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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:17 PM

Why the GOP Won't Admit Supply-Side Econ Has Failed Read (Mark Thoma)


The Republican Party has long promoted itself as the party of business. Republicans understand the needs of business, we are told, and if the country would leave the economy in their hands business would boom. All we need to do is to give those at the very top of the income distribution – the “job creators” – more income through tax breaks, and then sit back and wait for the magic happen. Our investment in the wealthy will produce remarkable economic growth, and everyone will be better off.

The Bush tax cuts were a test of these claims about supply-side economic policies. To justify the tax cuts the nation was, in effect, given a business prospectus from the Republican Party. We were promised that cutting taxes on the wealthy would result in much higher economic growth and broadly shared prosperity. For those who wondered how we would pay for such a large cut to the government’s revenue stream, the Republican prospectus had a remarkable claim. The tax cuts wouldn’t cost us anything. Growth would be so strong that the tax cuts would more than pay for themselves. Even those who admitted that the tax cuts might not be fully self-financing still made strong claims about faster economic growth offsetting much of the lost revenue from the tax cuts.

The reality, of course, has been quite different. There is little evidence that the Bush tax cuts, or any other tax cuts directed at the so-called job creators, have had a noticeable effect on economic growth. And the promise of broadly shared prosperity has not been realized. Most of the gains from economic growth in recent decades have gone to the top of the income distribution while the inflation adjusted wages of the working class have been relatively flat. Furthermore, the tax cuts have not paid for themselves as promised, and it hasn’t even been close. The Bush tax cuts have already cost us trillions in revenue, and if they are extended for high income tax payers, they will cost us roughly another trillion over the next decade.

. . .

Despite their failed promises, the Republican Party is asking that we extend the tax cuts for the wealthy, and some are even calling for further reductions in tax rates. However, if the Republican Party is truly the party of business, then surely it will understand that no responsible financial institution would continue to invest in a business that failed meet, or even come close to the growth and revenue projections that justified the investment in the first place. The payoffs from tax cuts that were promised during the Bush years have not been realized, and the failed promises about growth and revenue have damaged the health, education, and retirement programs the working class depends upon in our increasingly globalized economy.

A true party of business would end our investment in the false promise of supply-side economics. However, a party with a goal of reducing the scale of programs such as Social Security and Medicare along with delivering tax cuts to wealthy political backers would use arguments about the economic effects of tax cuts to disguise its true intentions. Which description fits best? Many Republicans still claim that tax cuts for the wealthy enhance economic growth despite the evidence to the contrary, but it’s rare to hear a Republican admit that these supply-side policies have failed.

Read more at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2012/12/04/Why-the-GOP-Wont-Admit-Supply-Side-Econ-Has-Failed.aspx#C9lrgKJHePw9Ourh.99

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Reply Why the GOP Won't Admit Supply-Side Econ Has Failed Read (Mark Thoma) (Original post)
swag Dec 2012 OP
yurbud Dec 2012 #1

Response to swag (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:42 PM

1. what will it take to get Democratic leaders to say Reaganomics was a failure?

That needs to be said every single time they discuss taxes.

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