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BookWatch: Both Republicans and Democrats are too complacent about the budget deficit

Some Democrats want to substantially raise income taxes on the rich, both to reduce income inequality and to cut the federal deficit. Fiscal conservatives say the better way to cut the deficit is to reduce spending.

The evidence shows that if the focus is on tackling the deficit, fiscal conservatives are right.

We have examined almost 40 years of evidence of deficit-reducing policies in 16 OECD countries, including the U.S. We have studied in detail about 3,500 deficit-reducing measures, both tax increases and budget cuts. Our conclusions are clear: budget cuts are much more effective at stabilizing the debt-to-GDP ratio and do less damage to economic growth than tax increases.

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