Here is Bartlett: "When comparing Reagan’s policies with Republican proposals today, several things stand out. Inflation is low now. We are not looking at “bracket creep” or sharply rising taxes, as we were in the late 1970s. The top income tax rate is 35 percent, half the rate Reagan inherited. And federal revenue is at a 60-year low of about 15 percent of GDP, compared with a post-World War II average of about 18.5 percent.
Economic conditions are entirely different today than they were in Reagan’s era, and different conditions demand different policies. Those who say otherwise are simply engaging in cookie-cutter economics — proposing whatever was popular and seemed to work once, without regard to changing circumstances."
By the way, Bartlett's article reminded me of an excellent little book I read recently by Richard Grossman. In Wrong: Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn From Them, Grossman points out that one common theme of past economic policy failures is ideologically-driven policy.
Here is Grossman's conclusion (from pp. 179-80): "...reject policy proposals based primarily on ideology. Ideologically based policy comes about when policy makers grab hold of a key idea and use it as their main guide to making policy decisions....but past policy prescriptions may have outlived their usefulness."