Chart of the Day: How Have Republican Tax Cuts Fared Since 1980?

Jonathan Chait complains today that Republicans always justify their claim that tax cuts boost the economy by simply taking credit for the normal economic expansions that happen afterward:

They deemed the Reagan tax cuts to be a growth miracle by starting at the trough of a recession, in 1982, and measuring through the peak of the expansion, in 1990. The 1980s expansion was actually an unremarkable business cycle recovery, but by measuring from the trough to the peak, conservative propaganda transformed it into a miracle.

OK, let’s do just the opposite. Let’s take a look at economic growth after each of the six major tax bills since 1980, but for each one we’ll arbitrarily use the decade following. Everyone gets exactly ten years and that’s that. This is blogging without a net: I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I promise to post the results regardless of what they look like.

….And here they are:

There you have it. None of this matters, of course, since Republicans pass tax cuts mostly to please their donor class, not due to any macroeconomic evidence that they do much for the economy. Still, at least we got a colorful chart out of the deal.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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