Thursday, January 08, 2009

Stimulus Skeptics Announced

Yours truly is quoted in the press release of Representative John Boehner's list of economists expressing skepticism over large increases in government spending for the purpose of stimulating the economy. He also provides a larger sampling of skeptics here. Some of my favorites for those who just want a taste:
“It is time for voters to wake up to the fact that government cannot create jobs. It can only shift jobs from one part of the economy to the other. It is entrepreneurs who create jobs, and it is consumers who judge whether those jobs are the best jobs to be created. The government contributes best by establishing a rule of law and protection of property rights that allows entrepreneurs and consumers to act in their best interests.”
Antony Davies
Associate Professor of Economics, Duquesne University

“The stimulus plan will most probably turn quickly into pork spending. Marginal rate tax cuts would be a much more effective way to stimulate demand along with cuts in the capital gains and corporate tax rates. Evidence shows that marginal tax cut multipliers are much higher than spending multipliers. In addition the Fed is still not out of ammunition.”
Joseph Zoric
Associate Professor of Economics, Franciscan University of Steubenville

“Fiscal stimulus may have symbolic value and certainly does provide an expedient for distributive politics, but there is NO evidence that it contributes to GDP or economic growth more broadly.”
Edward Lopez
Associate Professor of Law and Economics, San Jose State University

“The stimulus plans assume consumption is the source of economic growth. It is not. It is the consequence of said growth. The ‘stimulus’ is a redistribution of spending, at best, and will do little to help. The next Administration should avoid large scale programs and experimentation and allow the marketplace to correct the errors made by the last 8 years of misguided intervention.”
Steven Horwitz
Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics, St. Lawrence University

“Want to grow the economy without inflation? Cut marginal tax rates, slash the corporate rate, expense investment in the first year (instead of depreciation), keep tax rates low on dividends and capital gains, and repeal the death tax. Have the Federal Reserve focus on price stability and a sound dollar, and on not generating a monetary roller coaster. (That, in part, is what caused the housing and commodities bubbles.) Rein in government spending to pay for the tax cuts, and trim senseless regulation.”
Stephen Entin
President & Executive Director, Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation

“Government intervention and ‘stimulus’ in the housing market is largely responsible for the current economic crisis. History has shown that the Obama team’s proposed ‘stimulus’ is not only going to have little to no effect in the short run, but will create a larger bureaucratic structure, lead to tremendous investments in unproductive political lobbying among ‘stimulus project’ wannabes, and dissuade/delay private investment, recovery and growth.”
Michael Sykuta
Associate Professor, University of Missouri – Columbia

“Government spending programs like these are political grab-bags whose successes are predicated on satisfying political interest groups, not on creating value and growth in a market economy; these government spending programs then often become embedded ‘entitlements,’ crowding out the flow of funds to private investments in a free marketplace.”
Douglas Houston
Professor, School of Business, University of Kansas

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The stimulus plans assume consumption is the source of economic growth. It is not. It is the consequence of said growth."

I don't know of any economist (even the most Keynesian of Keynesians) that thinks consumption is the source of growth. A stimulus plan is about smoothing short-run economic fluctuations, not increasing long-run growth. (Whether or not it should be smoothed or to what extent it actually works is a completely different question.)