Blessings of Low Taxes Remain Unproved
The proposition that low tax rates produce higher economic growth has been a central plank of the Republican platform since I was a teenager.In 1980, “The Blues Brothers” were making the jump from “Saturday Night Live” to cult status on the silver screen when Representative Jack F. Kemp of New York, an economic adviser to President-elect Ronald Reagan, warned that taxes were “strangling the ability of the private sector and the American people to grow and expand and invest and save.” He laid out a plan to cut taxes, pare loopholes in the tax code and curb federal spending.
In 1996 Steve Forbes, the magazine publisher, donned the low-tax mantle just in time for Yahoo’s I.P.O. and La Macarena. Running for the Republican nomination on the promise of a “pro-growth, pro-family tax cut,” he cornered the eventual nominee, Robert Dole, into promising cuts of his own.
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