Bruce Bartlett on the Bush Tax Cuts and Economic Growth
With hat tip to Mark Thoma, our conservative friend Bruce Bartlett has said something incredibly sensible that directly contradicts the free lunch supply-side idiocy that often comes out of President Bush’s mouth:
However, if you ask most economists, they will more than likely say that the robust growth we have today is simply due to the normal workings of the business cycle – what goes down eventually goes up again. If any governmental action deserves credit, it would be the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. … The tax cuts undoubtedly raised the growth rate slightly, but at most their effect amounted to only tenths of a percent of the gross domestic product. onsequently, there is no possible way that the tax cuts can be credited with raising federal revenues, as Bush implies. … No serious person believes that across-the-board tax cuts of the sort that Bush proposed ever recoup 100 percent of their gross cost. Not even Bush’s own economists. …
I’m sitting here thinking is there is anyway I could rephrase this to improve what it says. I can’t. It’s like Bruce read my mind and proceeded to write prose that I wish I had said!