Tax cuts do not automatically lead to economic growth

After 10 years of some of the lowest tax rates in history – and some of the most turbulent economic times in a generation or two – this ought to be axiomatic: tax cuts don’t automatically lead to economic growth. Yet we still have Republicans insisting that tax increases automatically lead to economic slowdowns – despite the fact that the last several booms were preceded by, guess what, tax increases. And we still have Republicans like Tim Pawlenty asserting that all we must do to bring back the boom times is lower taxes even further – oh, and lower federal spending to a proportion of the GDP never seen in modern times.

Sure. That will work.

Look, the empirical evidence is pretty indisputable. Clinton – without a single Republican vote – raised taxes on the wealthy in 1993. What followed was the longest peacetime expansion in America’s history. Bush lowered taxes. What followed was economic stagnation and a financial disaster – a decade’s worth. Even Reagan, the Republican uber-hero, raised taxes more times than he lowered them.

So who, in their right mind, would suggest that doubling down on the Bush approach makes any sense?

Between this, Paul Revere, and the nonsense Mitt Romney has been spouting, what Republican presidential candidate can begin to be taken seriously?


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