One of the major political parties in the United States still has one—and only one—economic policy: tax cuts.
But even one of their own, the new Republican-appointed director of the Congressional Budget Office [ht: sm], has cast doubt on the idea that tax cuts pay for themselves through higher economic growth.
Keith Hall, who served as an economic adviser to former President George W. Bush, made the pronouncement at his first news conference after the CBO reduced its 2015 budget deficit forecast by $60 billion.
“No, the evidence is that tax cuts do not pay for themselves,” Hall said in response to a reporter’s question. “And our models that we’re doing, our macroeconomic effects, show that.”
His comment is at odds with lingering economic theory from the 1980s that some Republicans still hold dear: Stronger economic growth generated by tax cuts would boost revenues so much that there is less need to find offsetting savings.
Even though major tax cuts in the early 1980s and early 2000s ended up boosting deficits while also propping up short-term growth, many Republicans cite the growth argument as a major motivation to cut tax rates as part of a tax reform effort.