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Democrats Need a 12-Step Recovery Program on Taxes

A Commentary By Lawrence Kudlow

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here's a question: Why is repealing the Bush tax cuts such a constant obsession for the Democratic Party? Especially the top rates for the most successful earners and small-business entrepreneurs?

It seems this is the Democratic answer for every single issue, every problem, every debate.

This, of course, saddens me enormously.

And so, always ready to help, I am recommending a 12-step program to help them overcome their anger, resentment and obsession over the Bush tax cuts. Democrats really need a Higher Power on this.

First, when tax rates were lowered across-the-board in mid-2003, the incentive effect kicked in to jump-start the economy immediately. Over the next four and a half years, before the financial meltdown slammed the economy -- and that was a credit event, not a fiscal one -- 8.2 million jobs were created.

Jobs essentially rose for about 50 consecutive months.

Non-farm payrolls rose from just under 130 million to just over 138 million. Don't believe me? You can look it up. This sort of job creation is exactly what President Obama would love to see happen now.

And, while jobs rose, the government took in more revenues. As a share of gross domestic product, revenues rose from 16.2 percent to 18.5 percent. Simply put, supply-side tax cuts were the single best economic policy President Bush implemented.

Elsewhere, President Bush overspent and overregulated. And yes, the dollar collapsed on his watch. And from Fannie Mae to the Federal Reserve, the housing bubble was born.

But the tax cuts? They worked . And that's my point.

Larry Kudlow, National Review Online's Economics Editor, is host of CNBC's "The Kudlow Report" and author of the daily web blog Kudlow's Money Politic$.

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