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185 Economists to Congress: "Fiscal Cliff Tax Hikes Risk Economic Damage"
Townhall.com ^ | December 13, 2012 | Bob Beauprez

Posted on 12/13/2012 7:51:15 AM PST by Kaslin

Note:  The following letter is co-signed by 185 of the nation's economists including Dr. Sanjai Bhagat, Provost Professor of Finance, University of Colorado, and Contributing Editor to A Line of Sight.  http://sanjaibhagat.com  Further information is available from the National Taxpayers Union, click here


An Open Letter to Congress:

December 11, 2012

Dear Members of Congress:

As the nation approaches the so-called "fiscal cliff," we, the undersigned economists, urge Congress to carefully consider the relative merits of tax increases and spending restraint. Increasing taxes would likely slow or reverse our nation's fragile economic recovery and undermine long-term growth. Restraining the growth of expenditures, however, would help stabilize the government's fiscal imbalance and create a more conducive environment for robust expansion.

Some in Congress have advocated allowing the 2001 and 2003 taxpayer relief laws to expire for some or all taxpayers. Such an action would have a significant, negative impact on the economy. Low taxes can have a constructive economic effect by keeping money in the private sector, where it is far more likely to be utilized for efficient purposes. By contrast, raising taxes would divert resources into the relatively inefficient public sector, thereby curbing potential job creation and economic growth. This effect would be even more pronounced during a persistent slump.

In particular, Congress should avoid raising marginal tax rates on income and taxes on investment, such as capital gains and dividends taxes. These types of taxes most directly and meaningfully affect job creation.

Additionally, lawmakers must resist other destructive proposals that would boost effective tax burdens, such as curtailing itemized deductions for higher earners or imposing discriminatory taxes on energy or other industries. Such policies are merely revenue-raising ploys when executed outside the context of comprehensive tax reform that includes correspondingly lower marginal rates. And like other tax increases, they would serve as inadequate substitutes to much-needed spending restraint.

While some Members of Congress are concerned about the short-term impacts of slowing the growth of federal expenditures, they must uphold their commitment to the American people to address the alarming trajectory of U.S. spending and borrowing. There are more tangible benefits to consider as well: research has shown that spending restraint is superior to tax increases for both deficit reduction and long-term economic vitality. This has proven true in many other developed nations that have implemented fiscal adjustments.

To best foster a strong economy, Congress should ultimately create a simpler system of taxation with a broader base and low rates on income and investment. Simultaneously, it should prioritize government programs and pursue entitlement reforms that bring the budget to sustainable balance. Individuals and businesses are depending on -- and deserve -- greater certainty in policy making that affects their everyday financial decisions.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned (affiliations listed for identification purposes only):

James C.W. Ahiakpor
California State University, East Bay

Donald L. Alexander
Western Michigan University

Howard Baetjer
Towson University

Charles W. Baird
California State University, East Bay

Stacie Beck
University of Delaware

James P. Beckwith
North Carolina Central University

Daniel K. Benjamin
Clemson University

Michael Bennett
Curry College

James T. Bennett
George Mason University

William Beranek
University of Georgia

M. Douglas Berg
Sam Houston State University

Richard E. Bernstein
Temple University

Sanjai Bhagat
University of Colorado at Boulder

Cecil Bohanon
Ball State University

Michael Bond
University of Arizona

Scott C. Bradford
Brigham Young University

Charles H. Breeden
Marquette University

David P. Brown
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Lawrence Brunner
Central Michigan University

Phillip J. Bryson
Brigham Young University

James L. Butkiewicz
University of Delaware

William N. Butos
Trinity College

Victor Canto
La Jolla Economics

Richard Cebula
Armstrong Atlantic State University

Dustin Chambers
Salisbury University

Don Chance
Louisiana State University

Kenneth W. Chilton
Lindenwood University

Lawrence R. Cima
John Carroll University

Kenneth W. Clarkson
University of Miami

John P. Cochran
Metropolitan State College of Denver 

Michelle Connolly
Duke University

Michael Connolly
University of Miami

Mike Cosgrove
University of Dallas

Eleanor D. Craig
University of Delaware

Wayne Crews
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Ward S. Curran
Trinity College

