*Derived from my own comment on another post of mine*

I have never completely understood something about a key conservative economic belief. Is the idea supposed to be that prosperity comes from the act of cutting taxes? Or that prosperity comes from taxes simply being low when you’re done cutting them. There’s a huge difference. Surely Reagan cutting taxes, when the top marginal rate had previously been 70% or so, is not the same thing as cutting taxes today, when the top marginal rate is half that. Yes, Reagan cut tax rates, but even when he was through, both the top marginal tax rates and the overall level of income taxation were much higher than anything on the table in 2010 — with or without the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Conservatives point to those tax cuts as ushering in an era of prosperity.

Somebody needs to explain to me why Reagan’s tax policies produced economic prosperity, but Obama’s plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire — after which, marginal and overall tax rates still will be much lower than Reagan ever saw — would produce economic failure. That is a paradox not easily resolved.

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