Hannity again falsely claimed that Reagan's tax cuts "doubled revenue"

››› ››› JOE BROWN

On the November 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity falsely asserted that "[President Ronald] Reagan cut taxes and doubled revenue in eight years" during his presidency. In fact, as Media Matters for America noted when Hannity made a similar claim on the September 15 edition of Hannity & Colmes, revenue growth during Reagan's presidency was far more modest.

According to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), when adjusted for inflation to constant fiscal year 2000 dollars, receipts (revenues) grew only from $1.077 trillion to $1.236 trillion during Reagan's term in office. Even in unadjusted (current) dollars, Hannity's claim that revenues "doubled" during the Reagan administration is false: From 1981 to 1988, revenues in current dollars increased from $599.3 billion to $909.3 billion.

From OMB:

FISCAL YEAR

REVENUE IN CURRENT DOLLARS (billions)

REVENUE IN CONSTANT FY2000 DOLLARS (billions)

1981

599.3

1,077.4

1982

617.8

1,036.9

1983

600.6

961.7

1984

666.5

1,016.8

1985

734.1

1,082.6

1986

769.2

1,107.3

1987

854.4

1,196.1

1988

909.3

1,235.6

Moreover, evidence suggests that the Reagan tax cuts were not the cause of the revenue increases that did occur during the 1980s. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has documented, citing figures from OMB, "Income tax receipts grew noticeably more slowly than usual in the 1980s, after the large cuts in individual and corporate income tax rates in 1981." By contrast, "income tax collections grew much more rapidly in the 1990s," when "marginal income tax rates at the top of the income spectrum were raised," CBPP noted.

From the November 21 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, which featured former Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ):

DeCONCINI: Excuse me, Sean; we had a balanced budget with a Republican Congress and Democrat Bill Clinton. Now we have a Republican Congress and a Republican president, George Bush, and we have the largest deficit ever.

HANNITY: Well, 9-11 had an impact on the economy. He inherited a recession. You can't ignore those things, Senator.

DeCONCINI: Well, no, but if you -- but if you then add on top of that $70 billion in taxes, mostly for the wealthy, that's not time to cut taxes. When Bill Clinton took over --

HANNITY: Reagan cut taxes and doubled revenue in his eight years.

DeCONCINI: Well, wait a minute --

HANNITY: Cutting taxes increases revenue to the government and you know that, Senator.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes, Government
Stories/Interests
Misrepresentations of Reagan, Past Politicians
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