Please, Tories. Don’t fall for the supply-side snake oil.


Published August 2, 2022

The Washington Post

The race to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, and as prime minister, has focused on dueling tax cut plans from the two contenders, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak. I hope my friends across the pond won’t mind a word of advice based on the United States’ long experience with similar frenzies: Don’t buy the supply-side snake oil.

The idea that tax cuts pay for themselves has long animated conservative politics in the United States. It is true that people spend and invest more if they have more money, and the economy therefore grows a bit faster than would otherwise be the case. So far, so good.

Please continue reading on the Washington Post’s website.

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

Image from HM Treasury and Rishi Sunak via Open Government License 3


Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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