The NY Times is reporting that the Congressional Research Service (CRS) — Congress's nonpartisan research arm — found "no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth," contradicting what the Times terms "a central tenet of conservative economic theory." The CRS withdrew the report, however, "after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording."
Writing in the Washington Post, historian Robert S. McElvaine, author of The Great Depression: America 1929-1941 observes:
Historically, a Democrat without business experience has been extraordinarily better for the economy and the stock market than a Republican who had a career in business. In the past 84 years, GDP has grown 7 percent per year under Democrats without business experience (FDR, JFK, LBJ, Clinton and Obama) and fallen by 0.2 percent per year under Republicans with business experience (Hoover and the two Bushes). The Dow has risen an average of 16.8 percent per year under Democrats without business experience and has fallen by 3.7 percent per year under Republicans with business experience.
Talking Points Memo digs into Romney's claim that six studies ratify the math of his tax plan.
TPM congressional reporter Sahil Kapur notes:
Of the six studies, two are blog posts by the conservative American Enterprise Institute; one is a report by the Republican-friendly Heritage Foundation; one is a paper by Princeton professor and former George W. Bush adviser Harvey Rosen; the fifth and sixth are a Wall Street Journal op-ed and blog post by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein, an adviser to the Romney campaign.
David Stockman, budget director for the Reagan administration, has a "must read" op-ed piece in the August 13 New York Times.
Some choice quotes:
Mr. Ryan professes to be a defense hawk, though the true conservatives of modern times — Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Robert A. Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, even Gerald R. Ford — would have had no use for the neoconconservative imperialism that the G.O.P. cobbled from policy salons run by Irving Kristol’s ex-Trotskyites three decades ago. These doctrines now saddle our bankrupt nation with a roughly $775 billion “defense” budget in a world where we have no advanced industrial state enemies and have been fired (appropriately) as the global policeman.
The Washington Post's Tom Hamburger writes that during the period Romney was actively involved in running private equity company Bain Capital, the firm
... owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components.
Michael Cohen writes in The Guardian (UK) that the Republican party:
is engaging in scorched-earth economic policies that are undercutting the economic recovery, possibly on purpose, and is forcing job-killing austerity measures on the states. And they have paid absolutely no political price for doing so. If anything, it won them control of the House in 2010, and has kept win Obama's approval ratings in the political danger zone.
A question that has puzzled me for some time is whether right-wing ideologues actually believe their own nonsense about economics, or whether it's just Frank-Luntz-esque political sloganeering.
As Matt Miller wrote in the Washington Post last month:
You can feel the Republicans’ pain; tax cuts have been the party’s defining issue since Ronald Reagan rode them to power in 1980. But in an aging America, the numbers no longer work, and Republicans have failed to develop a new conservative vision to replace their fading mantra.