The Dispatch’s Keith Hansen quoted Wall Street Journal editorialist Stephen Moore in “Obamacare costs to fall mostly on middle class,” July 3. Alas for Mr. Hansen, but Stephen Moore saying something on Fox News does not make it worthy to repeat. Advisor to two GOP presidents (Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush), author Bruce Bartlett has punctured Moore’s and other right wing economist’s most rigidly held beliefs. He did it by resorting to a creative method. He examined the real data from the past three decades.
Bartlett, also an economist, in his new book “The Benefit and the Burden,” infuriated ideologues in his own Republican Party by disproving several fervently held beliefs. Tax increases don’t decrease economic output. Tax cuts don’t boost GDP. Tax cuts don’t increase government revenue. And finally, tax cuts for the rich do not boost employment nor do they end up benefitting the middle and lower income classes. It’s all bunk according to Bartlett. He also points out that US taxes are lower today than at any time since 1950, and that deficit and debt reduction will require higher taxes.
And as for Moore’s assertion that Obamacare taxes will hurt the middle class, according to the Congressional Budget Office the truth is the opposite. First, since 84 percent of Americans have health insurance, only a minority will be subject to a penalty if they don’t acquire insurance. Second, when fully implemented the new ACA law reduces the rate that health care would otherwise have grown. And it was out of control. The end result is that health care will cost less for the middle class, not more.
Therefore, Moore is less.