News from EPI Economists oppose Bush tax plan—Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Contact: Nan Gibson (202) 331-5546


Over 300 prominent economists oppose Bush tax cuts; plan’s assumptions “do not add up” according to group
Nine Nobel Prize winners in economics among the signers

The full statement and list of signers can be downloaded here [PDF format].

Washington, D.C. – Over 300 prominent economists, including ten Nobel laureates in economics, representing diverse views on economic issues, have endorsed a statement opposing the large tax cuts proposed by presidential candidate George W. Bush, calling such tax cuts “economically and socially irresponsible.”

The statement warns that the tax cuts “do not add up,” and “combined with Bush’s proposed spending increases, would more than exhaust the projected surplus outside of Social Security and Medicare,” even if surpluses were sustained over the next decade. But such surpluses may not materialize, thereby “returning us to the era of running chronic deficits to meet routine operating expenses,” and putting Social Security and Medicare seriously at risk.

To insure “long-term prosperity and social well-being” for all Americans — not just the wealthy who would benefit most from a Bush tax cut — we need to invest in education, health care, and other areas, according to the statement.

The ten Nobel laureates who signed the statement are Kenneth Arrow and William Sharpe of Stanford University, Lawrence Klein of the University of Pennsylvania, Daniel McFadden of the University of California at Berkeley, Franco Modigliani, Paul Samuelson, and Robert Solow of MIT, Douglass North of Washington University, Herbert Simon of Carnegie Mellon University, and James Tobin of Yale University.

“This reflects a concern among a wide variety of professional economists that George W. Bush’s tax plan could do long term damage to the US economy,” says Jeff Faux, president of the Economic Policy Institute, who helped circulate the statement. “The economists differ about what exactly should be done with the projected federal government surplus. Some favor more social investment. Some favor more debt reduction. Some would also support modest tax cuts targeted towards education or health. But they all agree that an extravagant across-the-board tax giveaway is a bad economic idea,” Faux adds.

The full statement and list of signers can be downloaded here [PDF format].

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