Senate Republicans Don’t Like Facts, Bury Them

A couple of news reports dug up the late September live-body-burial by Senate Republicans of a Congressional Research Service report that found no correlation between tax rates for the wealthy and economic growth.

A foundational axiom (no proof needed) of Republican beliefs is that by lowering tax rates for the super wealthy, that money, now not going to the common wealth, will be invested in enterprises which will generate more wealth and jobs.  If on the other hand, the tax rates rise, that money will go to government boondoggles,  the economy will not grow and unemployment will rise.

Not so, says the study.  No correlation.

Senator Charles Schumer raised the issue in a speech at the National Press Club,

“This has hues of a banana republic,” Mr. Schumer said. “They didn’t like a report, and instead of rebutting it, they had them take it down.”

Well, of course Mitch McConnell says they didn’t “order” it taken down.  They only raised issues and “it was withdrawn voluntarily” (over the objections of its author.)  What didn’t they like?

Senate Republican aides said they had protested both the tone of the report and its findings. Aides to Mr. McConnell presented a bill of particulars to the research service that included objections to the use of the term “Bush tax cuts” and the report’s reference to “tax cuts for the rich,” which Republicans contended was politically freighted.

So now those who regularly excoriate politically correct speech would like to use it on their own behalf?  Instead of Bush Tax Cuts we could say the 2001, 2003 tax cuts.  Insted of tax cuts for the rich we could say tax cuts for the top.1% of income earners.  Happy now?  Of course not.

Here is the meat of the report summary, and a link to the whole item,

Throughout the late-1940s and 1950s, the top marginal tax rate was typically above 90%; today it is 35%. Additionally, the top capital gains tax rate was 25% in the 1950s and 1960s, 35% in the 1970s; today it is 15%. The real GDP growth rate averaged 4.2% and real per capita GDP increased annually by 2.4% in the 1950s. In the 2000s, the average real GDP growth rate was 1.7% and real per capita GDP increased annually by less than 1%. There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth. Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. The share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how the economic pie is sliced.

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