Argument: Bush tax cuts are a minor contributor to the deficit

Issue Report: Expiring Bush tax cuts for the wealthy in 2010


William Gale. “Five myths about the Bush tax cuts.” Washington Post. August 1, 2010: “4. The Bush tax cuts are the main cause of the budget deficit. […] Although the cuts were large and drove revenue down sharply, they are not the main cause of the sizable deficit that exists today. In 2007, well after the tax cuts took effect, the budget deficit stood at 1.2 percent of GDP. By 2009, it had increased to 9.9 percent of the economy. The Bush tax cuts didn’t change between 2007 and 2009, so clearly something else is to blame. […] The main culprit was the recession — and the responses it inspired. As the economy shrank, tax revenue plummeted. The cost of the bank bailouts and stimulus packages further added to the deficit. In fact, an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indicates that the Bush tax cuts account for only about 25 percent of the deficit this year.”