A website focused on English grammar lessons posted the following in May 2022:
The expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” originates from the writings of Thomas Bertram Lance. Lance was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Jimmy Carter administration in 1977. The newsletter of the US Chamber of Commerce, Nation’s Business, quoted Lance as saying the following in May 1977.
Bert Lance believes he can save Uncle Sam billions if he can get the government to adopt a simple motto: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
However, while Lance gets the credit for popularizing the expression, its origin goes back to a colloquial saying from the southern states. The Texas newspaper, “The Big Spring Herald,” published the following in an article in December 1976.
“We would agree with the old Georgia farmer who said his basic principle was ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”
The expression comes to mind when reading an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal written by Jason Riley and posted on Tuesday.
The op-ed notes:
“During Trump’s first three years in office, median household incomes grew, inequality diminished, and the poverty rate among Black people fell below 20% for the first time in post-World War II records,” the Journal reported in October 2020. “The unemployment rate among Black people went under 6% for the first time in records going back to 1972.” Minorities weren’t the only beneficiaries of this boomlet. Between 2017 and 2019, wages for the bottom 10% of earners grew at more than double the rate they did during President Obama’s second term.
This record is all the more impressive because it defied expectations. The growth of gross domestic product during Mr. Obama’s final year in office was only about half of what it had been a year earlier, which prompted no shortage of doom-and-gloom economic forecasts for the Trump presidency. Nevertheless, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the unemployment rate came in below what the Federal Reserve had predicted, while GDP was higher than anticipated.
…Lower corporate tax rates were intended to reverse the downward trend in business investment, and following their implementation major companies announced wage hikes, bonuses and 401(k) match increases. In the two-year period after the 2017 tax reform passed, household incomes rose by more than they had in the previous eight years combined.
The article explains that the Inflation Reduction Act is the exact opposite of the policies that resulted in the growth of the economy and will have a negative impact on growth:
The reason this history is important is because Democrats, via the Inflation Reduction Act unveiled last week, want to raise the taxes that Mr. Trump cut. No matter what it’s called, the legislation is another tax and spending bonanza that will do little if anything to reduce inflation. But passage could discourage the kind of business investment we saw before Covid. And because corporate levies are borne mainly by employees, higher taxes on businesses can also lead to lower wages and less hiring.
Congress needs to take an economics course and a history course.
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