Nov 01, 2012 at 1:32 am
OK, this is scary. Existentially scary.
As explained here by Jonathan Weisman for the NYT, due to pressure from Republicans, the Congressional Research Service is withdrawing a report that showed the lack of correlation between high end tax cuts and economic growth.
The study, by economist Tom Hungerford, is of high quality, and is one I’ve cited here at OTE. Its findings are fairly common in the economics literature and the concerns raised by that noted econometrician Mitch McConnell are trumped up and bogus. He and his colleagues don’t like the findings because they strike at the supply-side arguments that they hold so dear.
I’ll have a lot more to say about this later–running off to give a talk. But this looks to me like pure suppression of a fact-based result that is discomforting to ideologues who want more trickle-down tax cuts. You can tell me if you think I’m over-reacting, but this type of suppression is wholly inconsistent with democracy.
In that regard, I encourage you to make a lot of noise about this action by CRS. Woe betide us as a nation if this stands.
Update: Here’s a copy of the study. Note the author’s cautious language–he discusses the relations in terms of correlation as opposed to causation, which is correct. He’s not saying tax cuts never generate growth. He’s looking for correlations between high end tax changes and productivity or growth, and not finding them.
I’m seeing some real outrage spreading over this, which is a very good thing. I really don’t think I’m exaggerating to assert that this type of fact suppression strikes at the heart of democracy. As commenter EM said: this is an extremely sad day.
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