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The Politics of Bad Ideas: The Great Tax Cut Delusion and the Decline of Good Government in America

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This highly anticipated addition to the "Great Questions in Politics" series offers a provocative argument about the persistence of bad ideas in shaping American economic policy. The result of a collaboration between political scientist Bryan D. Jones and economist Walter Williams, The Politics of Bad Ideas is indispensable reading for any study of American government, pub This highly anticipated addition to the "Great Questions in Politics" series offers a provocative argument about the persistence of bad ideas in shaping American economic policy. The result of a collaboration between political scientist Bryan D. Jones and economist Walter Williams, The Politics of Bad Ideas is indispensable reading for any study of American government, public policy, or economic and budgetary analysis. The Politics of Bad Ideas examines why, over the last quarter century, bad economic ideas -- such as cutting taxes without cutting spending -- have become so influential in shaping government policies. Using in-depth research and trenchant political and economic analysis, the book explores why those bad ideas continue to survive despite overwhelming evidence that they in fact cause damage to the federal government's long-term fiscal stability and the American economy.


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This highly anticipated addition to the "Great Questions in Politics" series offers a provocative argument about the persistence of bad ideas in shaping American economic policy. The result of a collaboration between political scientist Bryan D. Jones and economist Walter Williams, The Politics of Bad Ideas is indispensable reading for any study of American government, pub This highly anticipated addition to the "Great Questions in Politics" series offers a provocative argument about the persistence of bad ideas in shaping American economic policy. The result of a collaboration between political scientist Bryan D. Jones and economist Walter Williams, The Politics of Bad Ideas is indispensable reading for any study of American government, public policy, or economic and budgetary analysis. The Politics of Bad Ideas examines why, over the last quarter century, bad economic ideas -- such as cutting taxes without cutting spending -- have become so influential in shaping government policies. Using in-depth research and trenchant political and economic analysis, the book explores why those bad ideas continue to survive despite overwhelming evidence that they in fact cause damage to the federal government's long-term fiscal stability and the American economy.

31 review for The Politics of Bad Ideas: The Great Tax Cut Delusion and the Decline of Good Government in America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gsmalz

    While interesting and informative, this book suffers greatly from incredibly dry and unapproachable writing. It's literally painful to read this book it so dry and academic. While interesting and informative, this book suffers greatly from incredibly dry and unapproachable writing. It's literally painful to read this book it so dry and academic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    This book by two professors of public policy convincingly demonstrates that supply-side economics and the policies pursued by Republicans and conservatives for the past 30 years have failed and in doing so have badly damaged the U.S. economy and society. Using numerous graphs and charts the authors reach many surprising conclusions: -- cutting taxes produces more government, not less. As they say, the programs funded can be those favored by liberals like social programs and welfare benefits and This book by two professors of public policy convincingly demonstrates that supply-side economics and the policies pursued by Republicans and conservatives for the past 30 years have failed and in doing so have badly damaged the U.S. economy and society. Using numerous graphs and charts the authors reach many surprising conclusions: -- cutting taxes produces more government, not less. As they say, the programs funded can be those favored by liberals like social programs and welfare benefits and health care or by conservatives such as prisons, police and the military. But the budgetary implications are the same. This surprising assertion is fully backed up by the data. -- the authors compare the records of the Republicans in the current decade and Democrats in the 1960s and find similarities but one important difference. Both funded wars (in Iraq and Vietnam) and expanded education and health programs but the Democrats funded their programs from taxes while the massive increase in government under George W. Bush has been funded through borrowing. The result is a massive increase in the budget deficit and the national debt which will be borne by future generations. In fact, the authors demonstrated irrefutably that cutting taxes has never led to increased tax revenues as the Reagan and Bush administrations both said they would. They lead only to deficits. -- the data shows the greater the Republican control of Congress the higher the growth of spending. So those "fiscal conservatives" who care about small government have been doing the exact opposite of what they intended. -- Bush is the second biggest-spending president since 1945, second only to Johnson. The two presidents under whom real discretionary spending rose the least were Carter and Clinton. This book sometimes makes for difficult reading, which is its major fault. It's not written in a particularly user-friendly style and the frequent charts and graphs may be off-putting.It's as if the authors were not clear whether they were writing for specialists or a wider audience. If the latter, more care should have been taken to make the book more readable. It's unfortunate the style is so academic because the message needs to penetrate a wider audience. Bottom line: these failed policies have reduced the fiscal solvency of the federal government, eroded middle class living standards, vastly increased income inequality and left millions of Americans facing the greatest danger to their living standards since World War II. They could in future leave the U.S. economy paralyzed by the interest payments needed to finance a massive national debt. Time to wake up, folks!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mark Russell

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mike Bascom

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debby Douglas

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mark Schrad

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brian Hull

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    Peter Urmston

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paige

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Torstenson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Perrin

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie Kadwell

  14. 5 out of 5

    Thelma

  15. 5 out of 5

    AJ Dehany

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nschwart

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sami Lauf Koehler

  21. 4 out of 5

    Janie Cangelosi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tom Bice

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michele Kilpatrick

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt Pozza

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Schaefer

  30. 4 out of 5

    Regina Fake

  31. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Rogers

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