Friday, January 16, 2009

Bartlett's Advice for Republicans

He has an article on Forbes today:

nstead of defending the Bush tax cuts, most of which expire next year under laws that Republicans wrote, I think it would be better for them to abandon Bush's tax policies altogether. The evidence is pretty clear that they did little good for the economy. Therefore, getting rid of them will do little harm.

Going forward, I think Republicans should try to be the party of investment, because Democrats are basically the party of consumption.

Basically, I would call this neo-supply side economics. Instead of thinking that mere tax cuts can actually drive growth, the Republicans should embrace the notion that the government can at least target tax cuts in such a way that growth can be enhanced. Bartlett suggests making a permanent Investment Tax Credit that will encourage companies to ramp up investment spending and increase GDP, whereas Democrats are mostly focused on more present-oriented consumption.

Not that I agree with him, and he's also ignoring the pull of social issues: standing strong against immigration reform and asking for the deportation of 12 million people probably isn't going to fly as we undergo "the browning of America." But it would be a helpful change from current Republican political orthodoxy if they could listen to this man.

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