The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Intellectual Credibility

We have it, they don't:

When most of your big ideas are well-designed for election day but don't actually make sense, it's hard to make substantive progress on your agenda. Most notably, the idea that deccreasing tax rates is a good way to increase tax revenue has become frighteningly central to conservative governance despite a lack of such things as evidentiary support. Its empirical falsity aside, this strong supply-side thesis doesn't even make sense as ideology. It casts conservative tax cutters as trying to maximize federal revenue (impeded, for mysterious reasons, by blinered high tax liberals) but also as opposed to spending the revenue on useful programs to help people.


An alternative, equally "coherent" view would be that conservatives should favor tax increases which, by reducing revenue (remember your Laffer curve), would starve the beast. But nobody thinks that either.
From Matt Yglesias.