February 20, 2020
Assessing the Administration’s Economic Strategy
From the postwar period to 2007, rapid economic expansion permitted the standard of living to double in one working career — but after the 2008 economic crash, that growth slowed dramatically. In a new essay for The Ripon Forum, AAF President Douglas Holtz-Eakin assesses Republicans’ strategy for the economy. Not all reforms yielded immediate results, he notes, but the data indicate that tax and regulatory reform have successfully spurred greater economic growth.
Looking forward, there will be a clear incentive by the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to paint the Administration, and especially the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as a failure. But the numbers simply don’t support that narrative. Unemployment is low, and hundreds of thousands of discouraged workers have been drawn back into the labor market. Real wages are rising, especially for lower-skilled workers. And growth has returned.
The economy has benefitted enormously from regulatory reform and tax reform. It would have benefitted even more from entitlement reforms. And one can only hope that it will reap the benefits of the trade reforms going forward.