That’s the claim of ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. It’s an accurate claim, too, when tax cuts are taken in isolation, as Furman took them throughout his piece. That loneliness was emphasized by his closing remarks.
Going forward, policy makers should aim for a reformed tax system that is more stable, economically efficient, simple, and directly supportive of the middle class. Do this right, and the results could be higher economic growth and higher wages without the higher deficits. That’s a combination that’s proved elusive to date.
“Tax system,” not “tax and spend system.” Leave it to an Obama staffer to miss the boat on this. The major reform remaining is to make the existing individual income tax cuts permanent (much less, lower)—an action the Progressive-Democrats in Congress will actively block. The necessary dual to tax cuts, though, is completely inconceivable to folks like Furman and his Progressive-Democrat cronies: cutting spending to fit within the lowered tax revenues. After all, it’s those associated spending cuts in combination with the tax cuts, that produce the mid- and long-term benefits.
It’s true enough that feckless members of the Republican caucuses contribute to this failure, but their failure centers on how and where to make the cuts; they don’t have a mental block against even thinking about them.