Bruce Bartlett, an architect of Ronald Reagan’s 1981 income tax cut, has written today in the New York Times that Donald Trump is all wrong for embracing Reaganomics in his recently announced plan that would amount to a bonanza for the wealthy.
This stands out among all the rest, with emphasis supplied for Gov. Asa Hutchinson and them at the Capitol:
Those economists who claim to be following Reagan’s policies by supporting Mr. Trump’s large tax-cut proposal are guilty of one-size-fits-all economics. There is far more evidence from the last 35 years showing that tax increases do more to stimulate growth than tax cuts.
Bartlett replays the familiar facts that any “boom” that followed Reagan’s tax cut (and there wasn’t much of one) had more to do with other factors than tax-cutting, mostly a typical bounce from a recession recovery. Also:
Much credit for growth in the Reagan years must go to the sharp increase in government purchases for his defense buildup.
What many Republicans also forget is that Reagan cared about deficits and supported 11 different tax increases from 1982 to 1988 that collectively took back half of the 1981 tax cut. Although many conservative economists predicted doom from the 1982 tax increase, which equaled 1 percent of G.D.P., the beginning of the boom coincided with its enactment.
Bartlett doesn’t repudiate the 1981 tax cuts. He said tax rates were too high then and inflation was pushing people into higher brackets. That’s not the case today, with inflation in check and tax rates generally much lower.
Ernest Dumas has written this many times for us. Arkansas Republicans typically sneer, preferring faith in comfort for the rich over the hard facts. Here, the facts come from a man, then aide to Jack Kemp, who drafted the Reagan tax cut legislation. But, hey. What could he possibly know?
A New York Times analysis of Clinton/Trump tax ideas tells the story: Trump has gone to super orthodoxy with breath-taking giveaways for the rich. This is to get their money for the election, of course. So much for unconventional thinking. The big prize for the super rich is his proposal to end the estate tax. In Arkansas, a Koch-employed political operator actually suggested on Twitter the other day that the super wealthy have ways around estate taxes, but not “family farmers” and working stiffs. It’s blazingly dishonest rhetoric. Under current law, a couple enjoys a $10.9 million estate tax exemption off the top. Some working stiffs. After years of searching, no one has ever found a “family farm” sold on account of estate taxes and farmers enjoy extended easy payment plans when they DO owe estate taxes. Fact is, you have to be VERY wealthy to owe estate taxes. It falls due in Arkansas each year on a few hundred people and there is NO state estate tax. The Koch shill at Americans for Prosperity almost certainly will never face an estate tax unless he gets a whopping pay raise from his overlords.