108 so-called “economists,” who put their reputations and their legacies on a shameful letter

Mitchell’s laws:
●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor,
which leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.

The National Taxpayers Union, the self proclaimed “America’s independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers” has managed to dupe 108 so-called “economists” into writing a truly stupid letter.

You can read the letter, then see the “economists” who were foolish enough to attach their names to it:

Fiscal Cliff Tax Hikes Risk Economic Damage.
An open letter to Congress:

December 11, 2012
Dear Members of Congress:

As the nation approaches the so-called “fiscal cliff,” we, the undersigned economists, urge Congress to carefully consider the relative merits of tax increases and spending restraint. Increasing taxes would likely slow or reverse our nation’s fragile economic recovery and undermine long-term growth. Restraining the growth of expenditures, however, would help stabilize the government’s fiscal imbalance and create a more conducive environment for robust expansion.

Tax increases and “restraining the growth of expenditures” both reduce the deficit by an equal amount and reduce GDP growth, also by an equal amount. GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending – Net Imports.

By the way, when you worry about your own budget, do you feel your problem is you make too little or you spend too much? Think about it.

Some in Congress have advocated allowing the 2001 and 2003 taxpayer relief laws to expire for some or all taxpayers. Such an action would have a significant, negative impact on the economy. Low taxes can have a constructive economic effect by keeping money in the private sector, where it is far more likely to be utilized for efficient purposes.

Low taxes and high spending both “keep money in the private sector.”

By contrast, raising taxes would divert resources into the relatively inefficient public sector, thereby curbing potential job creation and economic growth. This effect would be even more pronounced during a persistent slump.

Raising federal taxes does not “divert resources to the public sector.” If you had even a modicum of understanding about Monetary Sovereignty, you would know that federal taxes only take money out of the private sector. Period. Unlike state and local governments, the federal government does not use tax dollars.

Further, the spending cuts being contemplated (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, military) would remove dollars from the private sector – exactly what you claim to oppose.

In particular, Congress should avoid raising marginal tax rates on income and taxes on investment, such as capital gains and dividends taxes. These types of taxes most directly and meaningfully affect job creation.

Do we detect some extra concern for the mistreated, upper .1% income group? Is that why you don’t want to raise taxes on the richest people, “in particular”?

Additionally, lawmakers must resist other destructive proposals that would boost effective tax burdens, such as curtailing itemized deductions for higher earners or imposing discriminatory taxes on energy or other industries. Such policies are merely revenue-raising ploys when executed outside the context of comprehensive tax reform that includes correspondingly lower marginal rates. And like other tax increases, they would serve as inadequate substitutes to much-needed spending restraint.

We see your hearts truly do bleed for those higher earners and their unprofitable energy companies.

While some Members of Congress are concerned about the short-term impacts of slowing the growth of federal expenditures, they must uphold their commitment to the American people to address the alarming trajectory of U.S. spending and borrowing. There are more tangible benefits to consider as well: research has shown that spending restraint is superior to tax increases for both deficit reduction and long-term economic vitality. This has proven true in many other developed nations that have implemented fiscal adjustments.

Really? Which countries have cut deficits and as a result, achieved long-term vitality? I’d love to watch you struggle to come up with your non-existent “research.”

To best foster a strong economy, Congress should ultimately create a simpler system of taxation with a broader base and low rates on income and investment. Simultaneously, it should prioritize government programs and pursue entitlement reforms that bring the budget to sustainable balance. Individuals and businesses are depending on — and deserve — greater certainty in policy making that affects their everyday financial decisions.

In summary, you want “simpler” taxation on a “broader base” (i.e a flat tax that takes more from lower income people), low rates on investment (i.e. low rates on the wealthy) and entitlement reforms (i.e. cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps et al).

We have but one question: Were you “economists” bribed or threatened, or did you receive your degrees by mail order?

To all readers of this post: If you feel like looking these guys up, and telling them what nincompoops they are, I would have no objection.

