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Friday, November 30, 2012

I comment on Ed Kilgore commenting on Josh Barro

Always click the link

Even the conservative Josh Barro.  I am surprised every day which he continues to self identify as a conservative. If there is any difference between his proram and Obama's it must not have made your cut.

In particular other conservatives are about as enthusiastic about "aggressive government-managed health care cost containment" as they are about tax and transfer based redistribution.  Note Cantor said if Obama was serious about the fiscal cliff negotiations he would put Obamacare and, in particular, re neutering of the Independent Payments Advisory Board on the table.

Since the 1970s, liberals have been obsessed with avoiding and eliminating poverty traps and broadening the tax base (I won't remind you of my old ground ax related to Welfare Reform but just note that I also get irritated with Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias when they casually assert that base broadening and rate lowering would increase efficiency

See also that Klein did the work and learned that his earlier casual claim is not supported by the evidence.  What are the policy disagreements between Conservative Josh Barro and liberal Matty Yglesias and Ed Kilgore ?

Barro quoted out of context and out of order

"For example, they could focus on [skip] making sure the tax base is broad so progressivity can be achieved with relatively low tax rates."

"Lower taxes [skip] might raise GDP growth"

"The main problem with this position is the lack of evidence to support it"

OK the promised Klein quote

"In 1997, Alan Auerbach  and Joel Slemrod  conducted an exhaustive survey of studies conducted after the 1986 tax reform. The results were mostly disappointing.


 what about moving the growth needle?
“At the bottom of the hierarchy is the response of real activities chosen by individuals or firms.” On this, the authors concluded, the evidence is “mixed.” Oh."

Bottom line Barro's ideas for conservative is to support poverty trap reducing transfers like the EITC  and the making work pay tax credit.  Oh and reform like the 1986 tax reform which is universally agreed to have been wonderful on the basis of "mixed" evidence of any effects on real activities.

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