Like MacArthur, I have returned

Well rested, in possession of something that might be called a tan if you squint hard enough, and all the way through the second season of The Wire. Regular blogging to resume tomorrow, after I have done exciting things such as buying groceries, doing laundry, and playing with Bartleby.

Meanwhile, contemplate these questions from Andrew Samwick, now securely ensconced in his new blog:


Things did get interesting around the 33 minute mark, when Miller started peddling supply-side gibberish. Panetta and Sperling gave him grief, but the panel blessedly moved on. I started thinking about the right way to put the supply siders on the spot. Here are the two questions they should answer if they believe that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts raised revenues:

1. How much wider would the deficit be now if those tax cuts had not been enacted?
2. How much lower would tax rates have to go in order for you to stop insisting that further tax cuts would raise more revenue?

I wonder what we would get.



I would especially like to know at what tax rate, other than 0%, hard core supply siders think we could generate additional revenue for the government.

A few weeks ago, a couple of liberal friends came to watch me sit on AFF's panel on new growth strategies for the economy. I took the unpopular position that tax cuts were pretty much dead letter for the foreseeable future. To spend is to tax, and without any political will for deep spending cuts--which there isn't--we can't have true tax cuts. We can only delay the day of reckoning by a few years. Better, I said, to look for other ways to enhance economic growth and liberty: slashing regulation; eliminating relatively inexpensive government operations that distort economic activity and encourage unnecessary dependance on the state (Small Business Administration, I'm looking at you); and reforming the safety net to encourage more economic mobility.

An older man sitting next to one of my liberal friends leaned over and said "She talks nice, but she's too liberal for me."

Update Thanks to reader SG for hunting down the exact quote, for people who didn't know that MacArthur had said both "I shall return" and "I have returned":

"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

- Douglas MacArthur upon landing in Leyte



I had thought that knowledge of the reference was sort of a package deal, but apparently not.