Forget What You’ve Been Told – Bruce Bartlett Talks Honestly On Taxes
Bruce Bartlett, an economist and senior Adviser to President Ronald Reagan on domestic policy, talks to Bill Moyers about tax policy, misconceptions about taxation, and the failure of community conscientiousness. I’ll frankly admit Bartlett is one of my heroes when it comes to a frank and honest discussion of taxation, our deficit and debt, and what the country need to do on taxation to recreate growth and equity for our commonweal.
Bartlett, a libertarian leaning Republican, left the GOP after the 2006 publication of his book, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. As a result of that book, Bartlett lost several positions within Republican sphere of influence which not only defended GW Bush but believed as a matter of faith, rather than verifiable data, that lowering tax rates always paid for themselves. Bartlett was among the first in the GOP to explode that myth.
As the years have passed since 2006, Bartlett has become even more outspoken on the economic challenges that face our country…and how an honest discussion and creation of an appropriate tax policy can resolve much of our deficit and debt problem and our economic growth problems, along with resolving the inequity problems the country faces.
Bartlett left the GOP some years ago to become an independent. He often states he will not join the Democratic Party, but he believes the Republican Party has lost its way as the responsible fiscal party. He has no trouble in his NY Times Economix blog, in his columns for The Fiscal Times, and elsewhere, stating that the GOP has deceived the American people and that the party’s fiscal policies, partly as a result of the influence of Grover Norquist, are setting the country up for long term unsustainable deficits or the eventual ruin of the GOP once the public becomes fully aware of the real policy agenda of politicians like Paul Ryan.
Faith (as in absolute trust) in Fox News and right wing talk radio and partisan politicians, says Bartlett, is leading the country to believe ideas that are not true. Only with truth and a real discussion of the facts on taxes can the United States once again recapture its essential heart of freedom. Freedom, according to Bartlett, is not a zero sum game but an expansive project wherein all can succeed to the limits of their ability and enjoy the benefits of capitalism if economic policies are geared towards a level playing field and politicians are not held hostage to fundraising which compromises their ability to do their job honestly.