Lawrence S. Davidson
Indiana University

Anthony Davies
Duquesne University

Ronnie H. Davis
Florida Institute of Technology

Clarence R. Deitsch
Ball State University

Stephen J. Dempsey
University of Vermont

Joseph S. DeSalvo
University of South Florida

Floyd H. Duncan
Virginia Military Institute

Frank Egan
Trinity College

John B. Egger
Towson University

Richard E. Ericson
East Carolina University

Paul Evans
Ohio State University

Frank Falero
California State University, Bakersfield

Eugene F. Fama
University of Chicago

Dorsey D. Farr
French, Wolf & Farr

W. Ken Farr
Georgia College & State University

Price V. Fishback
University of Arizona

John A. Flanders
Central Methodist University

Garry A. Fleming
Roanoke College

Harold D. Flint
Montclair State University

James Forcier
University of San Francisco

Bill Ford
Middle Tennessee State University

Michele Fratianni
Indiana University

B. Delworth Gardner
Brigham Young University

David E.R. Gay
University of Arkansas

Gregory Gelles
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Robert Genetski
Classicalprinciples.com

Paul J. Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation President

Joseph A. Giacalone
St. John’s University

Adam Gifford, Jr.
California State University, Northridge

Otis W. Gilley
Louisiana Tech University

Micha Gisser
University of New Mexico

Stephan F. Gohmann
University of Louisville

Rodolfo A. Gonzalez
San Jose State University

Linda Gorman
Independence Institute

Richard Grant
Lipscomb University

Anthony J. Greco
Louisiana University

William B. Green
Sam Houston State University

Kenneth V. Greene
Binghamton University

John G. Greenhut
Texas A&M University – Commerce

Paul Gregory
University of Houston

Earl Grinols, III
Baylor University

Dennis Halcoussis
California State University, Northridge

David L. Hammes
University of Hawaii – Hilo

Stephen Happel
Arizona State University

Scott Harrington
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Scott Hein
Texas Tech University

David R. Henderson
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Douglas Holtz-Eakin
American Action Forum President

Charles L. Hooper
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

James L. Huffman
Lewis & Clark Law School

Austin Jaffe
Pennsylvania State University

D. Bruce Johnsen
George Mason University School of Law

Richard E. Just
University of Maryland

Alexander Katkov
Johnson & Wales University

Peter Kerr
Southeast Missouri State University

E. Han Kim
University of Michigan

Robert Krol
California State University, Northridge

Kishore G. Kulkarni
Metropolitan State College of Denver

Ben Kyer
Francis Marion University

Nicholas A. Lash
Loyola University Chicago

Don R. Leet
California State University, Fresno

Norman Lefton
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Tom Lehman
Indiana Wesleyan University

Tony Lima
California State University

Jody W. Lipford
Presbyterian College

Hong Liu
Washington University, St. Louis

Edward J. Lopez
San Jose State University

Donald L. Luskin
Trend Macrolytics, LLC

R. Ashley Lyman
University of Idaho

Glenn MacDonald
Washington University, St. Louis

Keith Malone
University of North Alabama

Yuri N. Maltsev
Carthage College

Henry G. Manne
George Mason University

Richard D. Marcus
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Michael L. Marlow
California Polytechnic State University

Deryl W. Martin
Tennessee Technological University

Timothy Mathews
Kennesaw State University

Roger E. Meiners
University of Texas – Arlington

Stephen Mennemeyer
University of Alabama, Birmingham

Harry Messenheimer
Rio Grande Foundation

Thomas Miller
University of Connecticut

Jim Miller
Former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director

David M. Mitchell
Missouri State University

James E. T. Moncur
University of Hawaii

Wilbur Monroe
U.S. Treasury Department, International Affairs (Ret.)

Adrian Moore
Reason Foundation

Michael Morrisey
University of Alabama

Andrew P. Morriss
University of Alabama Law School

Ronald M. Nate
Brigham Young University – Idaho

James F. Nieberding
Cleveland State University & North Coast Economics, LLC

James. B. O’Neill
University of Delaware

Lee E. Ohanian
University of California, Los Angeles

Lydia Ortega
San Jose State University

Donald J. Oswald
California State University, Bakersfield

H. Edwin Overcast
Black & Veatch

Richard A. Palfin
Economic Analysis

Penn R. Pfiffner
Construction Economics, LLC

G. Michael Phillips
California State University, Northridge

Ivan Pongracic
Hillsdale College

Barry W. Poulson
University of Colorado at Boulder (Ret.)

