No Jodie? No Reagan Revolution

By Tribune-Review, The | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 8, 2008 | Go to article overview
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No Jodie? No Reagan Revolution


Tribune-Review, The, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Sure, she's won two Academy Awards.

But until now, Jodie Foster has never been credited with the enormous impact she had on the economic boom of the 1980s as the driving force behind Reaganomics.

(We'll pause here for a moment while you go, "Come again?")

Robert Mundell, a Columbia University Nobel Prize-winning professor, advanced that theory recently in the Financial Times. The British-based international business newspaper reported that Foster's role in the 1976 classic film "Taxi Driver" ultimately had an enormous impact on the U.S. economy.

(We'll pause here for a moment while you go, "Come again?")

Mundell's theory: John Hinckley attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress Foster. "Taxi Driver," you may recall, starred Robert DeNiro as a cabbie who attempts to assassinate a politician.

With sympathy high for Reagan following the shooting, Congressional Democrats were reluctant to vote against the president's tax cuts. The resulting 25 percent reduction in federal income taxes helped prompt the period of prosperity that followed.

From the standpoint of creating gross domestic product, Mundell posits, "'Taxi Driver' is the most important movie ever made.

"It's the movie that made the Reagan Revolution possible. That movie was indirectly responsible for adding between $5 trillion and $15 trillion of output to the U.S. economy."

Gee, thanks, Jodie. We thought you were terrific in "The Silence of the Lambs," too.

DOYLE & ALTMIRE, STUPOR-DELEGATES. Faced with the task of making a difficult decision, how did two local Democratic congressmen react?

By doing nothing and apparently hoping no one would notice.

No such luck for U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle of Swissvale and Jason Altmire of McCandless, however.

Superdelgates to the Democratic National Convention, they both steadfastly refused to publicly support either Illinois Sen. Barack Obama or New York Sen. Hillary Clinton during the tightly contested race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

When Obama finally amassed enough delegates on Tuesday to become the presumptive Democratic nominee, Doyle & Altmire apparently were either stupefied by events or still thumb-twiddling as they pondered which candidate to back.

Doyle & Altmire finally ended up backing Obama on Wednesday, moves that by then were resoundingly irrelevant. Way to display the courage of your convictions, superdelegates.

DULY KEYNOTED. A hundred bucks to hear Gov. Ed Rendell speak hardly seems like a bargain to us.

But that's how much the state Democratic Committee was charging to get into its summer dinner Friday at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill. Rendell was the evening's keynote speaker.

State Republicans also wanted $100 to get into their committee dinner Friday at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. But at least the fellow who delivered their keynote address has some Hollywood cache.

The state GOP lured none other than former Tennessee senator and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson, once a regular on NBC's "Law & Order."

JOHN GRISHAM THEY AIN'T. Despite being presumptive presidential nominees, the latest books penned by Barack Obama and John McCain weren't even close to cracking Amazon.

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