WaPo has the transcript from a chat with Tea Party founder Judson Philips.
Some of the key issues revolve around the effect of the Reagan tax cuts. This is a source of constant mythology. Here is real GDP growth from Carter through Clinton on a log scale, where straight lines indicate constant growth rates.
Besides the recession notches do you see in major changes in the growth rate. There is a little bit of a slowdown since what seems to be the rapid growth of the 1970s but overall the slope during recoveries look pretty similar.
In fact, one the interesting facts about long run US economic growth is that it doesn’t seem to be overly affected by much at all. I’ll steal a graph from Ed Leamer’s Housing IS the Business Cycle as well as the fact that a lot of stuff happend between 1970 and 2006 but it none of it seems to do much to GDP.
Moreover there were some relatively bad things, from a growth perspective, going on in the 1950s: 90% marginal tax rates, heavy rates of unionization, educational and employment disenfranchisement of the majority of the population, etc. Yet, if anything growth seems to have slowed down since then.