By Brigitte L. Nacos
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that the Congressional Research Service (CRS) withdrew an economic report that “found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative economic theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording.”
No wonder that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell did not want the report to see the light of day. After all, the findings of the non-partisan congressional research unit unmasked the centerpiece of the GOP’s and presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s economic policy as divorced from reality. Contrary to claims that lowering the tax rates for the highest incomes allows “job creators” to give rise to a wonderful job market, economic data of the last eight decades do not confirm those claims. According to the withdrawn CRS report,
“Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. The share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. The evidence does not suggest necessarily a relationship between tax policy with regard to the top tax rates and the size of the economic pie, but there may be a relationship to how the economic pie is sliced.”
In other words, while lower top tax rates will not magically turn the super-rich into job creators, they surely will increase their own wealth—at the expense of the rest of us.
Without the campaign promise that his policies will create 12 million new jobs, presidential candidate Romney is like the emperor without any clothes in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.
The problem is that in his campaign appearances Mr. Romney continues to tell his fairy tale again and again. According to public opinion polls about half of the electorate buys his story.
Obviously, Mitt Romney has taken flip-flopping and lying to a new art form.
Today’s Washington Post’s editorial suggests that Romney “seems to be betting that voters have no memories, poor arithmetic skills and a general inability to look behind the curtain. We hope the results Tuesday prove him wrong.“
If Romney wins next Tuesday, his fool-the-voters strategy might well become the predominant campaign model of the future.
What a prospect!