NY Times Discovers Supply-Side Economics By Jonathan R
Conservatives have touted the growth-stimulating benefits of marginal tax rate cuts (as opposed to ineffective “targeted” credits and refunds) for decades. Every 20 years, U.S. presidents have expounded on those benefits and enacted tax policies that have resulted in bountiful economic growth, from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush.
Well, lo and behold, the newspaper that bills itself as the finest in the nation belatedly, and surely grudgingly, has happened upon this economic truism.
An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief.
On Tuesday, White House officials are expected to announce that the tax receipts will be about $250 billion above last year’s levels and that the deficit will be about $100 billion less than what they projected six months ago. The rising tide in tax payments has been building for months, but the increased scale is surprising even seasoned budget analysts and making it easier for both the administration and Congress to finesse the big run-up in spending over the past year.
Tax revenues are climbing twice as fast as the administration predicted in February, so fast that the budget deficit could actually decline this year.
The main reason is a big spike in corporate tax receipts, which have nearly tripled since 2003, as well as what appears to be a big increase in individual taxes on stock market profits and executive bonuses.
On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that corporate tax receipts for the nine months ending in June hit $250 billion — nearly 26 percent higher than the same time last year — and that overall revenues were $206 billion higher than at this point in 2005.
Congressional analysts say the surprise windfall could shrink the deficit this year to $300 billion, from $318 billion in 2005 and an all-time high of $412 billion in 2004.
Republicans are already arguing that the revenue jump proves that their tax cuts, especially the 2003 tax cut on stock dividends, would spur the economy and ultimately increase revenues.
“The tax relief we delivered has helped unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of America and kept our economy the envy of the world,” President Bush said in his weekly radio address on Saturday.
I wonder why it took their reporters so long to discover this? And the Times even reported, probably accidentally, how the “rich” shoulder most of the tax burden.
contrary to a popular assumption, a disproportionate share of income taxes is paid by wealthy households, and their incomes are based much more on the swings of the stock market than on wages and salaries. About one-third of all income taxes are paid by households in the top 1 percent of income earners, who make more than about $300,000 a year.
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