Here’s the strategy:
Arthur Laffer has a simple theory of politics. It’s about as simple as his theory of economics. . . . The economic theory says that the lowest, simplest tax code will produce the most growth. The political theory goes like this: Politicians crave love from voters. So if you want to get a politician to do what you think is right, give him a plan he can easily sell, and make sure that plan will deliver a lot of crowd-pleasing economic growth.
George Bush Snr sat in the Reagan White House for eight years and didn’t learn a thing. Nor did the voters who elected Obama. Even here, we had a government that brought us lower taxes and ongoing prosperity, so we rewarded them by bringing in the other side. There is, of course, more to the theory than we see at the final upper stage. And it is even possible he is right about what might happen in the US next, assuming someone can be induced to actually take those crucial first steps.
His economic calculations have led him to believe that the U.S. economy is primed, after a decade of slow growth and middle-class income stagnation, to grow rapidly – it just needs a big tax reform bill that would lower rates and eliminate most deductions. . . .
This is Laffer’s unshakeable belief: that once voters elect a supply-side acolyte to the White House, massive growth will follow. That growth will please voters. Voters will reward the president’s party. And Republicans, he predicts, will go on to enjoy a generation-long lock on Washington – until, he says, voters forget the power of supply-side economics, and the cycle begins again.
Here, alas, we are still trying to unwind from the old cycle never mind starting a new one.
MORE ALONG THE SAME LINES BUT FROM AUSTRALIA: Peter Costello’s taxing truths. Here is what you need to know but do read the rest:
The government has been hurt by the former treasurer’s claim that it is leaning too heavily on tax increases and not enough on spending cuts to repair the budget.
Raising taxes is bad economics and will repel votes. Other than that, it’s a great idea.