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In a recent report, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has confirmed what serious economists had long predicted about the Republican tax cuts of 2017: They have had little effect on wages; average taxpayers saw little benefit; and the cuts aren’t going to “pay for themselves” with growth, as promised.

What America is left with is a ballooning deficit, primarily to fuel record stock buybacks that mostly benefit the well-heeled. From the start, this was an expensive hoodwink to benefit the rich — one that voters must hold GOP lawmakers accountable for in next year’s elections.

Since the Reagan era, Republicans have stubbornly clung to a shaky theory: That in times of high unemployment, cutting taxes on the rich will prompt them to use that extra money to expand their businesses, creating needed jobs. That, in turn (goes the theory), creates more income for everyone, which increases income tax receipts, thus paying for the tax cuts.

This, of course, is supply-side economics, and it has never been borne out. In the real world, business people make their expansion decisions based on market demand, not on how much extra money they might have lying around. This helps explain the dismal real-world record of supply-side policies.

High-end tax cuts don’t even have the benefit of spurring consumer purchasing the way low-end tax cuts do, because lower-income people are more likely to spend that extra money immediately to catch up on unmet needs. “Much of the tax cut was directed at businesses and higher-income individuals who are less likely to spend,” the Congressional Research Service report says.

In a recent report, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has confirmed what serious economists had long predicted about the Republican tax cuts of 2017: They have had little effect on wages; average taxpayers saw little benefit; and the cuts aren’t going to “pay for themselves” with growth, as promised.

What America is left with is a ballooning deficit, primarily to fuel record stock buybacks that mostly benefit the well-heeled. From the start, this was an expensive hoodwink to benefit the rich — one that voters must hold GOP lawmakers accountable for in next year’s elections.

Since the Reagan era, Republicans have stubbornly clung to a shaky theory: That in times of high unemployment, cutting taxes on the rich will prompt them to use that extra money to expand their businesses, creating needed jobs. That, in turn (goes the theory), creates more income for everyone, which increases income tax receipts, thus paying for the tax cuts.

This, of course, is supply-side economics, and it has never been borne out. In the real world, business people make their expansion decisions based on market demand, not on how much extra money they might have lying around. This helps explain the dismal real-world record of supply-side policies.

High-end tax cuts don’t even have the benefit of spurring consumer purchasing the way low-end tax cuts do, because lower-income people are more likely to spend that extra money immediately to catch up on unmet needs. “Much of the tax cut was directed at businesses and higher-income individuals who are less likely to spend,” the Congressional Research Service report says.

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