Joe Biden recently declared that he was “sick and tired of trickle-down economics”. It is an approach, said the President on social media, that “has never worked”. But when was trickle-down economics ever tried?
Having spent much of my adult life in conservative circles on either side of the Atlantic, I have yet to meet anyone seriously proposing to make poor people prosperous by enriching the rich.
That is because trickle-down economics is a myth. It no more exists than the Loch Ness monster.
Why, then, does the President feel compelled to attack something that doesn’t exist? In common with every progressive leader since Bill Clinton, Biden uses attacks on a non-existent economic policy in order to misrepresent conservative tax policy.
Biden feels the need to attack conservative tax cuts as ‘trickle-down’ because the success of conservative tax cuts is a threat to Washington DC’s agenda.
When Mississippi passed the Tax Freedom Act earlier this year, we implemented one of the largest tax cuts in our state’s history. Cutting the state income tax in Mississippi meant that we joined forces with Texas, Tennessee and Florida in lowering the tax burden.
Progressive politicians in Washington DC cannot afford to allow the idea of tax cuts as a way of producing prosperity to take hold. If other states join Mississippi’s example in cutting taxes – as Missouri did this week - it will undermine the progressive claim that we need higher taxes and more government.
The federal government has only introduced substantial tax cuts on three or four occasions in recent US history; under Ronald Reagan in 1981 and 1986, under George Bush the younger in 2001-03, and then under Donald Trump in 2017.
On every one of those occasions, the left condemned them as ‘trickle-down economics!’. In retrospect, the biggest beneficiaries of the Reagan, Bush and Trump tax cuts were middle-income Americans.
If, as the left suggests, the conservatives introduced tax cuts as part of a diabolical scheme to benefit only the rich, they failed. The Reagan, Bush and Trump tax cuts helped all of America prosper.
Ironically, perhaps, the Reagan tax cuts even benefited progressives. The tax cuts of the 1980s produced such a tsunami of prosperity into the 1990s, the additional tax revenues that they generated allowed President Clinton to run a small budget surplus.
Tax cuts clearly work. There’s nothing ‘trickle-down’ about them.
Mississippi is on the front line in the fight for America’s future by showing that tax cuts offer an alternative to Biden’s tax-and-spend approach. No wonder the President is so keen to attack.