When I see a debate like this I first ask myself are there any other choices other than to cut taxes so deeply and get the government almost completely out of the economy other than to subsidize big business’s that do not need the money or have government tax and spend so much the theory being that this would create good jobs for everyone and everyone would benefit.
Because whatever you think of either supply side economics or Keynesian economics they are both theories of what was coined in the 1980s as trickle down economics. They just have different approaches on how the money would trickle down. Keynesians believing that put a lot of money at the top with the central government whatever the country, have the central government collect a lot of money in taxes and then spend that money on the people’s behalf benefiting everyone.
Whereas the supply siders theory of trickle down economics is put a lot of money at the top with wealthy individuals and business’s. And they’ll invest that money in the private sector creating jobs and so-forth that would benefit everyone. That you have government tax as little as possible, especially people at the top and businesses and have government regulate the least at all, but not necessarily spend the least. Supply siders are big believers in military spending, foreign aid and other foreign policy spending, as well as infrastructure. They just don’t believe you need high taxes or even moderate taxation, to finance those investments. That economic growth almost by itself will pay for those investments.
The problem with both of these theories is that Americans tend not to believe in them. Yes, a lot of taxpayers will tell their politicians they want them to do this and that, but not with additional taxes to pay for that spending. But generally Americans expect and are willing to pay taxes even, if they know those taxes are going to go for good use. But not taxed to the point that it makes it difficult for them to pay their bills, even if government will give them a lot of Welfare. And don’t want to be taxed to the point that they are not able to make their own economic decisions. This debate between Bill Buckley and John Galbraith, was a debate between two extremes. Big government vs almost no government at all.