13 October 2004

Economics heavy hitters against Bush

50 big-name business and economics professors published an open letter to President Bush saying that his policies have done great harm to the US economy.

The 50 signers include a large number of chaired professors from Harvard, MIT's Sloane School, Wharton, and, coming as close to career suicide as tenure allows, several from UT Austin.

Here's the opening:

As professors of economics and business, we are concerned that U.S. economic policy has taken a dangerous turn under your stewardship. Nearly every major economic indicator has deteriorated since you took office in January 2001. Real GDP growth during your term is the lowest of any presidential term in recent memory. Total non-farm employment has contracted and the unemployment rate has increased. Bankruptcies are up sharply, as is our dependence on foreign capital to finance an exploding current account deficit. All three major stock indexes are lower now than at the time of your inauguration. The percentage of Americans in poverty has increased, real median income has declined, and income inequality has grown.

The data make clear that your policy of slashing taxes - primarily for those at the upper reaches of the income distribution - has not worked. The fiscal reversal that has taken place under your leadership is so extreme that it would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. ....

Although some members of your administration have suggested that the mountain of new debt accumulated on your watch is mainly the consequence of 9-11 and the war on terror, budget experts know that this is simply false. Your economic policies have played a significant role in driving this fiscal collapse.

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