“This explosive growth … should finally discredit three popular claims made by opponents of the president’s policies: that tax cuts would blow a hole in the deficit, that corporate tax cuts would serve only rich investors, and that secular stagnation was a valid excuse for the slow growth of the Obama era.”
Tax Cuts Bust ‘Secular Stagnation’
By Mike Solon
The Wall Street Journal
July 29, 2018
Are low taxes key to a booming economy? Their success is harder than ever to deny after Friday’s report that the U.S. economy grew 4.1% in the second quarter, bringing the average quarterly growth rate during the Trump presidency to 2.9%.
The Congressional Budget Office reports that faster growth under President Trump has already added $1.3 trillion to the 10-year federal revenue projection, with the CBO’s April economic adjustment alone showing an addition of $1.1 trillion—the single largest growth-driven revenue gain ever reported. State and local governments can anticipate a similar dividend, amounting to as much as $600 billion.
The CBO now projects that additional revenue from this economic surge will offset 88.2% of the estimated 10-year cost of the tax cut. That contrasts sharply with the CBO’s assessment that President Obama’s economic slump lost $3.2 trillion in projected 10-year revenues during his last three years—almost five times more revenue lost than was gained by his 2013 tax hike. These results have confirmed again that weak growth is the fastest way to lose revenue and strong growth is the fastest way to raise it.
The next popular myth undone by the growth renaissance is that corporate tax cuts benefit only rich shareholders. Since the tax cut, the Labor Department reports that worker bonuses have hit the highest level ever recorded. The Commerce Department reports that wages and salaries are growing almost 25% faster under President Trump than under Mr. Obama. The recent tidal wave of customer rebates from utilities and cable companies also exposes the massive burden that high corporate taxes had been imposing on consumers.
Perhaps the most important narrative discredited by the economic revival is the “secular stagnation” excuse. Throughout the Obama years, progressive economists said Americans had become too old, lazy and complacent to achieve the growth that was regular before 2009. But somehow American workers overcame all of these supposed weaknesses when Mr. Trump changed federal policy.