The Corner

The Economists Get It

George Bernard Shaw famously quipped, “If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.” But after nearly four years with Barack Obama in the White House, economists are increasingly reaching the same conclusion: The Obama administration’s economic policies aren’t working, and the country can do better.

That was the finding of an Associated Press survey of economists last December. As reported by Politico, “President Barack Obama doesn’t get top marks for his economic policies in a new survey of economists, and two-thirds said they would pick Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential candidate who would do the best job managing the economy.”

And this morning, more than 400 of the country’s leading economists — including five Nobel laureates — publicly broke with the Obama administration to endorse Governor Romney’s economic plan.

The statement, printed below in its entirety, touts Governor Romney’s reliance on “proven principles” and his promise to return America “to its tradition of economic freedom.”  It also details the many ways in which the administration’s economic policies have failed America.

In short, when it comes to the Obama administration’s economic policies, many of the country’s leading economists agree with another of George Bernard Shaw’s quips: “Better never than late.”#more#

Statement by Economists in Support of Governor Mitt Romney

We enthusiastically endorse Governor Mitt Romney’s economic plan to create jobs and restore economic growth while returning America to its tradition of economic freedom. The plan is based on proven principles: a more contained and less intrusive federal government, a greater reliance on the private sector, a broad expansion of opportunity without government favors for special interests, and respect for the rule of law including the decision-making authority of states and localities.

Applying these principles, Governor Romney would:

·      Reduce marginal tax rates on business and wage incomes and broaden the tax base to increase investment, jobs, and living standards.

·      End the exploding federal debt by controlling the growth of spending so federal spending does not exceed 20 percent of the economy.  

·      Restructure regulation to end “too big to fail,” improve credit availability to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and increase regulatory accountability, and ensure that all regulations pass rigorous benefit-cost tests.

·      Improve our Social Security and Medicare programs by reducing their growth to sustainable levels, ensuring their viability over the long term, and protecting those in or near retirement.

·      Reform our healthcare system to harness market forces and thereby reduce costs and increase quality, empowering patients and doctors, rather than the federal bureaucracy.

·      Promote energy policies that increase domestic production, enlarge the use of all western hemisphere resources, encourage the use of new technologies, end wasteful subsidies, and rely more on market forces and less on government planners.

In stark contrast, President Obama has failed to advance policies that promote economic and job growth, focusing instead on increasing the size and scope of the federal government, which increases the debt, requires large tax increases, and burdens business with many new financial and health care regulations. The result is an anemic economic recovery and high unemployment. His future plans are to double down on the failed policies, which will only prolong slow growth and high unemployment.

President Obama has:

·      Relied on short-term “stimulus” programs, which provided little sustainable lift to the economy, and enacted and proposed significant tax increases for all Americans.

·      Offered no plan to reduce federal spending and stop the growth of the debt-to-GDP ratio.

·      Failed to propose Social Security reform and offered a Medicare proposal that relies on a panel of bureaucrats to set prices, quantities, and qualities of healthcare services.

·      Favored a large expansion of economic regulation across many sectors, with little regard for proper cost-benefit analysis and with a disturbing degree of favoritism toward special interests.

·      Enacted health care legislation that centralizes health care decisions and increases the power of the federal bureaucracy to impose one-size-fits-all solutions on patients and doctors, and creates greater incentives for waste.

·      Favored expansion of one-size-fits-all federal rulemaking, with an erosion of the ability of state and local governments to make decisions appropriate for their particular circumstances.

In sum, Governor Romney’s economic plan is far superior for creating economic growth and jobs than the actions and interventions President Obama has taken or plans to take in the future. This November, voters will make a fundamental choice between differing visions of America’s economic future.

The statement and complete list of signatories, including Gary Becker, Robert Lucas, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, Myron Scholes, Art Laffer, and Martin Feldstein, can be found at

— James Carter, founder of Economists for Romney, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury under President George W. Bush and served on the staff of the Senate Budget Committee.

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