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Another Voice: Reagan-Kemp tax reforms created jobs and prosperity

By Russ Gugino

Doug Turner’s recent article “Phony theory then, phony theory now” was adeptly headlined. Turner’s analysis of the philosophy and impact of the Reagan tax cuts promoted by Congressman Jack Kemp (and by inference the current GOP House/Senate tax proposals) is, in a word: PHONY.

Paraphrasing Turner’s theory behind the GOP tax cuts: If you make rich men and women richer, their wealth would trickle down to the middle class.

Aka: “Trickle Down.”


Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan stated repeatedly that our tax policy should provide incentives for all people of all income groups to achieve their versions of the American Dream by rewarding productivity and hard work rather than punishing achievement by imposing oppressively high tax rates.

Does it work?

You betcha!

Reagan adviser Larry Kudlow’s
recent book on the impact (and similarity) of the Kennedy and Reagan
tax cuts provides empirical data of dramatic and unprecedented economic expansion and job creation stemming directly from similarly implemented tax cuts.

Turner implies this “supply-side tax policy” is focused on the wealthy elite class and their high-priced lobbyists. Wrong again!
Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan took their message to Bethlehem Steel workers and inner city America as well as the Chamber of Commerce crowd. Kemp and Reagan were working-class champions.

Turner does correctly report that George H.W. Bush criticized Reagan’s tax proposals (as contained in the Kemp-Roth bill) as voodoo economics.

News flash, Mr. Turner: Bush lost. Thank goodness!

G.H.W. Bush eventually promised us “Read my lips – No new taxes.” – a promise which he broke.

Result: Bush raised taxes – the economy tanked and Bush lost again.

About the deficit.

Turner decries how the CBO estimates both House and Senate tax cuts might generate a $1.4 trillion shortfall over 10 years.

If you have been paying attention, the Obama slow growth economy averaged about $ 1 trillion PER YEAR in each of the past eight Obama years!

Reducing corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 20 percent will be a magnet for the return of $3 trillion parked by U.S. companies overseas.

Both Reagan and Kemp believed you can’t tax, spend, or borrow your way to prosperity.

The only way to cut deficits is through economic growth.

Trump’s deregulation policies have already produced a 3 percent growth in GNP – a figure never achieved by Obama in eight years.
Either House or Senate bills should expand GNP to 4 percent to 5 percent and create at least 3 million new jobs in four years.

We haven’t had that kind of booming economy since Ronald Wilson Reagan (with a healthy assist from old No. 15 of the Buffalo Bills).

Russ Gugino is a former staffer for Jack Kemp.

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