In the early 1980s, Ronald Reagans Budget Director, David Stockman, revived an old economic theory as the basis for the Reagan administrations economic policy. Reaganomics, aka Trickle-Down economics, aka Supply-Side economics was based on the Horse and Sparrow theory of the 1890s, which some believe was responsible for the Panic of 1896.
The basis of the theory is the notion, If you feed a horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.
Of course, Reagan and Stockman stated the benefits of their plan somewhat differently. Their belief was that if you cut taxes for the wealthy, particularly those on capital gains from investments, the wealthy would spend the extra money on additional goods and services thereby creating more jobs for the middle and lower classes. Despite its many critics, the theory has been championed by Teapublicans ever since.
Has it worked? One might say that it has worked all too well for the rich.
According to a recent study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), from 1979 to 2007 after-tax income for the top 1 percent of US households has nearly tripled, rising by 279 percent. Over the same time period, after-tax income for the middle class grew by just 40 percent. And those at the bottom saw their incomes increase by just 18 percent.
So, by every measure, Trickle-Down economics have reduced income to a mere trickle for all but the very wealthy. Or, if you relate the results to the Horse and Sparrow theory, the supposed benefits are just plain horse dung.