Is Faster Growth Under Our Control?


In today’s Wall Street Journal, columnist David Wessel declares that “Faster growth relies on a bump free road”.  Mr. Wessel cites a new forecast from the International Monetary Fund that sees a “three speed recovery” with the U.S. lagging behind emerging markets and developing economies but doing much better than the no-growth Euro zone.  According to Mr. Wessel our own economic growth is so closely tied in with the rest of the world, and especially Europe’s floundering economy, that the best we can do is to avoid “overly strong deficit reduction” and hope that there are no major bumps in the road.
It is pessimistic indeed to assume that there is little if anything we can do to boost economic output.  We can lower both individual and corporate tax rates, offset by eliminating deductions and closing loopholes, in order to stimulate more private investment.  We can help small businesses grow by removing the huge burden of having to provide health insurance to their employees (this can be accomplished by changing the tax treatment of health care insurance).  We can encourage more entrepreneurial activity with targeted (but temporary) tax exemptions. Immigration reform, hopefully now in the works, will boost the productivity of our 11,000,000 illegal immigrants by giving them more economic freedom.
Twenty million U.S. citizens are either unemployed or underemployed.  Our national leaders should consider it to be their moral duty to adopt measures to put more of them back to productive employment.  In addition, as the strongest economy in the world by far, we will boost the entire world economy if we can speed up our own growth.  The benefits of faster growth are so obvious that it should be the first priority of Congress and the President to work together to get this done!

2 thoughts on “Is Faster Growth Under Our Control?

  1. The problem is not that Wessel is pessimistic; he’s simply making a factual statement. It’s your analysis that’s faulty.

    Once again you state that we can stimulate growth if tax rates are lowered. I have presented to you numerous links to a large variety of facts and data showing that there is currently no slack in business investment, taxes are already at generational lows, there is no historical correlation between tax rates and growth, and that none of 41 research economists at top universities believe that lower tax rates will be helpful to growth (but do believe that such action would increase the deficit).

    You have never once responded directly to any of those facts, and you have never presented any facts or data opposed to those facts and supporting your view.

    Yet you repeat this incorrect idea over and over and over. How do you reconcile constantly making a statement in a public blog that has been shown in that same public space to be false?

    Do you believe that things are true if you simply repeat them enough? That your views cannot be disproved with facts and data? That your “common sense” perspective is superior to any facts or data? Do you not look at any of the links? Do you not understand the information in them? Do you just assume they are wrong and dismiss them without analysis? Do you have a religious-like faith in your view that is not really addressable through reason? Do you have facts and data supporting this view that you don’t want to share? Do you think I should already know it?

    I’m really asking because I am simply at a loss as to how someone can be presented with a mountain of evidence that they are wrong, but they never respond with a counter argument or even acknowledge that there is evidence against their views and then repeat the incorrect statement over and over as if it is somehow indisputable.

    I’m really curious as to how you process it, and even more importantly how you ever expect to convince anyone to your cause who is educated, rational, and reason-based. Or do you feel that the conservative movement doesn’t need these types of people with their facts, data, and reason?

    Because that’s about where the party’s at right now– a bunch misguided people that have no use for facts, data, or reality if it doesn’t fit their world-view.

  2. Broad-based tax reform, replacing many if not most, deductions and loopholes with lower tax rates, would have hugely beneficial effects by making the tax code more efficient and removing economic distortions of preferential tax treatments. Your 41 economists might say that it won’t increase economic growth but many other economists say that it will. Botton line: it won’t hurt and there’s a good chance that it will help. So let’s do it!
    It’s a question of establishing basic priorities and adopting policies which are likely to move us in the right direction. With an unemployment rate of 7.6% four years after the end of the Great Recession, we should be doing everything we can to encourage businesses to grow and expand.
    In addition to a simpler tax code, we should be doing everything we can to reduce burdensome regulations especially on small businesses where so much new employment is generated.
    We should take all reasonable measures to increase business growth. Some measures will work better than others and some might not work at all. But just wringing our hands and hoping for good luck is not enough!

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