BUSINESS
10/16/2012 03:16 pm ET

Ex-Reagan Adviser Bruce Bartlett: Romney's Tax Plan Will Not Revive The Economy

Contrary to the Romney campaign's promises, a former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan says that Mitt Romney's tax plan just won't revive the economy.

"The idea that tax reform will jump-start an economy suffering from the after-effects of a cyclical downturn is nonsense," Bruce Bartlett wrote in a New York Times blog post on Tuesday. "There is little reason to think we will see tax reform any time soon, and even if Mr. Romney’s plan is enacted as proposed the growth effect will be small to nonexistent."

Barlett noted that the economy continued to grow at roughly the same rate after Reagan's own tax reform in 1986, adding that economists agree Reagan's 1986 tax reform had little impact on economic growth. Bartlett also wrote last year that tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations did not help stimulate the economy under President George W. Bush, and that "there is no reason to believe" that the same policies would help stimulate the economy today.

The Romney campaign claims that its tax plan would create 7 million jobs, and that its overall economic plan will create 12 million jobs. But the Romney campaign based the 7 million job figure on one's economist's projection of job growth over the next 10 years, not the next four, according to the Washington Post.

Some economists even have found that Romney's budget plan would destroy jobs, not create them, when taking into account his plan to slash government spending by 18 to 26 percent. The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute estimates that Romney's budget plan would destroy 1.9 million jobs over the next two years. The left-leaning Center for American Progress estimated in a report released Tuesday that Romney's plan would destroy at least 360,000 jobs next year alone.

A number of experts say that Romney's tax plan is not even mathematically possible, a sentiment echoed by Vice President Joe Biden during the vice presidential debate last week. The Tax Policy Center recently concluded that the numbers in Romney's tax plan don't add up unless the government raises taxes on the middle class. And Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, recently said on CNN that with Romney's tax plan, "the arithmetic doesn't work as it is right now."

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