Republicans roll eyes at Obama's (accurate) assertion that taxes were higher under Reagan
by Jed Lewison
Jun 02, 2011
First, the facts (.xls):
During Ronald Reagan's presidency, total federal tax revenue as a percentage of GDP averaged 18.2%, reaching a low point of 17.3% in 1984.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
During Barack Obama's presidency, total federal tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has averaged 14.9% and is projected to drop to 14.4% in 2011.
Second, the punchline:
GOP members engaged in a lot of “eye-rolling” according to a member who was on hand to hear Obama, who invited House Republicans to the White House for discussions on the debt ceiling. The White House and Republicans are trying to reach a deal on spending cuts that could allow the $14.3 debt ceiling to be raised.
“(The President) made a comment like the tax rate is the lightest, even more than (former President Ronald) Reagan,” Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) told The Hill following the meeting.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) joked that during the meeting, “We learned we had the lowest tax rates in history … lower than Reagan!”
The fact is, one of our biggest fiscal challenges is that taxes are too low, yet not only do these guys refuse to even consider raising them, they never get tired of denying the plain reality that we have historically low taxes. Perhaps if they acknowledged that simple fact, then they'd have to admit that taxes aren't the problem: underinvestment is.