Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Miller Time Again

Matt Miller writes
In case you were wondering, Ronald Reagan wasn’t a Drawbridge because he entered office when marginal rates, at 70 percent, were truly damaging to the economy.
This is written to prove that his critique of Ryan and Romney isn't based on extremism. Interestingly, he feels no need to present any evidence at all in support of his assertion. Of course all serious people agree that top rates of 70% are way too high. I guess that's why the US economy did so badly in the 1960s. And, of course, the 40s and 50s with top marginal rates at 90 percent were such a catastrophe. What is the basis for your claim ? I confess I am an economist and have published on the effects of taxes on growth in the Journal of Public Economics. I am aware of no evidence that top marginal rates of 70% damage economies. It is not for lack of looking. Many economists have attempted to find such evidence and failed. Don't you think you should cite some evidence or, at least, name a source, before making a claim outside of your field of expertise ? I think you are ignorant and completely wrong. I think what you mean is that proposals for a top rate of 70% (from for example a Nobel Prize winner and a Clark medalist) are so very far from being remotely politically possible that you write ignorant nonsense about economics. The grim thing is that I am quite sure that Miller never even considered checking for evidence that 70% is too high. It is just something that all reasonable people accept. I don't think he even feels he made any concession there. The Villager debate is detached from evidence. If a position has been politically marginalized for long enough, then it is considered nonsense without any regard for data.

1 comment:

  1. I hate that creep. I hate NPR for giving him a show. His schtick was old ten years ago. It's like he still thinks Bush 41 is president.

    How the hell is he employed by CAP?!