Congressional Research Service pulls study that crushed Republican tax theories

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, November 2, 2012 14:00 EDT
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A woman is censored by money. Photos: Shutterstock.com. Illustration: Stephen C. Webster.
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The Congressional Research Service (CRS) isn’t explaining why it recently decided to pull a study that examined Republican theories about tax cuts for the rich and found them wanting.

The study looked at 65 years of tax policies and compared them with resulting effects on America’s gross domestic product, finding that cutting taxes for the very wealthy has never led to job creation and mostly just tends to encourage greater income disparity between the rich and the poor.

It went missing from the CRS website in September amid Republican criticism, although practically nobody noticed at the time. It took a call from a New York Times reporter before the CRS even acknowledged it was gone.

“The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth,” the study concludes. “The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.”

After it’s release in September, Republicans made their displeasure over its findings very clear. Aides to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly objected to the study’s use of the phrases “Bush tax cuts” and “tax cuts for the rich,” saying it set the wrong “tone” for the nonpartisan group, which operates as an arm of the Library of Congress.

Then it vanished without a word.

The New York Times noted that even Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) was unaware it was pulled, and cited it in a speech more than a week after the CRS removed the study from its website. Reacting to the withdrawal, Schumer told the paper: “This has hues of a banana republic.”

Following The New York Times‘ report, the study was republished on the Democratic Policy & Communications Center website, available here (PDF).

Photos: ‘Young brunette woman with 100 dollars on her mouth’ and ‘Full-frame sunlit waiving American flag’ via Shutterstock.com. Illustration by Stephen C. Webster.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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