A farewell to supply-side economics

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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18 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Starve the beast was the worst thing the Fiscal Conservatives could have recommended, I realize now.

    It merely divorced spending from taxation. The two things had nothing to do with each other, anymore.

    Full, 100%, pay-go is (probably) the answer. Raise taxes (on everybody) until the budget is balanced. Let everyone know that if spending goes up, their taxes will go up (even more).

    Let them vote for the amount of spending they want… but everybody has skin in the game.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      Supply-side, on the other hand, was a deal with the (proverbial) devil.

      “Hey, lowering taxes will give us *MORE* money! We’ll have more money to spend! On programs! And other stuff! The Children! Imagine the works we could create!Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’d like to see a thorough history of “starve the beast”. It’s my impression that it was a rationalization of the Reagan-era deficits that resulted from cutting taxes while increasing spending on defense and not making compensating cuts elsewhere. That is, describing a bug as a feature. But I don’t know this for a fact.Report

  2. Mike Farmer says:

    Well, yes, cutting taxes does no good if spending isn’t cut. I believe that’s what the public’s been saying for the last year — a little late, but better late than never. Libertarians have been saying it for decades. The problem is that you have truly limit government in order to stop the out-of-control spending.Report

  3. Rufus says:

    You know what I’d like? Line-item taxation. They could soak me, provided I got to check off where I want my taxes to go. Schools? Yep. SWAT teams? Not so much.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Rufus says:

      @Rufus, Ooooh. I’m trying to think of downsides. We might lose the Dairy Indemnity Program, Census Geography, and Special Grants to Native Hawaiians but… my goodness. The upsides!Report

      • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

        @Jaybird, think of all the jobs that would be created by having bureaucrat and cops to determine if somebody could use a park or trail. I would pay for those things but i’ll be damned if those who didn’t pay can use the trails i pay for. I want somebody getting rid of the freeloaders.Report

  4. Mike Schilling says:

    I’m trying to think of downsides.

    You think political ads are bad now? Wait until they’re trying to get into your wallet directly instead of via a candidate.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      @Mike Schilling, it might be refreshing.

      Two elderly guys sitting at the VFW talking about how their best friend Bob had to be cremated. “He wasn’t buried next to his wife?” “No… we didn’t have enough people check off the State Cemetery Grants at tax time… it looks like I won’t be buried next to Vera, either.”

      Voiceover: Please. Check the box next to State Cemetery Grants. “It’s a forever thing.”Report

  5. Koz says:

    “I am made only slightly more optimistic by the fact that this is an article in the National Review, a place not well known for its questioning of GOP orthodoxy.”

    F**kin’ ridiculous, to complain about lack of fiscal judgment from NR after you endorse the Obama health care bill.Report

  6. lukas says:

    Sure, most tax cuts don’t pay for themselves, but then the purpose of government is ostensibly not the maximization of its own revenue.Report

  7. Hopsong says:

    Since I’ve been told for 30 years that cutting taxes always results in more revenue, I thought we could cut taxes to 0% and thereby have an infinite amount of money! Not true? That sucks!Report

  8. Kaleberg says:

    People have some weird beliefs about taxes. If you do the math, you find that the basic economic equilibrium is stagnant with a handful of rich people who don’t spend much and a lot of poor people who can’t spend much. Investment is minimal because there is no one to buy anything. The real world data shows the same thing. Progressive taxation primes the pump, taking idle money from the rich and giving it to the poor who immediately spend it. That allows investments to pay off and people to get rich and richer. Taxation is more of investment than a burden. You can’t keep taking from the wheel unless you give a bit now and then, otherwise the wheel stops turning.Report

  9. Mark says:

    Spending must be reduced with taxes because debt is nothing more than taxes in the future. This is economics 101. Government spending is the problem and it does not matter tax cuts or whatever if the budget is growing.Report