Sometimes pointing out reality is very annoying to those who live in a cloistered world in which Mitt Romney is president and Republicans have captured the U.S. Senate.
That didn’t happen, of course. But it came as an enormous surprise to those watch only Fox News and take their political cues from Karl Rove and Sean Hannity.
So, it was really not news to me that the good folks over at The Hayride should be so shocked to find someone questioning the discredited right-wing orthodoxy that is supply-side economics. That’s what I did yesterday in this post.
In a rather ugly broadside aimed at me (does every political or policy disagreement now have to be laden with personal insults?), the author of the piece seems truly amazed to learn that not everyone buys into the notion that slashing taxes will result in a massive revenue windfall for the government and creation of widespread utopia.
Frankly, it’s a ridiculous – and tiresome – circumstance that we’re even arguing about whether competitive tax policy is an aid to economic growth. That Mann would beclown himself by wading into it shows he’s out of place as a professor in LSU’s mass-com school and ought to be in the poli sci department, but of course this is nothing more than a local equivalent of a George Stephanopoulous or Elliot Spitzer passing himself off as a journalist.
Mann’s blog, which one hopes he’s not composing on state time, consists of one left-wing anti-Jindal diatribe after another. Most of them are fairly well-written and appear reasonable until you do some research into his sources and claims; that’s a testament to his skill as a spin doctor.
But if you do that research and come to the conclusion that he’s a partisan hack entrusted with the education of our kids, and if you should give voice to that conclusion, be prepared to see the darker side of political spin doctoring.
Well, at least the author thinks that I write well and “appear” reasonable! (If my blog were a movie, the poster would say: “Bob Mann’s blog is ‘well-written’ and ‘reasonable.’ — The Hayride”)
But back to the question of whether supply-side economics has been debunked. Even one of its primary architects, Ronald Reagan’s budget director David Stockman, has dismissed it. And Reagan himself raised taxes in 1982 and 1984 when his tax cuts began to balloon the deficit. And how did those Bush tax cuts turn out?
I really don’t think it’s worth much additional time debating supply-side with anyone, but I will offer a few charts and links that present the case for questioning the view that slashing taxes automatically creates new revenue.
Perhaps I’m wrong (I often am), but I don’t see how just making the case that supply-side economics doesn’t work as advertised — a belief shared by hundreds, if not thousands, of economists — makes me a “partisan hack.”
In any case, The Hayride’s critique of my post brings to mind these wise words: “Observe which side resorts to the most vociferous name-calling and you are likely to have identified the side with the weaker argument and they know it.”
- Why the GOP Won’t Admit That Supply-Side Economics Has Failed (economistsview.typepad.com)
- Jindal’s “Easter Bunny Economics” (bobmannblog.com)
- Paul Krugman Debunks Conservative Columnist On Reaganomics (addictinginfo.org)
- Bobby Jindal says slashing income taxes spurs economic growth. True or false? (bobmannblog.com)
- Why Supply Side Economics Won’t Solve the Current Economic Malaise (ritholtz.com)