JONATHAN CHAIT MARCH 1, 2011
The debate over whether, and how much, the House GOP budget would reduce employment is a battle of economists:
The budget debate in Washington isn't just President Obama's vision against that of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), but Mark Zandi versus John B. Taylor. ...
Republicans responded later in the day by sending out a blog post by Taylor, a professor of economics at Stanford whose views they frequently invoke.
John Taylor is the man Republicans use to back up their unconventional fiscal program. It's worth keeping in mind that Taylor's basic role is to support Republican fiscal policy in any and all circumstances. He supported it when he worked for George H.W. Bush and proposed deficit-reducing policies. He supported it when the party abandoned those policies. He supported it when it was making highly unpersuasive attacks on the Clinton budget program. He supported it during George W. Bush's presidency, and he continues to support it when Republicans have since decided that Bush was a failed big spender. Here, via Nexis, is Taylor throughout history:
The Reagan economic legacy:
“"The record of very rapid economic expansion in the 1980s is important to emphasize," said John Taylor, a Stanford professor and former White House economist under Bush.” – Los Angeles Times, November 8, 1992
First Bush administration’s economic outlook:
“Those projections also are more optimistic than most private forecasts, [CBO Director Robert] Reischauer said….Boskin and John Taylor, a member of the economic advisers' council, said the interest rate decline will occur if the Bush budget proposals are adopted because the prospect of lower deficits will have a powerful impact on expectations in financial markets about future government borrowing needs. As the government borrows less, a larger share of national savings will be available for use by private households and businesses, and rates should fall, they said. The administration assumes that the Federal Reserve will provide sufficient money to the economy to allow rates to decline if market forces are already pushing them down, Boskin and Taylor said.” – Washington Post, January 30, 1990
"I bristle at the dismissal of our effort to cut spending on entitlements," said John Taylor, who recently returned to Stanford University after a tour of duty on the President's Council of Economic Advisers. If enacted, Mr. Taylor argues, the Administration's proposals would allow the economy to grow its way out of big deficits. – New York Times, July 23, 1992
The Clinton deficit reduction plan:
“In the view of Republicans, there was a simple reason for the drop: American consumers stopped spending because they feared that President Clinton would raise taxes. "Under President Bush, we had growth of close to 4 percent last year," said John Taylor, a Stanford University professor who was an economic adviser to Mr. Bush. "Then the economy sagged early this year. There were concerns that we would get a tax increase and we did." Mr. Taylor said the 3 percent growth that the Administration predicted was not terribly impressive.” – New York Times, October 25, 1993
“To John Taylor, a Stanford economist who was part of President Bush's advisory team from 1988 to 1991, the public is just showing ''a refreshingly sensible assessment of the economy and the president's effect on it.'' People understand that the seeds of the current expansion were planted in the Bush years, he maintains. ''I think people sense that and ask what Clinton could possibly have done'' to help the economy. Taylor can't explain, however, why people suddenly became so much more sophisticated about the causes of the economy's performance since they dumped Bush in 1992.” – San Francisco Chronicle, October 10, 1994
On the economy under Clinton, 1996:
“This expansion is historically low, in terms of the growth rate. It's 2.4 percent in the last 3.5 years. But measured by productivity, which is really the ultimate source of increases in wages and economic growth- the productivity - which is how much each worker produces per hour on average - it has fallen to an unprecedented low level in the last three-and-a-half years. Roughly, a half a percent - that's compared to 1.2 percent in the '80s, 2.5 percent in the '60s and '70s.
We've really come to a point now where the business cycle recovery is over, and it's revealing to everyone that looks at the data an abysmally low growth rate. And if we don't fix that problem, if we don't raise the growth rate in the economy, wages are not going to rise; they're going to fall. We're not going to be able to provide for the social programs that people want to provide for in the next century, and we really have problems.” – Morning Edition, August 21, 1996
“The tax cut that Senator Dole has proposed is good for America. It's going to raise wages and incomes above these very, very low levels that we're getting… Senator Dole's tax cut reduces taxes and reduces spending at the same time, so that you reduce the budget deficit. And as you know, Senator Dole has led the way in terms of budget deficit reduction. It's very important to do that. But tax cuts are also important because we have such high taxes right now in the country and because growth is so slow.” – CNN’s “Crossfire,” October 31, 1996
“"[The Bush economic plan] is a prudent plan that assists the lowest-earning Americans the most with tax cuts while paying down our (nation's) debt," said John Taylor, a Stanford University professor of economics and an adviser to the Bush campaign. "But it also protects Social Security, it has plans to keep the economy going with a strong monetary policy, and it reduces trade barriers to help us capitalize on the world economy.” – Cincinnati Enquirer, August 3, 2000
2001 tax cuts:
"I think a tax cut is very important to have right now. People look ahead, they say, "hey, my taxes are going to be lower next year," so that's going to affect spending now. People just don't look at what their paycheck is today, they see what the prospects are down the road as well.” – Newshour, January 11, 2001
2003 tax cuts:
"Treasury Undersecretary John Taylor defended the administration's intention to propose a stimulus program, saying that it would improve the economy's ability to grow in both the short and long run. "Our pro-growth policies will act as much on potential gross domestic product as on actual GDP," Taylor said.” – Washington Post, January 6, 2003
The mid-2000s economic boom:
“How long will the expansion continue? Economist John Taylor nearby at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, where Mr. Friedman is a senior fellow, says, "We're in a new world where expansions will be a lot longer and slowdowns a lot shorter." – The Washington Times, December 12, 2005
“John McCain's tax policies are designed to create jobs, increase wages and allow all Americans -- especially those in the hard-pressed middle class -- to keep more of what they earn…Mr. McCain's tax policy stands in strong contrast to Mr. Obama's ever-changing tax proposals. Although it is difficult to know just what Mr. Obama would do if he were elected, it is clear that he wants to raise taxes on personal incomes, on dividends, on capital gains, on payroll income and on businesses -- all of which will hurt the U.S. economy. He regards the tax system as a way to redistribute income, and disregards the resulting adverse incentive effects that reduce employment and economic growth.
Mr. Obama's claim to being a big tax cutter defies credibility. His assertion that he would cut taxes on 95% of families reflects his one-time $1,000 rebate payouts, and a variety of new government spending handed out through the tax system.
Mr. McCain, on the other hand, has been clear that he wants to preserve the favorable incentive effects of the existing low tax rates -- and to reduce taxes in other ways that will strengthen the economy, create jobs and help current taxpayers, including those without health insurance.” – Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2008
Taylor isn't a flack. He obviously has a worldview. He believes in small government and really likes tax cuts. His views on stimulus, though unconventional, aren't lunatic. On the other hand, John Boehner citing John Taylor as a supporter of his program is about as meaningful as John Boehner citing Mitch McConnell.