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By Martin Feldstein

Destined to develop into the normal advisor to the industrial coverage of the USA in the course of the Reagan period, this booklet offers an authoritative checklist of the commercial reforms of the 1980s.In his advent, Martin Feldstein offers compelling research of rules with which he used to be heavily concerned as chairman of the Council of monetary Advisers throughout the Reagan management: financial and trade expense coverage, tax coverage, and price range concerns. different major economists and policymakers study quite a few family and overseas matters, together with financial and trade price coverage, law and antitrust, in addition to exchange, tax, and price range policies.The members to this quantity are Alberto Alesina, Phillip Areeda, Elizabeth Bailey, William F. Baxter, C. Fred Bergsten, James Burnley, Geoffrey Carliner, Christopher DeMuth, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Thomas O. Enders, Martin Feldstein, Jeffrey A. Frankel, Don Fullerton, William M. Isaac, Paul L Joskow, Paul Krugman, Robert E. Litan, Russell B. lengthy, Michael Mussa, William A. Niskanen, Roger G. Noll, Lionel H. Olmer, Rudolph Penner, William Poole, James M. Poterba, Harry M. Reasoner, William R. Rhodes, J. David Richardson, Charles Schultze, Paula Stern, David Stockman, William Taylor, James Tobin, W. Kip Viscusi, Paul A. Volcker, Charles E. Walker, David A. clever, and Richard G. Woodbury.

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Extra resources for American Economic Policy in the 1980s (National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report)

Sample text

The fiscal year 1984 budget) provided a good lesson both about the difference between economic and political priorities and about the way that an internally divided administration worked in practice. The preliminary estimates for that budget (the first that I participated in preparing as CEA chairman) implied that, without substantial changes in taxes or spending, there would be large deficits in each of the next five years. The sharp decline in inflation and the deep recession together meant that tax receipts would be low in 1983 and 1984, while the indexing of brackets scheduled to begin in 1985 meant that future revenue increases would be very modest.

Both these goals 21. For further comments that I made at the time, see Feldstein (1986a. 1986d). 34 Martin Feldstein were achieved to a surprising and unprecedented extent during the first two years of the Reagan presidency. The tax cuts turned out to be much greater than expected, while the spending cuts were much less than the president and his advisers had anticipated. The result was an enormous budget deficit that continues until the present. The failure to correct the deficit reflects a complex mix of personal, political, and economic factors.

Writing about the proposed series of three 10 percent tax rate cuts, Arthur Laffer, the leading supply-sider, was quite explicit in saying that “each of the 10 percent reductions in tax rates would, in terms of overall tax revenues, be selffinancing in less than two years. Thereafter, each installment would provide a positive contribution to overall tax receipts” (Laffer 1981, 201). This was not a n isolated statement but part of a general line of argument that distinguished the self-styled “supply-siders” from the rest of the economics profession.

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