Michael Tomasky: Reaganomics is Finally Dead





Newsweek/Daily Beast special correspondent Michael Tomasky is also editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.

You know the history. Arthur Laffer sketched out his famous curve—whether on a napkin or not is apparently still debated—back in 1974, when the top marginal rate was 90 percent. There is a certain point, Laffer explained, at which rates decrease revenue. Since many of the people to whom he was doing this explaining found themselves to be in or near the top bracket, quite naturally they liked his theory a lot....

...Mitt Romney was offering people a bigger cut than even Bush had. It was the centerpiece of his campaign, as it had been of Bush’s, and it was the central policy issue of this campaign in a way that Bush’s tax proposal wasn’t in 2000. In other words, if there was a single policy issue on which people voted this time, it was tax policy—whether everyone should get a massive cut (Romney), or whether the middle class should be held harmless and the wealthy should pay more (Barack Obama). It’s impossible to imagine a way in which the choice could have been clearer. And it’s hard to imagine the voters’ response being much clearer, either....



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