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The New Age of Big Government

Posted: 27 May 2004  

Daniel Shaviro

New York University School of Law


Both the supporters and opponents of President Bush's 2001-2003 tax cuts assert that the cuts are steps toward smaller government. That claim appears to misunderstand the notion of the size of government and rests on spending illusion - confusing the amount of the nominal dollar flows between individuals and government with the actual size of government. In fact, the 2001-2003 tax cuts probably are steps on the road to larger government because their main effect will be to increase wealth redistribution from younger to older generations.

Keywords: Tax cuts, fiscal policy, Bush Administration, Bush tax cuts, size of government, redistribution of wealth, future cuts, budget, fiscal gap, generational imbalances, tax code, spending, national debt, budget deficit

JEL Classification: E62, E60, H11, H20, H55, H60, H61, H62, H21

Suggested Citation

Shaviro, Daniel, The New Age of Big Government. Regulation, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 36-42, Spring 2004. Available at SSRN:

Daniel Shaviro (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

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