Cato Lines Up 200 Economists Against Obama's Stimulus
The conservative Cato Institute plans to buy full-page ads in The Washington Post and New York Times over the next several days urging President Obama to avoid what it considers excessive government spending as a way to get the U.S. out of recession.
In the form of a letter to Obama, the ad is signed by some 200 economists, including three Nobel laureates -- Edward Prescott and George Mason's Vernon Smith and James Buchanan -- listed prominently at the top.
Its point: Not everyone agrees that massive government spending -- say, Obama's $825 billion stimulus plan -- is the right way out of recession.
The Cato ad opens with a Jan. 9 quote from Obama:
"There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help jumpstart the economy."
The economists respond: "With all due respect, Mr. President, that is not true."
It goes on to say: "Notwithstanding reports that all economists are 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."
The ad instead touts "tax cuts and a reduction in the burden of government" to lead the U.S. out of recession.
This ad echoes an installment of The Ticker's own Capitalism In Question series of earlier this month, in which conservative economists challenged another of Obama's statements: "...at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe."
January 27, 2009; 2:41 PM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Capitalism In Question, Cato, Obama
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