The Undersigned (affiliations listed for identification purposes only):

James C.W. Ahiakpor, California State University, East Bay
Donald L. Alexander, Western Michigan University
Howard Baetjer, Towson University
Charles W. Baird, California State University, East Bay
Stacie Beck, University of Delaware
James P. Beckwith, North Carolina Central University
Daniel K. Benjamin, Clemson University
Michael Bennett, Curry College
James T. Bennett, George Mason University
William Beranek, University of Georgia
M. Douglas Berg, Sam Houston State University
Richard E. Bernstein, Temple University
Sanjai Bhagat, University of Colorado at Boulder
Cecil Bohanon, Ball State University
Michael Bond, University of Arizona
Scott C. Bradford, Brigham Young University
Charles H. Breeden, Marquette University
David P. Brown, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Lawrence Brunner, Central Michigan University
Phillip J. Bryson, Brigham Young University
James L. Butkiewicz, University of Delaware
William N. Butos, Trinity College
Victor Canto, La Jolla Economics
Richard Cebula, Armstrong Atlantic State University
Dustin Chambers, Salisbury University
Don Chance, Louisiana State University
Kenneth W. Chilton, Lindenwood University
Lawrence R. Cima, John Carroll University
Kenneth W. Clarkson, University of Miami
John P. Cochran, Metropolitan State College of Denver
Michelle Connolly, Duke University
Michael Connolly, University of Miami
Mike Cosgrove, University of Dallas
Eleanor D. Craig, University of Delaware
Wayne Crews, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Ward S. Curran, Trinity College
Lawrence S. Davidson, Indiana University
Anthony Davies, Duquesne University
Ronnie H. Davis, Florida Institute of Technology
Clarence R. Deitsch, Ball State University
Stephen J. Dempsey, University of Vermont
Joseph S. DeSalvo, University of South Florida
Floyd H. Duncan, Virginia Military Institute
Frank Egan, Trinity College
John B. Egger, Towson University
Richard E. Ericson, East Carolina University
Paul Evans, Ohio State University
Frank Falero, California State University, Bakersfield
Eugene F. Fama, University of Chicago
Dorsey D. Farr, French, Wolf & Farr
W. Ken Farr, Georgia College & State University
Price V. Fishback, University of Arizona
John A. Flanders, Central Methodist University
Garry A. Fleming, Roanoke College
Harold D. Flint, Montclair State University
James Forcier, University of San Francisco
Bill Ford, Middle Tennessee State University
Michele Fratianni, Indiana University
B. Delworth Gardner, Brigham Young University
David E.R. Gay, University of Arkansas
Gregory Gelles, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Robert Genetski, Classicalprinciples.com
Paul J. Gessing, Rio Grande Foundation President
Joseph A. Giacalone, St. John’s University
Adam Gifford, Jr., California State University, Northridge
Otis W. Gilley, Louisiana Tech University
Micha Gisser, University of New Mexico
Stephan F. Gohmann, University of Louisville
Rodolfo A. Gonzalez, San Jose State University
Linda Gorman, Independence Institute
Richard Grant, Lipscomb University
Anthony J. Greco, Louisiana University
William B. Green, Sam Houston State University
Kenneth V. Greene, Binghamton University
John G. Greenhut, Texas A&M University – Commerce
Paul Gregory, University of Houston
Earl Grinols, III, Baylor University
Dennis Halcoussis, California State University, Northridge
David L. Hammes, University of Hawaii – Hilo
Stephen Happel, Arizona State University
Scott Harrington, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Scott Hein, Texas Tech University
David R. Henderson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum President
Charles L. Hooper, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
James L. Huffman, Lewis & Clark Law School
Austin Jaffe, Pennsylvania State University
D. Bruce Johnsen, George Mason University School of Law
Richard E. Just, University of Maryland
Alexander Katkov, Johnson & Wales University
Peter Kerr, Southeast Missouri State University
E. Han Kim, University of Michigan
Robert Krol, California State University, Northridge
Kishore G. Kulkarni, Metropolitan State College of Denver
Ben Kyer, Francis Marion University
