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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tax Cuts Did What?

Arthur Laffer basically stated in his famous "Laffer Curve" that government can increase its revenues by cutting taxes to certain levels. The proof is in the tasting of the pudding, per the WSJ:

In the nine quarters preceding that cut on dividend and capital gains rates and in marginal income-tax rates, economic growth averaged an annual 1.1%. In the 12 quarters--three full years--since the tax cut passed, growth has averaged a remarkable 4%. Monetary policy has also fueled this expansion, but the tax cuts were perfectly targeted to improve the incentives to take risks among businesses shell-shocked by the dot-com collapse, 9/11 and Sarbanes-Oxley.
This growth in turn has produced a record flood of tax revenues, just as the most ebullient supply-siders predicted.


In the first nine months of fiscal 2006, tax revenues have climbed by $206 billion, or nearly 13%. As the Congressional Budget Office recently noted, "That increase represents the second-highest rate of growth for that nine-month period in the past 25 years"--exceeded only by the year before. For all of fiscal 2005, revenues rose by $274 billion, or 15%. We should add that CBO itself failed to anticipate this revenue boom, as the nearby table shows. Maybe its economists should rethink their models.

Laffer admitted that revenues can initially increase with tax increases. However, such will not sustain. Sustaining the growth is something we need to reduce the deficit long-term.

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