"There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help jumpstart the economy."
--President Barack Obama
With all due respect Mr.President, that is not true.
Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s “lost decade” in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.
According to Paul Krugman, just the fact that that whoever wrote this opposes government activism and a new New Deal, makes them suspect as arguing in bad faith, and possibly even a racist.
Unfortunately for Dr. Krugman, the signatories of this statement include over 200 well-regarded, published, academic economists at some of the most prestigious universities in the country (not to mention three from the University of Delaware).
Oh, I also forgot to mention that three of these economists are--like Krugman himself--Nobel Laureates.
Damn. Who knew that the Economics Departments of Rutgers, the University of Virginia, University of Michigan (Flint), Ball State, Duke, Indiana, Auburn, Chicago, New Haven, Kent State, and dozens of others were filled with people of bad faith who might be racists.
Oh, just in case you are tempted to write this off, it is important to remember that about 125 of these economists (including all three Nobel Laureates) sent a petition to Congress back during September, pointing out that the original bail-out package was ill-considered and would not deliver what was promised. So they asked:
For these reasons we ask Congress not to rush, to hold appropriate hearings, and to carefully consider the right course of action, and to wisely determine the future of the financial industry and the U.S. economy for years to come.
But we had to act instantly, or the world would end--even though four months later we don't know precisely what happened to the first half of the money and we haven't yet spent the second half.
I'd say to beware of people who tell you that we don't have time to investigate the implications of all the money we're about to spend (or borrow from the Chinese)...
... but it's too late for that.
The Pork-out passed the House today.
[h/t Disloyal Opposition]