Nicholas A. Lash, Loyola University Chicago
Don R. Leet, California State University, Fresno
Norman Lefton, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Tom Lehman, Indiana Wesleyan University
Tony Lima, California State University
Jody W. Lipford, Presbyterian College
Hong Liu, Washington University, St. Louis
Edward J. Lopez, San Jose State University
Donald L. Luskin, Trend Macrolytics, LLC
R. Ashley Lyman, University of Idaho
Glenn MacDonald, Washington University, St. Louis
Keith Malone, University of North Alabama
Yuri N. Maltsev, Carthage College
Henry G. Manne, George Mason University
Richard D. Marcus, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Michael L. Marlow, California Polytechnic State University
Deryl W. Martin, Tennessee Technological University
Timothy Mathews, Kennesaw State University
Roger E. Meiners, University of Texas – Arlington
Stephen Mennemeyer, University of Alabama, Birmingham
Harry Messenheimer, Rio Grande Foundation
Thomas Miller, University of Connecticut
Jim Miller, Former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director
David M. Mitchell, Missouri State University
James E. T. Moncur, University of Hawaii
Wilbur Monroe, U.S. Treasury Department, International Affairs (Ret.)
Adrian Moore, Reason Foundation
Michael Morrisey, University of Alabama
Andrew P. Morriss, University of Alabama Law School
Ronald M. Nate, Brigham Young University – Idaho
James F. Nieberding, Cleveland State University & North Coast Economics, LLC
James. B. O’Neill, University of Delaware
Lee E. Ohanian, University of California, Los Angeles
Lydia Ortega, San Jose State University
Donald J. Oswald, California State University, Bakersfield
H. Edwin Overcast, Black & Veatch
Richard A. Palfin, Economic Analysis
Penn R. Pfiffner, Construction Economics, LLC
G. Michael Phillips, California State University, Northridge
Ivan Pongracic, Hillsdale College
Barry W. Poulson, University of Colorado at Boulder (Ret.)
Richard W. Rahn, Institute of Global Economic Growth
R. David Ranson, H.C. Wainwright & Co. Economics Inc.
Farhad Rassekh, University of Hartford
Mark William Rider, Georgia State University
Christine P. Ries, Georgia Institute of Technology
Philip Romero, University of Oregon
Larry L. Ross, University of Alaska, Anchorage
Timothy P. Roth, University of Texas, El Paso
Charles K. Rowley, George Mason University
Paul H. Rubin, Emory University
John Ruggiero, University of Dayton
John Rutledge, Rutledge Capital, LLC
Robert Sauer, Royal Holloway, University of London
Robert Haney Scott, California State University, Chico
John J. Seater, North Carolina State University
Richard T. Selden, University of Virginia
Ann Sherman, DePaul University
Vlad Signorelli, Bretton Woods Research
Daniel Smith, Troy University
Chester Spatt, Carnegie Mellon University
Frank Spreng, McKendree College
Dean Stansel, Florida Gulf Coast University
Craig A. Stephenson, Babson College
Derek Stimel, Menlo College
Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, University of California, Los Angeles
John A. Tatom, Indiana State University
Jason E. Taylor, Central Michigan University
Rebecca Thacker, Ohio University
David J. Theroux, The Independent Institute
Wade L. Thomas, State University of New York at Oneota
Richard Timberlake , University of Chicago
Stephen A. Tolbert, Montgomery County Community College
David G. Tuerck, Suffolk University
Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute President
A. Sinan Unur, Cornell University Program on Freedom and Free Societies
Kamal P. Upadhyaya, University of New Haven
T. Norman Van Cott, Ball State University
Richard K. Vedder, Ohio University
George J. Viksnins, Georgetown University
John Volpe, Catholic University of America
Ralph Walkling, LeBow College, Drexel University
Alan Rufus Waters, California State University, Fresno
Paul W. Wilson, Clemson University
Michael K. Wohlgenant, North Carolina State University
Gary Wolfram, Hillsdale College
Frank Wykoff, Pomona College
Thomas L. Wyrick, Missouri State University
Joseph Zoric, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Robert Niehaus, President, Robert Niehaus, Inc. (signature consent received after date of letter’s release)

