Republicans Rejecting Reality, Non-Partisan Study Refutes GOP Talking Points

Elections, environment

In September, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service issued a report that showed cutting tax rates for the wealthiest Americans did not spur economic or job growth.

Forbes’ Rick Ungar tackles this subject in his Nov. 2 post titled Non-Partisan Tax Report Debunks Core Conservative Economic Theory—GOP Suppresses Study

Ungar writes:

 “What do you do when the Congressional Research Service, the completely non-partisan arm of the Library of Congress that has been advising Congress—and only Congress—on matters of policy and law for nearly a century, produces a research study that finds absolutely no correlation between the top tax rates and economic growth, thereby destroying a key tenet of conservative economic theory?

If you are a Republican member of the United States Senate, you do everything in your power to suppress that report—particularly when it comes less than two months before a national election where your candidate is selling this very economic theory as the basis for his candidacy.

Initially released on September 14, 2012, the study—authored by Thomas Hungerford who is a specialist in public finance at the C.R.S.—correlated the historical fluctuations of the highest income tax rates and tax rates on capital gains dating back to World War II with the economic growth (or lack of the same) that followed.

The conclusion?

Lowering the tax rates on the wealthy and top earners in America do not appear to have any impact on the nation’s economic growth.

This paragraph from the report says it all—

"The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment  and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.”

These three sentences do nothing less than blow apart the central tenant of modern conservative economic theory, confirming that lowering tax rates on the wealthy does nothing to grow the economy while doing a great deal to concentrate more wealth in the pockets of those at the very top of the income chain."

This issue was also addressed in the  Nov. 2 Alternet  post  Republicans Try to Hide Study That Shows Tax Cuts for the Rich Spur Inequality/How Republicans in Congress almost killed a non-partisan study refuting GOP talking points:  

“Despite Republican efforts to block the findings of the CRS study, others have shown similar results.  Even Republicans have admitted in the past that the Bush tax cuts didn’t spur the job and economic growth the party promised, and if nonpartisan studies aren’t enough, history makes the same case. Since Republicans began instituting supply-side policies under President Reagan,  growth has lagged  and income inequality has surged  as the wealthiest Americans make more money  while paying less in taxes. "

Also, a Nov. 1 New York Times article  conveys:

“Republicans have also tried to discredit the private Tax Policy Center  ever since the research organization declared that  Mitt Romney's  proposal to cut tax rates by 20 percent while protecting the middle class and not increasing the deficit was mathematically impossible. For years, conservatives have pressed the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to factor in robust economic growth when it is asked to calculate the cost of tax cuts to the federal budget. 

Congressional aides and outside economists said they were not aware of previous efforts to discredit a study from the research service.

‘When their math doesn’t add up, Republicans claim that their vague version of economic growth will somehow magically make up the difference. And when that is refuted, they’re left with nothing more to lean on than charges of bias against nonpartisan experts,’ said Representative Sander Levin of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.” 

And FYI:

Most Republicans believe in demonic possession, less than half in climate change--- reports the Huffington Post.   It cites two polls: one by Public Policy Polling which showed that 68% of Republican voters believed it possible to be possessed by demons and another by Pew Research Center which showed that only 48% of the Republicans surveyed said they believed in climate change.

“As the election looms ever closer, the topic of climate change and global warming  has been in the air -- with some experts and politicians calling the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy a reality check.  However, while 88 percent of Obama supporters believe that there is 'solid evidence that the earth is warming' , only 42 percent of Romney supporters said that this is true, according to the Pew survey.  In addition, 33 per cent of Romney supporters (compared to 5 percent of Obama supporters) said they believe global warming is "not a problem."

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