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Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson November 30, 2017

Donald Trump wrong that no tax cuts passed since Reagan

During a speech in St. Charles, Mo., to promote Republican tax legislation in Congress, President Donald Trump tried to offer some historical context.

"You know, for years, they have not been able to get tax cuts -- many, many years, since Reagan," Trump said on Nov. 29.

That’s flat wrong. Under three presidents -- Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- Congress enacted nine tax bills worth in the tens of billions of dollars in revenue reductions over four years.

Here’s the list, compiled from Treasury Department data.

Year

President

Name

Average annual revenue reduction over first four years, current dollars

1997

Bill Clinton

Tax Relief Act of 1997

$13.2 billion

2001

George W. Bush

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act

$74.4 billion

2002

George W. Bush

Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act

$28 billion

2003

George W. Bush

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Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act

$69.2 billion

2004

George W. Bush

Working Families Tax Relief Act

$25.9 billion

2005

George W. Bush

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Ac

$22.6 billion

2008

George W. Bush

Economic Stimulus Act

$33.7 billion

2009

Barack Obama

American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act

$76.6 billion

2012

Barack Obama

American Taxpayer Relief Act

$320.6 billion

 

These measures were not obscure pieces of legislation.

The list includes the two big Bush tax cuts from 2001 and 2003, arguably the signature domestic policy achievements of his presidency. Among other things, these bills cut rates for the top bracket from 39.6 percent to 35 percent.

The list also includes the extension of many of those tax cuts in advance of their scheduled expiration in 2013 under Obama -- a high-stakes legislative situation known as the "fiscal cliff." (The top-bracket rate was one that did not continue; it rose again to 39.6 percent.)

Trump's statement is ridiculously wrong -- since 1997, nine major tax bills have passed with tens of billions of dollars in cuts. We rate his statement Pants on Fire.

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Pants on Fire
"For years, they have not been able to get tax cuts -- many, many years, since Reagan."
a speech in St. Charles, Mo.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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Donald Trump wrong that no tax cuts passed since Reagan

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