David Boaz writes “It seems safe to conclude that George W. Bush will go down in history as the biggest taxer and the biggest spender ever.” Now, it’s one thing to attack Bush’s spending record. Count me among the critics. But to attempt, as Boaz does, to portray Bush as the biggest taxer ever is simply absurd. The obvious point is that Bush has never raised taxes, and has signed several massive tax cuts. The crux of Boaz’s argument is that tax revenue is reaching a record. But that is only because lower taxes have spurred economic growth, leading to a surge in revenue and the highest GDP of all time. After acknowledging that in terms of percentage of GDP, taxes are not, in fact, at a higher percentage than they ever have been, Boaz writes, “they’re getting close. Earlier in the year OMB estimated that revenues as a percentage of GDP would reach 18.5 percent in 2007. But as of a month ago that figure had reached 18.8 percent, approaching the levels that typically produce popular demand for relief.” However, if you look at the very OMB report that Boaz links to, you will see that back in FY 2000, tax revenue was 20.9 percent of GDP, and still at 19.8 percent in FY 2001.
It’s too bad that Boaz’s hatred of Bush has gotten to the point where he ends up making statements that are so easily contradicted by empirical data.