Richard W. Rahn
Institute of Global Economic Growth

R. David Ranson
H.C. Wainwright & Co. Economics Inc.

Farhad Rassekh
University of Hartford

Mark William Rider
Georgia State University

Christine P. Ries
Georgia Institute of Technology

Philip Romero
University of Oregon

Larry L. Ross
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Timothy P. Roth
University of Texas, El Paso

Charles K. Rowley
George Mason University

Paul H. Rubin
Emory University

John Ruggiero
University of Dayton

John Rutledge
Rutledge Capital, LLC

Robert Sauer
Royal Holloway, University of London

Robert Haney Scott
California State University, Chico

John J. Seater
North Carolina State University

Richard T. Selden
University of Virginia

Ann Sherman
DePaul University

Vlad Signorelli
Bretton Woods Research

Daniel Smith
Troy University

Chester Spatt
Carnegie Mellon University

Frank Spreng
McKendree College

Dean Stansel
Florida Gulf Coast University

Craig A. Stephenson
Babson College

Derek Stimel
Menlo College

Avanidhar Subrahmanyam
University of California, Los Angeles

John A. Tatom
Indiana State University

Jason E. Taylor
Central Michigan University

Rebecca Thacker
Ohio University

David J. Theroux
The Independent Institute

Wade L. Thomas
State University of New York at Oneota

Richard Timberlake 
University of Chicago

Stephen A. Tolbert
Montgomery County Community College

David G. Tuerck
Suffolk University

Grace-Marie Turner
Galen Institute President

A. Sinan Unur
Cornell University Program on Freedom and Free Societies

Kamal P. Upadhyaya
University of New Haven

T. Norman Van Cott
Ball State University

Richard K. Vedder
Ohio University

George J. Viksnins
Georgetown University

John Volpe
Catholic University of America

Ralph Walkling
LeBow College, Drexel University

Alan Rufus Waters
California State University, Fresno

Paul W. Wilson
Clemson University

Michael K. Wohlgenant
North Carolina State University

Gary Wolfram
Hillsdale College

Frank Wykoff
Pomona College

Thomas L. Wyrick
Missouri State University

Joseph Zoric
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Robert Niehaus

President, Robert Niehaus, Inc.

(signature consent received after date of letter's release)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: boehner; bush; bushtax; classwarfare; clinton; clintontax; congress; debt; deficit; fiscalcliff; leverage; obama; obamacare; obamasfault; opportunity; taxes

1 posted on 12/13/2012 7:51:17 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

how about the obamacare tax hikes? are they ok?


2 posted on 12/13/2012 8:04:29 AM PST by camle (keep an open mind and someone will fill it full of something for you)
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To: camle

Watch for a ping from me


3 posted on 12/13/2012 8:08:12 AM PST by Kaslin ( One Big Ass Mistake America (Make that Two))
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To: Kaslin

Since when does Ubama NOT want to inflict “economic damage?”


4 posted on 12/13/2012 8:18:33 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state." - Cornelius Tacitus, Roman Senator)
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To: camle

The fiscal cliff has risks economic damage.

Damn straight it does,

Doing what Obama wants poses even greater risks.

Go over the cliff.


5 posted on 12/13/2012 8:35:10 AM PST by Venturer
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To: Venturer

“The fiscal cliff has risks economic damage.”

We already have economic damage... 100s of new regs and rules every day.

I agree, go over the cliff make everyone feel the pain, and in particular Obama voters on the east and west coast.

If the poor and lower middle class feel more pain maybe they will get jobs. This will help us more in 2016 than anything else. More taxpayers.


6 posted on 12/13/2012 8:46:55 AM PST by mike_9958
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To: Kaslin

Economic damage is what 0bama wants. Cloward/Piven and irreversible debt. So far, it’s worked brilliantly.


7 posted on 12/13/2012 8:49:39 AM PST by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (IMPEACH OBAMA)
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To: Kaslin

Let it burn.

Cloward-Piven is a two way street.


