James Poulos on the Invisible College
When Hyperbolic Discounting Attacks!

Three Names Shock Me...

Tyler Cowen tells me about economists who have endorsed John McCain's economic plan:

Marginal Revolution: Economists who have endorsed John McCain's economic plan: Gary Becker, James Buchanan, Robert Lucas, Robert Mundell, Vernon Smith, Michael Boskin, John Cogan, Steven Davis, Francis X. Diebold, Martin Eichenbaum, Martin Feldstein, Kevin Hassett, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Glenn Hubbard, Anne Krueger, Deepak Lal, Burton Malkiel, Paul W. McCracken, Allan Meltzer, Tim Muris, June O'Neill, Michael E. Porter, Kenneth Rogoff, Richard Roll, Harvey Rosen, George Shultz, Beryl Sprinkel, John Taylor, and Arnold Zellner.

Three names shock me: Francis X. Diebold, Anne Krueger, and Kenneth Rogoff. I am going to have to revise my opinion of each of them down several large notches. Even if you do think that the Republican Party is better than the Democratic one, right now--in the middle of John McCain's gasoline tax idiocy--is not the time to sign on. Right now is the time to extract a price in terms of policy consistency and rationality for one's support. Krueger, Rogoff, and Diebold know that very well--and ought to have acted on it.

Tyler goes on to say:

The... statement reads:

We enthusiastically support John McCain's economic plan. It is a comprehensive, pro-growth, reform agenda. The reform focuses on the real economic problems Americans face today and will face in the future. And it builds on the core economic principles that have made America great.

His plan would control government spending by vetoing every bill with earmarks, implementing a constitutionally valid line-item veto, pausing non-military discretionary government spending programs for one year to stop their explosive growth and place accountability on federal government agencies.

His plan would keep taxes from rising, because higher tax rates are exactly the wrong policy to restore economic growth, especially at this time.

His plan would reduce tax rates by cutting the tax that corporations pay to 25 percent in line with other countries, by completely phasing out the alternative minimum tax, by increasing the exemption for dependents, by permitting the first-year expensing of new equipment and technology, and by making permanent a reformed tax credit for R&D.

His plan would also create a new and much simpler tax system and give Americans a free choice of whether to pay taxes under that simple system or the current complex and burdensome income tax.

His plan would open new markets for American goods and services and thereby create additional jobs for Americans by supporting good free trade agreements such as the one with Colombia and working with leaders around the world to avoid isolationism and protectionism. His plan would also reform education, retraining, and other assistance programs so they better help those displaced by trade and other changes in the economy.

His plan addresses problems in the financial markets and housing markets by calling for increased transparency and accountabi! lity, by targeted assistance to deserving homeowners to refinance thei r mortgages, and by opposing so-called reform plans which would raise the costs of home-ownership in the future.

The above actions, as well as plans to address entitlement programs--especially Social Security, Medicare and other government health care programs--and his regulatory reforms--especially in the area of health care--constitute a broad and powerful economic agenda. Because of John McCain's experience working with the American people in all walks of life, with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and with leaders around the world, we are optimistic that these plans will become a reality and will create jobs and restore confidence and strong economic growth."