Alchemy is not dead. The discipline of the Middle Ages lives on in the arcane economic magic being preached by modern alchemists like Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, Tom Coburn, John Boehner, John McCain who claim that they can turn Donkey Shit into Gold!
With their super secret formula, they claim that cutting taxes actually increases government revenue and decreases the deficit!
They must be on to something, because if their claimes were false, then they would have been just giving more money to rich people!
They claim with their formulae, that they can prove that the Bush Tax Cuts did not contribute a single drop of the red ink swamping the treasury. As their chief high alchemist, John Boehner, said last week:
"It's not the marginal tax rates ... that's not what led to the budget deficit. The revenue problem we have today is a result of what happened in the economic collapse some 18 months ago."
"We've seen over the last 30 years that lower marginal tax rates have led to a growing economy, more employment and more people paying taxes."
Last Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained how tax cuts magically turn red ink black:
And on"There's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. "
In February 2009, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison offered the purest expression of the tried and untrue Republican gambit:
"I think we get revenue the way we've done it in the past that has been so successful in the past and that is tax cuts...Every major tax cut we've had in history has created more revenue."
As his 2008 presidential election neared, John McCain, too, experienced a just-in-time supply-side conversion. In 2001, McCain had opposed the $1.4 trillion Bush tax cuts because, "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief." But with the Republican primaries approaching, McCain renounced his heresy: In 2006, he added Laffer to his economic team and by 2007, proclaimed his support for making the Bush tax cut windfall for the wealthy permanent:
"Tax cuts, starting with Kennedy, as we all know, increase revenues."
Of course, just because Republicans claim it, doesn't make it so.
Ezra Klein was quick to sum up the "evidence" Mitch McConnell pretended was non-existent:
But how about the Congressional Budget Office's estimations? "The new CBO data show that changes in law enacted since January 2001 increased the deficit by $539 billion in 2005. In the absence of such legislation, the nation would have a surplus this year. Tax cuts account for almost half -- 48 percent -- of this $539 billion in increased costs." How about the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget? Their budget calculator shows that the tax cuts will cost $3.28 trillion between 2011 and 2018. How about George W. Bush's CEA chair, Greg Mankiw, who used the term "charlatans and cranks" for people who believed that "broad-based income tax cuts would have such large supply-side effects that the tax cuts would raise tax revenue." He continued: "I did not find such a claim credible, based on the available evidence. I never have, and I still don't."
Or, of course, as His exalted magikal excellency, President Bush explained in 2004 why his tax cuts for the wealthy should stay in place:
"The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway."Now, perhaps we can begin to understand the magikal formula that the Republicans are trying to use to convince us with, that we really miss George Bush and history will turn his legacy of donkey shit into gold!