8 posted on 12/13/2012 8:56:53 AM PST by Uncle Miltie (Cloward-Piven is a two way street. Move your capital out of the U.S. Let the economy burn.)
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To: Uncle Miltie

It’s not a 2 way street after the collapse.

The Marxists want to fundamentally change America.
They prefer a collapse so they can rebuild in their image.


9 posted on 12/13/2012 9:00:05 AM PST by Scotswife
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To: Kaslin

The congress critters and Obama are on the same page, despite all the noise. Their plan is in place and will continue to be in place.

There will be a deal, and it won’t help. We will continue down the slow road to hell. They can keep this up for decades, and they will.


10 posted on 12/13/2012 9:01:56 AM PST by SaxxonWoods (....Let It Burn....)
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To: Kaslin

White House to 185 signees. Buzz off. Da king don’t need yo advice.


11 posted on 12/13/2012 9:23:23 AM PST by RetiredArmy (1 Cor 15: 50-54 & 1 Thess 4: 13-17. That about covers it.)
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To: Kaslin

Obama’s tax hike on those making over $200,000 won’t raise enough revenue to cover 14 days of the current level of deficit spending. These tax hikes have nothing to do with economics, but with Marxist ideals of ending capitalism.


12 posted on 12/13/2012 9:49:35 AM PST by The Great RJ
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To: Kaslin
I'm confused here. If the "Bush tax cuts" expire, the rates will go back to what they were under Clinton. The Democrats and MSM have been telling us for years that Clinton's tax HIKES are what created the economic boom of the 90s.

If that is the case, won't the expiration of the Bush tax cuts be a good thing?

13 posted on 12/13/2012 10:20:35 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (Soon the "invisible hand" will press the economic "reset" button.)
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To: Cowboy Bob; Kaslin; camle; Uncle Miltie; Venturer; mike_9958; neverdem; EQAndyBuzz; All
I'm confused here. If the "Bush tax cuts" expire, the rates will go back to what they were under Clinton. The Democrats and MSM have been telling us for years that Clinton's tax HIKES are what created the economic boom of the 90s. If that is the case, won't the expiration of the Bush tax cuts be a good thing?

And that's exactly why going off the "fiscal cliff" is not a disaster for Republican Congress, that most old and tired political retreads commentators on the left and the right (with the convenient "polls" to "prove" it) are trying to tell us and the weak-kneed House Republicans.

The reality is that this is actually an opportunity: the problem will be much bigger for "conservative" Democrats in the House and the Dems in the Senate (e.g., see Democrats urge delay for 'job-killing' Obamacare tax - FR / WE, by Byron York, 2012 December 13).

Dems will have to deal with the screaming constituents who will be hit with real cuts in the programs, increased "Clinton taxes," and real layoffs by the "evil 2 percenters" (which would happen anyway with Obama's tax rate increases, independent of whatever happens with the other tax rates).

Obama may count on being able to offer the so-called "tax cut" (reverting to Bush tax rates for "everybody but top 2%" but the Republicans can offer "comprehensive tax reform" reverting to "Bush tax cut" (which suddenly will become very popular with the "poor" and even the liberal "middle class" set) and also offer to remove Obamacare's taxes on medical devices (see link above) and Obamacare's 3.8% tax on dividends and capital gains (same rationale as "job-killing" taxes on the "middle-class job creators").

In other words, Obama wants "pain" because he thinks he can get advantage from it, the GOP House can use the same pain to attract enough "conservative" Dems in the House and the Senate to push Obama, because they will not survive 2014 elections.

Political jiujitsu, plain and simple. This is a great opportunity - think what Nancy Pelosi would do with Republican President if the roles were reversed. The alternative is forever cowering in fear for the next round of class warfare.

14 posted on 12/13/2012 11:55:09 AM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

Irrelevant. Obama’s Presidency is about the media controlling the message. “Control the information, control the people.”


15 posted on 12/13/2012 12:14:34 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz (You cant bring something to its knees that refuses to stand on its own)
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To: Kaslin
"Fiscal Cliff Tax Hikes Risk Economic Damage"

To which the communist in the White House replied:

Fantastic! My plan is working. Full speed ahead, Gaithner!
16 posted on 12/13/2012 12:19:12 PM PST by adorno (Y)
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To: EQAndyBuzz
Obama's Presidency is about the media controlling the message. “Control the information, control the people.”

