William Gale of the Brookings Institution writes in the Washington Post today about five "myths" related to the Bush tax cuts, their extension now at the center of congressional debate. He gives some measure of comfort to both sides. For example, he says the tax cuts are overly blamed for the deficit, which he says is more a function of the recession. But he also doesn't buy the notion of tax cuts as economic stimulus.
The government could more effectively stimulate the economy by letting the high-income tax cuts expire and using the money for aid to the states, extensions of unemployment insurance benefits and tax credits favoring job creation. Dollar for dollar, each of these measures would have about three times the impact on GDP as continuing the Bush tax cuts.