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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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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