02/13/2018

The 2017-2018 Economic Recovery Mocks The ‘New Normal’

Peter J. Ferrara, Washington Times

Whatever happened to the New Normal? First, Obama Democrats told us that what looked like long-term stagnation under President Obama’s economic policies, with growth stuck at 2 percent on average for his whole eight years in office, was the New Normal that the American people were going to have to get used to, the best we could do now.

That was after the worst recession since the Great Depression, making 10 years of insignificant growth, even though the historical pattern is the worse the recession the stronger the recovery.

Republicans who argued that we could still do much better with 3 percent, even 4 percent growth were derided as out-of-touch, behind-the-times throwbacks.

But as soon as the economy started to peek out into the 3-4 percent range in 2017-18, we were told this was Mr. Obama’s recovery at last. As Steve Forbes suggested, this was like the fired coach of the last place team taking credit for the team’s sudden winning record under the new coach.

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Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

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