K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Politics, Deficits and Money Printing

Larry Summers:

There is widespread frustration with the performance of the economy. Traditional policy approaches are not delivering hoped-for results. A relatively unpopular president is loathed to an unusual extent by a frustrated opposition party that lost the previous presidential election while running a pillar of its establishment. And altered economic conditions have led to the development of new economic ideas that reflect a significant break with previous orthodoxy.

And now, these new ideas are being oversimplified and exaggerated by fringe economists who hold them out as offering the proverbial free lunch: the ability of the government to spend more without imposing any burden on anyone.

During the late 1970s, this was the story of supply-side, Laffer-curve economics. It began with the valid idea that taxes had important incentive effects and that, in conceivable circumstances, tax cuts could raise revenue. It grew into the ludicrous idea that tax cuts would always pay for themselves, and this view was then adopted by a frustrated extreme wing of a major political party.

Madison’s K-12 spending notes, links, history and charts.