INGRAHAM: No, no -- do you -- do you not agree that when you tax the rich you ultimately end up over time reducing much of the revenues that would come in for their spending that they make, their hiring and companies where they hire. I mean, a lot of this also is small business owners.
STEIN: No, I don't agree with that. I -- I don't agree with you, with all due respect.
INGRAHAM: Well -- that they spend less?
STEIN: You are a woman of -- well you're a woman of extraordinary intelligence but the data is very clear that we had higher rates of economic growth in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s when we had higher taxes. The era of very low Bush 43 taxes has correlated with a low period in productivity growth and a low period of economic growth. You cannot correlate low taxes with high productivity. It just can't be done.
You can oppose tax hikes if you like. What you can't say though is that there is good evidence that either the Reagan tax cuts or Bush tax cuts generated additional tax revenue. Take a look at this table of tax receipts by year. Tax receipts clearly fell off immediately after the Bush tax cuts, and the bounce back was small. Growth in tax revenues was small under Bush. Reagan is a similar story, though not quite as bad as Bush. Tax revenue increases were much higher under Carter and Clinton. This is not to say that tax cuts can't increase revenue. And it's also not to say that the Bush tax cuts were the cause of the reduction in revenue. My point is the data don't show that tax reductions resulted in an increase in tax revenue.