November 6, 2015
Stuart Brown Challenges Republican Orthodoxy on Tax Cuts
A letter to the editor by PPC Economics/Budget Policy Chair Stuart Brown (11/ 9,)“This Is Where GDP Starts”) challenges the Republican orthodoxy that “cutting tax rates will do the trick” to stimulate economic growth.
Not so, argues Brown, responding to a Robert Samuelson column “No Tooth Fairy on Taxes” (11/1) , which contends that middle class tax increases are inevitable because revenues from increasing taxes on the wealthy would amount to only one-quarter of our nation’s deficit.
The big picture is much more complex, argues Brown. “The highest marginal tax rates since 1929 ranged between 25 percent and 94 percent, with an average of 62 percent, while gross domestic product growth averaged 3.4 percent. In those years when GDP exceeded 3.4 percent, the highest marginal tax rate average was 66 percent. In those years when the highest tax rate average was less than 30 percent, GDP fell 1 percent on average. When that tax rate was less than 40 percent, GDP grew on average a subpar 1.9 percent. Show me a low-tax-rate year, and I will show you a year of weak economic growth.”
In other words, says Brown, “The real trick was getting people to link low taxes with economic growth. History shows the opposite is true.”
Bravo, Stuart, and keep those letters coming!
Veena Trehan on Reframing and Preventing American Gun Violence
Check out Veena’s analysis of issues to consider in addressing gun violence, published today in Nation of Change.
Harold Meyerson’s “Is American Splitting in Two?” Available to WNDC Members
On November 10, Washington Post columnist and American Prospect editor Harold Meyerson presented a brilliant and engaging talk on the forces dividing the electorate and the political forces sustaining the gridlock our nation faces. Members may view the entire program in the Video Gallery on the WNDC website.