Chart of the Day: How Have Republican Tax Cuts Fared Since 1980?

Jonathan Chait complains today that Republicans always justify their claim that tax cuts boost the economy by simply taking credit for the normal economic expansions that happen afterward:

They deemed the Reagan tax cuts to be a growth miracle by starting at the trough of a recession, in 1982, and measuring through the peak of the expansion, in 1990. The 1980s expansion was actually an unremarkable business cycle recovery, but by measuring from the trough to the peak, conservative propaganda transformed it into a miracle.

OK, let’s do just the opposite. Let’s take a look at economic growth after each of the six major tax bills since 1980, but for each one we’ll arbitrarily use the decade following. Everyone gets exactly ten years and that’s that. This is blogging without a net: I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I promise to post the results regardless of what they look like.

….And here they are:

There you have it. None of this matters, of course, since Republicans pass tax cuts mostly to please their donor class, not due to any macroeconomic evidence that they do much for the economy. Still, at least we got a colorful chart out of the deal.

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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

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