WaPo's Kurtz overstates effectiveness of tax cuts as stimulus

During today's online discussion, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz told a questioner to “Keep in mind the stimulus also included tax cuts, which help the economy as well.” That led to this follow-up question-and-answer:

Tax cuts, which help the economy as well.: Oh, you mean like how all those tax cuts Bush gave to the rich? Yep, those really helped the economy Howie.

Howard Kurtz: The argument over tax cuts is always over how large they are (can the economy afford them?) and who gets the benefits (which were tilted toward the affluent during the Bush administration). But there is no dispute among economists that tax cuts stimulate the economy by putting more cash in people's pockets.

What Kurtz doesn't mention is that tax cuts, at least according to economists like former McCain advisor Mark Zandi, are much less effective than government spending when it comes to stimulating the economy.

That's a pretty significant detail. By omitting it, Kurtz makes tax cuts look like much better policy than they are.

I guess this is what Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli is talking about when he says the paper is “not well-enough informed about conservative issues. It's particularly a problem in a town so dominated by Democrats and the Democratic point of view.”