Former Reagan and Bush 41 economic advisor Bruce Bartlett points out that the Bush tax cuts have played a significant role in creating the federal budget deficit.

The reason, of course, is that taxes were cut in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.

It would have been one thing if the Bush tax cuts had at least bought the country a higher rate of economic growth, even temporarily. They did not. Real G.D.P. growth peaked at just 3.6 percent in 2004 before fading rapidly. Even before the crisis hit, real G.D.P. was growing less than 2 percent a year.

By contrast, after the 1982 and 1993 tax increases, growth was much more robust. Real G.D.P. rose 7.2 percent in 1984 and continued to rise at more than 3 percent a year for the balance of the 1980s.

Of course, as Bartlett points out in the article, this has not stopped Republicans from claiming there is no evidence the Bush tax cuts reduced revenue because of the strong economy they created.

The Bush tax cuts did not improve the economy and certainly did not prevent the great recession. The only thing they did do was prevent budget surpluses from reducing the national debt, which actually was a policy goal.

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