On Thursday, Glenn Reynolds linked a post from Daniel Mitchell which, like most posts from that libertarian scholar, merit your attention. Mitchell corrected a New York Times reporter eager to peddle the notion of horrible, no good, very bad Republicans unwilling to raise taxes, reminding her that the “only budget agreement that actually produced a balanced budget was the 1997 deal, and that deal contained tax cuts rather than tax increases!”
Guess she just didn’t learn the lesson the Gipper did in 1982 when you negotiate to raise one dollar of taxes for every three dollars of cuts, you get the higher tax rates, but you don’t get the lower spending. He also reminds us of the “dishonest Washington definition” of “spending cut” as something which “occurs any time politicians increase spending by less than previously planned.”
Something to bear in mind for those gnashing their teeth at Republican attempts to reduce federal spending. It might help if Congress did away with the “baseline budgeting” that began with the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
Having exposed the flaw in the reporter’s wistful musings about the days when both parties considered tax hikes (as a means to balance the budget, Mitchell then asks those who think “the 1993 tax hike was successful” to “read this post and you’ll see that the Clinton White House admitted it was a failure in early 1995.”
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