The Bush Tax Cuts Just Did Not Deliver

November 19, 2010 10:31 am ET

If the Republican Party's various supply-side arguments for extending the Bush tax cuts seem familiar, that's because they are. The conservative arguments for more tax cuts mirror the lofty claims President George W. Bush made when he signed the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts into law. Bush promised economic growth and sustained prosperity; the economy got neither. In fact, from 2001 to 2007, the country experienced the weakest job growth since the end of World War II. While the nation's millionaires and billionaires got rich, average household income fell for the first time on record. In response to the recession, the Obama administration has proposed extending tax cuts for all but the wealthiest of Americans. Republicans want the rates extended for everyone, including athletes, movie stars, and billionaire hedge fund managers. These people are not likely to spend the extra money and not likely to stimulate the economy, but Republicans swear by discredited economic theories and warn that higher rates will hurt small businesses. There is little evidence for that. In fact, there is no greater evidence that tax cuts for the rich fail to lift all boats than the costly and ineffective Bush tax cuts.

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