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty


Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99%

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports


12 thoughts on “108 so-called “economists,” who put their reputations and their legacies on a shameful letter

  1. Rodger, I actually listened to the folks below last night on CSpan, who echo many of the idiotic sentiments of those 108 “economists”, above. The lot seems to be of great stature, with tenures at the Heritage Foundation &The US Chamber of Commerce as well as being in key advisor positions to Clinton, little Bush and Reagan. They must be brilliant.

    National Chamber Foundation Discussion
    Dec. 11, 2012 CSpan3

    Panelists: Alison Acosta Frazier, Martin Regalia, David Walker & Rudy Penner

    :Key statements from the above four:

    1. payroll tax holiday should expire
    2. The Federal govt just received an 18 Billion “profit” from AIG,
    3. lower taxes!, except middle class
    4. CUT SPENDING (except military & “some” discretionary)
    5. lower taxes for the rich because their investment is what creates jobs
    6. WHEN (not if), our interest rates “go up,” our “debt”will skyrocket and probably be 3 times as much within 10 years!
    7. China isn’t buying as much of our debt as before , they’re just buying short term & corporate bonds opposed to long term treasury, so “we’re living on borrowed time”
    8. The Federal Reserve is buying “too much” of our debt (70%!?)
    9. raise the retirement age for SS & Medicare “entitlements”
    10. Adjust COLA & indexing
    11. “SS & Medicare “Reforms” will not cut GDP according to Alison
    12. Charitable contributions, yes, let’s count on that
    13. “if we don’t get our sovereign debt “crisis” under control, we will become Greece , maybe in 3 to 5 years as you’ve been saying for a number of years now “, David”-Alison Frazier (Yes, she really said this!)
    14. Canada balances their budget now, because the public was told that interest on the debt would be 40% so the public “insisted” on it.
    15. I admired what Bowles-Simpson did
    16. Baselines are good because the UK’s brand of austerity is really working well.
    17. SS payments are “too high” according to the “baseline”
    18. the federal govt has grown “too big” , but when it restructures, it won’t tax as much, charitable contributions will increase and the “middle class/poor” will accept responsibility
    19. SS & Medicare is squeezing the life” out of our govt.
    20. Anti-poverty programs “didn’t work”
    21. “welfare to work” doesn’t work
    22. Unions aren’t compromising so we have a fiscal stalemate
    23. Central banks can work with negative equity
    24. “Entitlement Reform” is absolutely necessary


    1. This is exactly what is wrong with America today, and the biggest threat to the country. We can not have civil debate over these critical issues. Rather than trying to understand each other’s positions and come up with a workable solution, one side or the other seems to dive directly in to personal attack. Its people, from all points in the spectrum, that risk America by doing this that should be ashamed of themselves.


  2. Wow!

    There is no way these people are so ignorant. They are well-paid traitors to America.

    For a little extra, these low-lifes would swear the world is flat. They have no pride. Tell them they’ll be remembered as stupid, and they’ll smile (stupidly) all the way to the bank.


  3. I am absolutely convinced they are that ignorant. I have been working on people that should get this stuff and have had very little success. I know that they are not paid in any way to be traitors. It is mostly the price that is paid for 30 years of unchecked right wing propaganda through think tanks, the Chicago school of rentonomics and the ownership of the press by the wealthy and the right.

    The basic thrust is: – government had to be made to look bad and ineffectual.
    – government had to be limited so that private interests are not restrained since it is the only effective entity that can restrain private interests once unions are eliminated.

    Simple really.


  4. “By the way, when you worry about your own budget, do you feel your problem is you make to little or you spend too much? Think about it.”

