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Bruce Bartlett
Bruce Reeves Bartlett

October 11, 1951 (1951-10-11) (age 69)
Nationality American
Education Rutgers University, B.A., 1973
Georgetown University, M.A., 1976
Occupation Author, historian, economist
Known for Opposition to George W. Bush's economic policies
Political party Independent
Parent(s) Frank and Marjorie (Stern) Bartlett

Bruce Reeves Bartlett (born October 11, 1951) is an American historian and author. He served as a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and as a Treasury official under George H. W. Bush. Bartlett also writes for the New York Times Economix blog.

Bartlett has written several books and magazine articles critical of the George W. Bush administration, asserting that its economic policies significantly departed from traditional conservative principles.

Early life and education

Bartlett was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the son of Marjorie (Stern) and Frank Bartlett. He was educated at Rutgers University (B.A., 1973) and Georgetown University (M.A., 1976). He originally studied American diplomatic history under Lloyd Gardner at Rutgers and Jules Davids at Georgetown. He did a master's thesis on the origins of the Pearl Harbor attack at Georgetown, the substance of which was later published as Coverup: The Politics of Pearl Harbor, 1941–1946. He was closely advised by Percy Greaves, who had been the Republican counsel to the congressional committee investigating the Pearl Harbor attack in 1946.

Political career

In 1976, Bartlett began working for U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas). Paul was defeated when he ran for re-election in November 1976.

In January 1977, Bartlett went to work for U.S. Congressman Jack Kemp (R-New York) as a staff economist. Bartlett spent much of his time on tax issues, helping to draft the Kemp-Roth tax bill, which ultimately formed the basis of Ronald Reagan's 1981 tax cut. Bartlett's book, Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action, appeared in 1981 (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House Publishers). He also co-edited the book The Supply-Side Solution (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House Publishers, 1983).

In 1978, Bartlett went to work for Perry Duryea, who was the Republican candidate for governor of New York. Duryea was defeated in November and Bartlett returned to Washington, where he joined the staff of newly elected Senator Roger Jepsen (R-Iowa).

Reagan administration

In 1981, Jepsen became Vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and Bartlett became deputy director of the committee's staff. Jepsen became chairman in 1983 and Bartlett became executive director of the JEC. During this period, the committee was very active in promoting Ronald Reagan's economic policies.

In late 1984, Bartlett became vice president of Polyconomics, a New Jersey-based consulting company founded by Jude Wanniski, a former editorial writer with The Wall Street Journal, that advised Wall Street clients on economic and investment policy. Bartlett left in 1985 to become a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, where he specialized in tax policy and was involved in the debate around the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

George H. W. Bush administration

In 1987, Bartlett became a senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Policy Development, then headed by Gary Bauer. He left in 1988 to become the deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department, where he served until the end of the George H. W. Bush administration.

Afterwards, Bartlett worked briefly at the Cato Institute in 1993. From 1993 to 2005, Bartlett was affiliated with the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market think tank based in Dallas, Texas.

Since 1995, he has written a newspaper column for Creators Syndicate, based in Los Angeles, and written extensively for many newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Fortune magazine, and Commentary magazine.

Personal life

Bartlett lives in Great Falls, Virginia. He is a member of the American Economic Association and the Committee for Monetary Research and Education.


  • Bruce R. Bartlett, The Keynesian Revolution Revisited, Committee for Monetary Research and Education, 1977.
  • Bruce R. Bartlett, Cover-Up: The Politics of Pearl Harbor, 1941–1946, Arlington House Productions (1978) ISBN: 978-0-87000-423-0
  • Bruce R. Bartlett, Reagonomics: Supply-side economics in action, Arlington House (1981) ISBN: 978-0-87000-505-3, Random House Value Publishing (March 24, 1982) ISBN: 978-0-517-54817-2
  • Bruce R. Bartlett and Timothy Roth, The Supply Side Solution, Chatham House (October 1983) ISBN: 978-0-934540-18-6, Palgrave Macmillan (September 27, 1984) ISBN: 978-0-333-37364-4
  • Bruce R. Bartlett, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, Doubleday (February 21, 2006) ISBN: 978-0-385-51827-7
  • Bruce R. Bartlett, Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past, Palgrave Macmillan (January 8, 2008) ISBN: 978-0-230-60062-1, Palgrave Macmillan (January 6, 2009) ISBN: 978-0-230-61099-6
  • Bruce R. Bartlett, The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward, Palgrave Macmillan (October 13, 2009) ISBN: 978-0-230-61587-8
  • Bruce R. Bartlett, The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform – Why We Need It and What It Will Take, Simon & Schuster (January 24, 2012) ISBN: 978-1-4516-4619-1
  • Bruce R. Bartlett, The Truth Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News in Its, Ten Speed Press (October 24, 2017) ISBN: 978-0-399-58116-8
Contributor to
  • The First Year: A Mandate for Leadership Report, Heritage Foundation, 1982.
  • Supply Side Economics, Aletheia Books, 1982.
  • Agenda '83: A Mandate for Leadership Report, Heritage Foundation, 1983.
  • The Federal Debt: On-Budget, Off-Budget, and Contingent Liabilities: A Staff Study, U.S. G.P.O., 1983.
  • The Industrial Policy Debate, Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1984.
  • Beyond the Status Quo, Cato Institute, 1985.
  • Articles in National Review, Human Events, Conservative Digest, and Modern Age, and to newspapers. Contributing editor of Libertarian Review.
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