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Op-ed Placement

There's Nothing Mythical About Reaganomics

Originally Published in Forbes on 5/4/16.

What is it with this obsession that liberals have with rewriting the history of the 1980s? Answer: not one bit of what really happened fits the left wing narrative about how things work in the real world.

The latest attacks on the Reagan legacy comes from Barack Obama, who is starting to wistfully defend his legacy. What a heavy lift that is.

So in an interview with the New York Times this week, Obama attacked the “mythology” that Reagan’s “supply side” economic policies and the notion that tax cuts caused the 1980s boom. He said the Reagan boom was a result of “a shift in interest-rate policy.”

That’s not entirely wrong, but it ignores the role of the tax cuts. Reagan cut the rates from the a high of 70% down to 28%. The result was record growth, a doubling of tax revenues from 1981-1990 and a huge increase in taxes paid by “the rich.”

Yes, Reagan worked with Fed chairman Paul Volcker to wrench out Jimmy Carter’s 14.5% inflation. When Obama backhandedly praises that policy shift, he neglects to say that nearly every Keynesian economist in America opposed that Fed policy because liberals then and now believe cheap money is the solution to everything.