By Arnold Kling
Some folks are reportedly bitter about the appointment of Greg Mankiw to succeed Glenn Hubbard as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
N. Gregory Mankiw, whom Mr. Bush nominated on Wednesday to lead his Council of Economic Advisers, wrote a popular economics textbook in which he ridiculed the supply-side tax cuts of President Ronald Reagan as “fad economics” conceived by “charlatans and cranks.”
…Mr. Mankiw’s comments have infuriated a number of prominent supply-side economists
There is a weak form of supply-side economics to which many mainstream economists subscribe. This weak version would say that cuts in marginal tax rates can increase long-term economic growth.
There is a strong form of supply-side economics, which says that cuts in tax rates can raise government revenue. Given that Milton Friedman and Gary Becker are arguing nowadays for tax cuts as a way to reduce government spending, it is doubtful that they believe that tax cuts raise government revenue. So one can infer that the supply-side camp would still be bitter if Friedman or Becker were named CEA Chairman.
For Discussion. If Mankiw believes that tax cuts reduce government revenue, does that make him a poor salesman for tax cuts?