The Reagan tax cuts, like similar measures enacted in the 1920s and 1960s, showed that reducing excessive tax rates stimulates growth, reduces tax avoidance, and can increase the amount and share of tax payments generated by the rich. High top tax rates can induce counterproductive behavior and suppress revenues, factors that are usually missed or understated in government static revenue analysis. Furthermore, the key assumption of static revenue analysis that economic growth is not affected by tax changes is di sproved by the experience of previous tax reduction programs. There is little reason to expect static revenue analysis to evaluate the economic or distributional effects of current tax reform proposals much better than it evaluated the Reagan tax program 15 years ago.
Chief Economist to the Vice-Chairman