Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tax Cuts Work Twice as Well as Government Spending Cuts

Here's something you already know but politicians would rather you ignore. Recent studies show that to recover from a recession, it's better for government to cut taxes than it is to cut spending :
One piece of evidence comes from Christina D. Romer, the chairwoman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. In work with her husband, David H. Romer, written at the University of California, Berkeley, just months before she took her current job, Ms. Romer found that tax policy has a powerful influence on economic activity. According to the Romers, each dollar of tax cuts has historically raised G.D.P. by about $3 — three times the figure used in the administration report. That is also far greater than most estimates of the effects of government spending.

Other recent work supports the Romers’ findings. In a December 2008 working paper, Andrew Mountford of the University of London and Harald Uhlig of the University of Chicago apply state-of-the-art statistical tools to United States data to compare the effects of deficit-financed spending, deficit-financed tax cuts and tax-financed spending. They report that “deficit-financed tax cuts work best among these three scenarios to improve G.D.P.”

But if government cut taxes and put the money directly in your pocket, you might make decisions for yourself. Politicians would have nothing left to do. Why, that would be horrible.

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