Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by, from left, Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., smiles as they unveil the GOP's tax overhaul, Nov. 2, 2017.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Congressional report: GOP tax cuts didn’t fuel economic growth


For many Republicans, it’s simply assumed that the party’s tax breaks are responsible for the nation’s economic health. That’s not, however, what the non-partisan Congressional Research Service found in its latest report – which Democrats have been eagerly touting for a reason.

“In 2018, gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 2.9%, about the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) projected rate published in 2017 before the tax cut. On the whole, the growth effects tend to show a relatively small (if any) first-year effect on the economy. Although growth rates cannot indicate the tax cut’s effects on GDP, they tend to rule out very large effects particularly in the short run.”

As a Washington Post analysis of the report noted, the CRS – basically, Congress’ in-house think tank – didn’t do the Republican Party’s talking points any favors. The data showed the GOP’s tax plan didn’t pay for itself, didn’t make much of a difference on American workers’ wages, and didn’t boost domestic capital investment.

The tax policy did, however, deliver a massive break to big corporations, which didn’t amount to much for those businesses’ employees.

All of which brings us back to a familiar point: did any of the Republican predictions surrounding their tax cuts prove to be correct?

Let’s see, there were promises about the plan paying for itself. And promises about how politically popular the policy would be with voters. And promises about the flood of new capital investments Americans could expect to see.

And assurances that corporate tax breaks wouldn’t go toward stock buybacks.

A year and a half later, pretty much everything Democrats said about the Republican policy has proven to be true.