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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Out of the Mainstream?

Megan McArdle says supply-siders -- the ones who say tax cuts pay for themselves -- are out of the mainstream of the Republican party:

I'm all for someone taking on the sillier kind of supply siders who fanny about claiming that tax cuts increase tax revenue, but they've been rather thin on the ground lately. ...

Yes, very thin on the ground. A quick search of this site turns up, with little effort, Bush, McCain, Romney, Giuliani, Hassett, Stossel, and the WSJ Editorial page all making the Laffer curve claim.

The second three may be a "motley collection of names" and have little influence over the party, but the first four? Are Bush, McCain, Romney, and Giuliani part of the "barking moonbats"? [yes...] I agree they are making a silly assertion, but don't they run counter to the claim that nobody of importance in the party tries to sell tax cuts by saying they pay for themselves?

And, right on cue, in today's Washington Times we have this piece of hackery:

Tax cut extension needed, by David Limbaugh, Commentary, Washington Times: ...Contrary to liberal propaganda, the Reagan tax cuts led to dramatic increases in federal revenues even after adjusting for inflation. ...

Since President Bush's tax cuts took effect, Democrats have been condemning them because of their alleged responsibility for soaring deficits. ... Recent reports definitively confirm ... federal revenues increasing; the deficits are decreasing, just as in the later Reagan years. ... It's past time to extend the Bush tax cuts.

The idea that tax cuts pay for themselves, wrong as it is, is still being actively promoted as part of the sales pitch to cut taxes. It may not be official party policy, but influential members of the Republican party are more than willing to play along and even help to promote this idea, and they do so even though they ought be aware by now that there's no evidence to support such claims.

Update: Brendan Nyhan extends the list of statements from the administration claiming that tax cuts pay for themselves.

    Posted by on Thursday, September 6, 2007 at 01:08 AM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Politics, Taxes | Permalink  TrackBack (1)  Comments (12)


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    » McArdle's blindness to supply-siders from Brendan Nyhan

    New Atlantic blogger Megan McArdle claims that the Bush adminstration did not cut taxes out of "crackpot supply-sidism" but instead was "making extravagantly exaggerated claims about the benefits of its policies": 4) Highly respected economists Greg Ma... [Read More]

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