 1 - C; 2 - A, B, C; 3 - C; 4 -A; 5 - A; 6 - B; 7 -B; 8 - A, B; 9 - A; 10 - A; 11 - B; 12 - B; 13 - B, C.