Bruce Bartlett began his career in Washington in 1976, first as a legislative assistant for Rep. Ron Paul. While working as a special assistant and chief economist on the staff of Rep. Jack Kemp, he helped to draft the Kemp-Roth tax bill of 1981, which sought to stimulate economic growth through tax rate reductions. The legislation served as the centerpiece of supply-side, or “trickle-down” economics, whose proponents believed that tax breaks for the richest Americans would eventually cause their resulting wealth to “trickle down” to the less fortunate.
The same year the legislation passed, Bartlett wrote Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action, and became known in Washington as a central figure in the supply-side movement and the Reagan Revolution. He became a director of the bipartisan Joint Economic Committee, and later served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Policy Development in the Reagan White House. During the George H.W. Bush administration, Bartlett served as deputy assistant secretary for economic policy in the Treasury Department.
Bartlett became skeptical of Republican economic policies during the George W. Bush presidency, and he sent shockwaves through conservative circles in 2006 when he published Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. The book resulted in his dismissal from his post as a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative think tank. He wrote further about his disillusionment with his earlier beliefs in The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward. His most recent book is The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform – Why We Need It and What It Will Take. His articles about economic policy are frequently published in national newspapers and prominent magazines.