Last week Steve Stivers expressed his desire to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich. (Kilroy wants to dump them) In doing so he joined nearly every other Republican candidate and office-holder in their stance that ‘now is not the time to raise taxes’ – even on the rich.

Today CBO Director Doug Elmendorf gave testimony that clearly showed the longer the tax cuts remain in effect the more damage they will do to the economy.

Ezra Klein sums it up nicely: “extending the tax cuts indefinitely would hurt the economy. The less you extend the tax cuts, the less damage you do to the economy.”

Here’s the graph…

I don’t imagine, faced with this new evidence, any Republican candidate is going to change his/her position on the tax cuts. Which is pretty damn telling given that Stivers and so many other Republicans are running on their private sector experience claiming it will help them improve the economy. Run the Government more like a business and the economy will improve they say.

The problem with that is, there is absolutely no business leader in the world that would look at a financial forecast like this and say: well, I know the accountants are telling us to do one thing, but fuck ’em! We’re going to completely ignore their advice and do something else.

If you want to run a successful business (or a successful Government for that matter) you need to listen the smart guys and gals in the finance department and you need to be flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions on the ground. A guy like Stivers who claims to have “extensive experience in the business world” ought to know that.