Friday, November 2, 2012

Tax Policy: You Can’t Handle the Truth

Sahil Kapur reports on something that does not surprise me on two levels:
The author of a Congressional Research Service study, who found no evidence that tax cuts for high income earners lead to economic growth, is standing by his work, after the legislative branch’s nonpartisan research arm withdrew the report under pressure from Republican leaders. And Democratic principals are demanding to know why CRS caved to GOP pressure. CRS quietly and quickly pulled the six-week old report, despite the wishes of the research arm’s economic team, the New York Times reported Thursday ... The study, which TPM and others reported on at the time, delved into the last 65 years of U.S. tax policy — specifically how marginal rates on high incomes and capital gains taxes impact decision-making. It concluded that reducing effective taxes on the rich does not generate economic growth, but that it does correlate with rising income inequality in the short term. The report’s conclusions aren’t terribly controversial in mainstream economics.
What Thomas Hungerford wrote has indeed been the consensus view among economists who are not prostituting themselves for Mitt Romney. One would think this study would have received more attention but we have seen the Republican Party pushing a certain agenda for over 30 years. We have also seen a lot of incredibly dishonest claims about the wonders of tax cuts for the rich. That the leaders of the Republican Party decided to censor results of a credible analysis to the contrary is also old news. Even though it is old news – it needs to be highlighted over and over. But something tells me that not one word of this will be uttered over at Fox “fair and balanced” News.

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