Rebutted by Paul Krugman:
The Corrosion of the Conservative Economic Mind: First Michael Boskin, now John Taylor: there seems be an epidemic of politically conservative economists who used to be technically competent repeating the obviously wrong falsehood that Reagan ushered in an era of “unprecedented” growth…. [I]t just ain’t so… every macroeconomist in America knew it wasn’t so. Here’s one measure that the BLS happens to have put in a convenient chart, so that I’m not choosing the dates…. [W]e had an awesome performance in the generation following the war (despite very high tax rates on the rich and a very strong union movement); we had a long period of poor productivity performance that spanned the Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush I administrations; we then had a revival during the Clinton administration, but even so not up to postwar standards. By the way, I don’t give Clinton credit for that revival; it was about learning to use technology. But in any case, there is no hint of a Reagan miracle in the data.
So what on earth is going on with people like Boskin and Taylor? It’s not hard to guess; but as Dan Quayle said, a mind is a terrible thing to lose.