Here’s some tax truth from a Republican:
The truth is that the federal surpluses resulted from specific legislation enacted in 1990 and 1993 that virtually every Republican opposed. In particular, taxes were increased and tight budget controls were put in place that prevented taxes from being cut or spending increased unless offset by tax increases or spending cuts. These budget controls are commonly referred to as “paygo,” for pay-as-you-go.
What happened can be seen in Congressional Budget Office data. When the 1990 budget deal took effect in fiscal year 1991, federal spending was 22.3 percent of G.D.P. and revenue was 17.8 percent. The deficit was 4.5 percent of G.D.P. Revenue rose steadily to 19.9 percent of G.D.P. by fiscal year 1998 and spending fell to 19.1 percent, yielding a budget surplus of almost 1 percent of G.D.P.
Revenue continued to rise to 20.6 percent of G.D.P. in fiscal year 2000, and spending fell to 18.2 percent. The surplus reached 2.4 percent of G.D.P.
These results run 100 percent contrary to Republican dogma, which is that tax increases, especially on the rich, do not yield additional revenue because people will cease working and investing, and the economy will stagnate. Yet the hallmarks of the 1990 and 1993 budget deals were an increase in the top income tax rate; first to 31 percent from 28 percent, and then to 39.6 percent. Revenue clearly rose, as did the economy.
This is a must-read article:
Balancing the Budget, for Real – New York Times