Just as he did in an NPR interview and a New York Times commentary, David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under the Reagan administration, has broken with Republican economic orthodoxy. At a time when his party wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, adding $700 billion to the deficit over 10 years, Stockman criticized the Republicans for their fiscal irresponsibility. Stockman made the following points to Fareed Zakaria of CNN:
• We need “a higher tax burden on the upper income.”
• “After 1985, the Republican Party adopted the idea that tax cuts can solve the whole problem, and that therefore in the future, deficits didn’t matter and tax cuts would be the solution of first, second, and third resort.”
• The 2001 Bush tax cut “was totally not needed.”
• On claims that Reagan proved tax cuts lead to higher government revenues: “Reagan proved nothing of the kind and yet that became the mantra and it just led the Republican Party away from its traditional sound money, fiscal restraint.”
• Former Vice President Cheney “should have known better” than claim the Bush tax cuts would pay for themselves.
• “I’ll never forgive the Bush administration and [former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson for basically destroying the last vestige of fiscal responsibility that we had in the Republican Party. After that, I don’t know how we ever make the tough choices.” (h/t Think Progress)