Tuesday Opinion

Read Stephen Moore, Cal Thomas, Ken Blackwell, Rich Lowry, Hans von Spakovsky and more.

Dec. 19, 2017

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Opinion in Brief

Stephen Moore: “Larry Kudlow’s 2016 book, JFK and the Reagan Revolution, documented the post-JFK tax cut growth spurt: ‘The tax payments by the wealthiest filers nearly doubled. We had many quarters of 6 percent growth back then.’ That same effect was duplicated when Ronald Reagan chopped the top income tax rates from 70 to 28 percent and the corporate rate from 48 to 35 percent. The share of taxes paid by the richest 1 percent rose from 19 percent in 1980 to above 25 percent by 1990, according to IRS tax return data. Total tax revenues surged from roughly $500 billion in 1980 to just over $1 trillion by 1990. In 1986, Reagan’s Tax Reform Act passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of — are you sitting down? — 97-3. This included the votes of such prominent Democrats as Bill Bradley, Ted Kennedy, Howard Metzenbaum and Sam Nunn. Where are the pro-growth Democrats today? Are there any? In 1998, Bill Clinton, who had raised taxes in 1993, reversed course and signed into law one of the biggest bipartisan tax cuts in history, which included a slashing of the capital gains tax. The growth and employment boom was so great that the budget reached a budget surplus. Democrats say they wish that Trump had put forward a bipartisan tax plan, but where is the Democratic alternative? The only alternative I’ve seen is Bernie Sanders’ proposal to raise tax rates to 50, 60 or even 70 percent. Can anyone with a straight face argue that this would help the economy?”

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