Exactly!

What better time is there to break through the media - when people are actually paying attention, not to the media, but to the people who can actually "feel their pain."

Otherwise the "media controls the message" can be (and,, unfortunately, has been) used to give up on anything, forever and ever.

17 posted on 12/13/2012 12:23:34 PM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

“In other words, Obama wants “pain” because he thinks he can get advantage from it, the GOP House can use the same pain to attract enough “conservative” Dems in the House and the Senate to push Obama, because they will not survive 2014 elections.”

Let me add, that Obama’s power comes from a weak economy. Dems, like other socialists stay in power by keeping the country poor and giving out entitlements. The Reps must make Obama’s voters feel pain - they don’t vote R anyway, and really two years is forever, in voter memory.

This is a game where we weaken Obama - taxes are part of it. If he is weakened the dems will run against him and Republicans can get us moving again. Congress will always get the blame, but really who cares about congress. Most of us like our Congress person - everyone else’s blows.


18 posted on 12/13/2012 4:54:56 PM PST by mike_9958
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To: mike_9958; All
This is a game where we weaken Obama - taxes are part of it.

And the case is so easy to make that the problem is government spending and that the higher "marginal tax rates" are not equal to higher "revenues" - which is simply the euphemism Progressives/liberals/Democrats adopted to de-emphasize and hide the word "taxes" from the taxpayers.

We had essentially the same "Bush tax cut" rates since 2001. These rates during Bush administration (and mostly Republican Congress) produced the government revenues of approximately 19% of GDP while the government spending was about 21% of GDP, leaving the annual deficit of approximately 2% of GDP with the economy growing at 3.5-4+ percent.

Under Obama and mostly Democratic Congress, these exact same "Bush tax rates" produced government revenues of less than 16% of GDP while government spending shot up to over 24% of GDP, producing a deficit of more than 8% of GDP with the economy struggling to barely reach 2% growth.

Same tax rates on the people Obama and democrats call "rich" and all others, and yet dramatically different picture for the "revenues" and the spending.

Should not be difficult to put it on the charts and show it to people Ross Perot-style, it becomes very easy to understand which side of the equation has the credibility problem.

And according to Heritage, based on OMB and CBO estimates, higher taxes on the so-called "rich" alone won't even produce much "revenue" from them even discounting dynamic scoring and behaviour changes which will reduce that revenue even further and discounting the higher government spending to support displaced / laid-off workers.

Tax Shock (jpg) - (Vast majority of taxes will come from incomes below "top 2%" and Alternative Minimum Tax, rollback of 2% cut in payroll tax, eollback of "stimulus" tax cuts and from new ObamaCare taxes.)

19 posted on 12/13/2012 9:41:33 PM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

“And the case is so easy to make that the problem is government spending...”

After watching the election and listening to the “average” voter I don’t think polls mean “jack”.

If Boehner was smart he’d simply say no and let Obama and the dems scream and holler. I mean really, who cares, the country thinks he sucks anyway, he has all the power to do the “right thing”, with no backlash.

If the Reps are wrong they will pay for it but so will Obama to a larger extent. If they are right the economy will improve and Obama’s dependency state will weaken.

It’s a win-win IF they do the right thing, and reduce the deficit, and get the fiscal house in order. Next start passing laws to rein in government regulators.


20 posted on 12/14/2012 7:04:35 AM PST by mike_9958
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To: mike_9958
It's a win-win IF they do the right thing...

Yep. Even if/when Obama takes the credit for everything "good" and dispenses the blame on Republicans and the "rich" for everything "bad," the same way Clinton did when he didn't even bother to introduce the budget...

After watching the election and listening to the "average" voter I don't think polls mean "jack".

Exactly, especially since the "polls" can be so easily manipulated (by asking the "right" questions and then [mis-]interpreting the answers to arrive at the "right" conclusions) as to be meaningless, except for being just a marketing and/or propaganda tool. Just show them your own polls, showing that cutting spending is more popular than raising tax rates. There!

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter" - Winston Churchill

:-)

21 posted on 12/14/2012 9:28:18 AM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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