I caught this interview live and was wondering if Chris Jansing was auditioning for a spot on Fox here, since she allowed Mike Pence to rattle off one Republican talking point after another unchallenged. As usual, Media Matters does that job for her.
Today, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) made a startling admission: the Bush tax cuts did not work. "I think it's fair to say, if the current tax rates were enough to create jobs and generate economic growth, we'd have a growing economy," he said. "It's not working now."
PENCE: Jim DeMint and I are offering legislation on Capitol Hill today to say, look, let's make all the current tax rates permanent, uh, and then let's start to work from there toward putting in place the kind of policies that'll really get this economy moving again. You know, I think it's fair to say, if the current tax rates were enough to create jobs and generate economic growth we'd have a growing economy. It's not working now. Let's at least give some certainty there and then we'll fight for more tax relief.
When Republicans pushed through the original Bush tax cuts, which sunset at the end of the year, they made all sorts of lofty promises. They boasted that the tax cuts would increase revenues, create jobs, and grow the economy. As a depressing reminder of a different time, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) actually argued that "the surplus will pick up" thanks to the stimulative effect of the tax cuts. Instead, we got exploding deficits, lethargic job creation, and "the slowest average annual growth since World War II." Worse yet, as the New York Times' David Leonhardt points out, that's "true even if you forget about the Great Recession and simply look at 2001-7."
And here's more from Steve Benen:
This isn't a subjective question open to debate; we tried a policy and we can evaluate its results. In this case, Republicans said Bush's tax policy would produce wonders for the economy, and they got exactly what they wanted. We now know, however, that the policy didn't generate robust growth, didn't create millions of new jobs, didn't spur entrepreneurship and innovation, and certainly didn't keep a balanced budget.
And now, as the failed tax policy is set to expire, what's the new Republican message? That this policy must be extended at all costs, and anyone who disagrees is putting the economy at risk.
They not only say this with a straight face, the argument in support of a policy we already know didn't work manages to scare a whole lot of Dems.
Pence finished up the segment with some equally incoherent comments on DADT -- Pence: Wait For DADT Study Results, But Keep It In Place Forever