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Remember "trickle-down economics?" It's a very simple idea that first entered the vernacular during the Reagan era. It proposes that government can best stimulate the economy as a whole by taking care of companies and decision-makers at the very top of the economic food chain, by means of tax cuts, government incentives, subsidies and the like. The idea is that such largesse bestowed on the entities and people who create employment will "trickle-down" to the employees and small businesses that depend on the big dogs; thereby giving people more money to spend in our consumer-based economy.

It was certainly a popular theory for a while, and why not? Irrespective of what is true, or not, about economics, everyone would love to believe that the interests of the wealthy are perfectly aligned with those of middle and lower income Americans.

But whether or not the term is used, everyone who is opposing tax hikes for the rich or closing corporate tax loopholes is really espousing the theory. I come today to neither bury nor praise the "trickle-down" theory. I'm merely suggesting that if the pleasure of government assistance to the corporate sector can trickle-down, so too, perhaps, can the pain.

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