Today’s Brew (part 2) 8-19-14

Congressman Paul Ryan released a new book today, sparking 2016 speculation along with it. The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea is a very good, easy read so far. Surely there will be other supply-side nuggets later, but this passage on page 55 really jumped off the page.

In interviewing with Jack Kemp for a job at Empower America, Ryan recalls this exchange:

He asked me, “What do you think is better-a tax credit or a tax-rate reduction? Should we reduce tax rates or should we give people tax credits?”

I knew what he was up to. Kemp was famous for convincing President Reagan of the merits of supply-side economics. As a member of Congress, he had authored the Reagan tax cuts, and his pro-growth ideas helped create the economic expansion of the 1980s and 1990s. Jack Kemp didn’t just join the Reagan Revolution; he was the chief architect of some of its greatest victories.

In asking certain questions, he was trying to see if I was “on the model,” which was a term we used for supply-siders of those days. I was. “A reduction in tax rates,” I replied, “because growth occurs at the margin.”

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