Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The banality of Mitch McConnell

I heard him on NPR this morning saying we need to cut taxes more. Here are all federal revenues as a share of GDP going back to 1995:

1995 0.183
1996 0.185
1997 0.190
1998 0.196
1999 0.195
2000 0.208
2001 0.198
2002 0.174
2003 0.160
2004 0.158
2005 0.175
2006 0.180
2007 0.187
2008 0.178
2009 0.148
2010 0.148

The Bush Tax cuts pushed revenue down by about 20 percent relative to GDP; the recession has pushed them down another 7 or 8 percent. The American people like their spending (any reduction in entitlements or defense spending elicits howls. And the American people are not particularly greedy about what they want from their government--relative to other OECD countries, our social safety net is pretty small. At the same time, the average tax burden in the US relative to GDP is about 3/4 of the average tax burden for the OECD.

So, Senator McConnell, if you really think taxes are too high here, what would you cut? Don't tell me waste and fraud.