    Could be either little income or large spending, or both?

    Rodger, I don’t know what you wanted to say, but I thought a household and a sovereign government were fundamentally different.


    1. Yes, the Monetarily Sovereign federal government is different from monetarily non-sovereign households. But the point I was making — that there is no dollar difference between earning too little and spending too much — applies to both.

      The “economists” seemed to feel that tax hikes, which limit private dollars are bad, but spending decreases, which also limit private dollars, are good. That kind of thinking is what makes them nincompoops.


      1. Okay, got you.

        You did reference a Rand Paul pronouncement to that effect sometime recently, didn’t you? Or was it someone else?

        My guess is, a whole lot of people observe that real wealth is created by and in the private sector, and project this property to fiat money, too. Then taxes really remove money from economy, and govt spending becomes a parasitic activity (other people’s deciding how my money should be spent!)


        1. The federal government doesn’t spend tax money, so the government does not decide how your money is spent — other than deciding how much you should spend in taxes.

          When the government runs a deficit, it pumps more dollars into the economy than it takes out — the opposite of a parasitic activity.


        2. Rodger, I used “real wealth” in the most general sense, i.e., to mean any non-financial article of wealth. Of course, financial or not, any kind of wealth is wealth, and people who earned them by laboring in any shape or form will not want to distinguish one from the other. And maybe, my distinguishing them was not necessary, either.

          I don’t know what I said wrong to have you not recognize that I was in agreement with you. So I give up. Sorry.


  5. Rodger writes, “Tell them they’ll be remembered as stupid, and they’ll smile (stupidly) all the way to the bank.”

    Yes, numerous groups in and around Washington DC pretend to be “populist,” but are funded by the 1%. Their mission is to round out the 1% propaganda that calls for cutting social services, “broadening the base” (i.e. making the poor pay more taxes, and the rich less), and balancing the federal budget, so that all Americans become even more enslaved by the 1%.

    In other words, the 1% fund these groups in order to make it seems that policies which favor the 1% come from both the right and the left.

    Examples include the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens for Tax Justice, Americans For Fair Taxation, Americans for Tax Reform, and many others.

    All these groups want to cut the deficit. All are obsessed with the mythical “debt crisis.” All use meaningless nonsense, such as the debt / GDP ratio. All pretend that federal taxes pay for the federal government. All claim that anyone who questions these lies (which favor the 1%) is “anti-taxpayer.”

    Although the principal actors are paid by the 1%, these groups together have millions of members, all of which hate only one thing more than taxes, namely the truth about government finances and Monetary Sovereignty.

    That’s millions of people who insist on serving the 1%. Millions of people who would rather be “right” than be prosperous. Millions of people who think they’re the smartest people on the planet, but are as dumb as rocks –including the 180 “economists” that signed the letter calling for cuts in social services, etc.


    On a side note regarding taxes, some people wonder whether federal tax revenue is indeed destroyed upon receipt. They say that federal tax revenues are deposited in TT&L accounts (Treasury Tax & Loan Program) and then are transferred into the Treasury’s General Account at the Fed, in order to “run the government.”

    These people forget that revenue is not physical, and therefore does not “move” anywhere. When the federal government wants to spend, it simply changes the digital accounts in computers. Hence, there is no difference between (1) the federal government collecting a tax dollar, depositing it in the treasury, and then spending it—or, on the other hand (2) collecting a tax dollar, destroying it, and then creating a new dollar to spend in its place. Either way, tax revenue is literally destroyed upon receipt.

    Some IRS offices let you pay federal taxes by using use physical notes (e.g. twenty-dollar bills, etc). This money too is destroyed. It is credited to a TT&L account, and then vanishes in the process of federal spending, which (again) consists of simply changing numbers in digital accounts.

    Average people claim to hate the IRS and federal taxes, yet they reject the fact that federal tax revenue is destroyed upon receipt.

    Hence, average people favor the IRS and federal taxes. They also favor the 1%.


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