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Do Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Help the Economy?


Do Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Help the Economy?

Robert Freeman

Donald Rumsfeld used to say that people are entitled to their own opinions but they are not entitled to their own facts.  Catastrophically, especially when it comes to Republican economics, that is no longer true.


Do dumb article headlines like this help? Ah, no.


I think that Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan popularized that quote. And as we have seen the last 40 yrs. that the answer to the question is… No!


If you choose to file it for future factual reference you might find that it helps. Its about two years ahead of the flood of conversation complaining about the problems it will be creating. Rather than a lengthy debate, you can just hand your interlocutor an article titled ’ Do Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Help the Economy?’


Taxes fund public investment in infrastructure, defense, and social services. Without them, there is no country.

A few people – let’s call them the wealthy – like spending on defense to protect their property and assets, dislike spending on infrastructure that they don’t use or must share with others, and hate spending on social services that they don’t want or need.

Most people – let’s call them the working class – like spending on defense because they make Super Bowl anthems more exciting, dislike spending on infrastructure that other people like or use more, and resent spending on social services that they believe others need and use more.

With this article, folks like Freeman stoke the right-wing trope that suggests tax rates singularly and significantly smother or invigorate economic growth. What a joke, or perhaps, what a Laffer.

Periods of real and enduring economic growth, like the tech boom of the 1990’s, are spurred by decades of smart public investment in infrastructure and defense. They are barely responsive to the rate adjustments made by this or that administration.

Does anyone believe that Google was significantly impacted, negatively or positively, by tax policy? Does anyone not believe that Google was made possible by decades of public investment in defense networks and higher education?

We need to stop talking about tax policy like it is the best tool we have to build a better society.

It isn’t.

It never was.


Please don’t forget that Kansas tried this “supply side” “trickle down” economic policies a few years ago and today is desperate because the alleged “growth” never showed up. Even several architects of the Kansas policy have said, “DON’T DO THIS! IT DOESN’T WORK!”


Dumbness is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, this headline is dumb, but only in the sense that anyone with half a brain (and a modest knowledge of economic history) knows that the answer is a resounding NO.


Yes, agreed.
My complaint was addressing the dumb question posing as a headline.
Most of us posting here at common dreams ( you too, OG) know that tax cuts for the richy rich do not help the economy.