Republican tax policy focuses on one central idea: If you cut taxes, the economy will grow. Now the man who helped write that doctrine says it’s a myth. Bruce Bartlett, author of “The Truth Matters,” was an economic policy adviser for presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. And during the 1980s, he championed the idea that tax cuts would equal growth in the economy. In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, Bartlett debunks the myth that, as he puts it, he helped create. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talks with Bartlett about the GOP tax myth and why it’s lasted so long.
Kai Ryssdal: Do me a favor and remind us what the Republican tax myth is.
Bruce Bartlett: The biggest Republican tax myth is that we had vast prosperity in the 1980s that dwarfed the growth in any other time period and that was totally and exclusively the result of the 1981 tax cut. And this is just total mythology. Real economic growth in the 1980s was less than it was in the 1970s or the 1990s.
Ryssdal: And yet, now here we are, a generation or more later, and tax cuts are still, you write, the go-to solution for Republicans.
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