Teachers are leaving the state. The infant mortality rate is up. And the workforce in North Carolina is smaller today than it was in 2007.

But, hey, we’re giving tax cuts to businesses and rich people, so it’s all good. You know, those folks are going to start spending their new found wealth and everybody is going to benefit. Trickle down, remember?

According to this GOP mantra, all this money flowing from rich people and corporations is going to spur economic growth, increase our tax revenue and put money in everybody’s pocket. Only problem is, it doesn’t work. It never has.

Republicans have lived by this flawed theory since Reagan. His success in rejuvenating an economy that was bogged down by both high interest rates and high unemployment led them to believe that the tax cuts are a panacea for all our economic problems. Recession? Cut taxes. Inflation? Cut taxes.

Unfortunately, they ignore other problems. By Reagan’s second term, it was obvious that trickle-down theory didn’t actually bring in more revenue, leading to exploding deficits. And while his tax cuts weren’t matched by spending cuts, Republicans used their smaller government mantra to make cuts to social programs including kicking the mentally ill out into the streets and drastically reducing subsidized housing, creating a wave of homelessness that is still apparent today.

The money did trickle-down, though, just not far enough. It increased the wealth of the top 20% or so of the population, and created a well-heeled constituency to continue policies that benefit the few at the expense of the many. Combine those people with Tea Partiers and social conservatives who vote against their own economic self-interest, and you’ve got enough folks for a political party.

And that’s where we are today in North Carolina. Shifting money from the poor and middle-class to the wealthy. If they measure success by the bottom line of the wealthiest citizens, they can claim success. If they measure it by the impact on the rest of us, they’re already failing.

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