Why Paul Ryan's budget numbers don't add up.
So if you agree with Heritage's assumptions about just how people, businesses, and markets react to tax and spending changes, the accounting will make sense to you. If you do not, it won't. But you do not need to be an economist to know that tax cuts do not necessarily act like Miracle-Gro nor do they necessarily balance budgets. You just need to remember the Bush administration. Congress enacted trillion-dollar tax cuts in 2001 and 2003—tax cuts that the administration promised and Heritage forecasted would bring about vibrant growth. Sometimes, of course, when you assume, you make a … well, you know the rest.
Annie Lowrey, formerly Slate’s Moneybox columnist, is economic policy reporter for the New York Times.
Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images.