June 30, 2011

Clinton on Taxes

Bill Clinton on raising taxes:

"When I passed my budget in 1993, they routinely said it would bring on a terrible recession, [that] it was the end of capitalism as we knew it," he said. "And we had the best eight years in our history. But they just kept saying it. You've got to give them credit. The evidence doesn't deter them. ... It's an ideological conviction. So, I don't know that it can be resolved until there's some break in the action."

Here is how causation works on the left. X happens. Y happens. Therefore X causes Y. Nothing happened between the 1993 budget and 2000 that could have had any effect on the economy. Don't tried to persuade them otherwise, they can't be deterred by facts.

And of course, there is no ideology on the left. The Democrats are practical individuals who wouldn't dare give speeches railing against corporate jets to score political points.

Dirty Hippies Posted by Harrison Bergeron at June 30, 2011 2:13 PM

Woooah, doggies! And that's my favorite modern Democrat.

Posted by: jk at June 30, 2011 2:23 PM

In an entire page on this subject, the sole suggestion of anything other than the Clinton Tax Hike being responsible for the federal windfall was this:

An equally if not more powerful influence was the booming economy and huge gains in the stock markets, the so-called dot-com bubble, which brought in hundreds of millions in unanticipated tax revenue from taxes on capital gains and rising salaries.

But we have to admit how weak an argument is, "Just imagine how much more the economy could have grown without Clinton's tax increase!"

And using hb's formula, X was the tax rate increase and Y was the economic boom. It seems so incredibly simple when oversimplified in this way.

We're almost left with nothing but, "No, it was the late night Oval Office Oral Exams that caused the boom, not tax rate hikes."

Posted by: johngalt at June 30, 2011 4:33 PM

Clinton pulled what Dan Quayle called "a Clinton." (During his 1992 debate, that's what DQ called a lie.) I call it "a Paul Krugman."

The plain fact is that the economy didn't take off until the later 1990s, a combination of the tech boom and, oh dear, tax cuts that Republicans pushed for.

Clinton, and Republicans for that matter, did absolutely nothing to get a budget surplus. As I've pointed out before, it was because tax receipts were increasing faster than federal spending. Nor were tax cuts responsible for the return to deficits. Bush pushed for tax cuts, as we well know, and both Republicans and Democrats kept increasing spending at the same rate.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 30, 2011 10:56 PM

Good synopsis PE. Too bad the world doesn't read Three Sources.

"Republicans and Democrats kept increasing spending" [during the GWB administration] because nobody wanted to repeat the 'mistake' of "tax receipts increasing faster than federal spending" [during the second Clinton term] ever again.

Posted by: johngalt at June 30, 2011 11:35 PM

Well ne'er escape Rubinomics: the idea that the '93 tax hike created prosperity and not the later cap gains cut. Sigh.

Mister fair and balanced, however, will point out that:
-- President Clinton was good on spending, though he had a head start cutting defense after the USSR imploded;
-- President Clinton was GREAT on trade until Seattle '99' MVN and a fast track to WTO for China was a great boon for both of us;
-- Welfare reform (again, a promise kept by force from a GOP Congress) was a substantial down payment on a non-Socialist future.
Art Laffer boasts that he voted for Clinton twice. While that is two more times than I did, comparing him to the current crop makes him look like Cleveland.

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2011 11:58 AM | What do you think? [5]