The Corner

Re: We’re All Progressives Now

From a reader:

I agree that Ezra’s essay is worth a read – Mainstream Republicans have long forsaken a belief in small government.  With a few exceptions on the Hill, most staff and virtually all members are interested in achieving their specific policy objectives, no matter the explosion in the size of government or the destruction of principles of federalism.   I also know you noted you object to a few of his points… but I wanted to say that we as Republicans do not do enough to take on and refute the following:   “But when Ronald Reagan tested the stratagem in office, deficits and not revenues skyrocketed, and inequality shot up.”   First, even if the objective is maximizing revenue (something I would argue should NOT be our objective) – no one I know can tell me the precise tax rate that will so maximize.  Second, too many folks discount “supply-side economics” without cause or evidence.  Revenues undoubtedly increased in the 80′s… whether the Reagan Tax Cuts maximized revenues or not is a question I suppose, but his conclusion that deficits skyrocketed and inequality shot up as a result of the tax cuts is simply not substantiated and his claim revenues did not increase dramatically is not true.   Anyway, I just think it’s important to refute this at every turn.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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