An Open Letter to the U.S. Congress

Dr. Stephanie Kelton, The Sanders Institute
2017-12-06 17:56:47
Friend, Both the House and the Senate have passed versions of a GOP tax plan. According to analyses from the Tax Policy Center, the CBO and numerous economists, both plans overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest people in this country, and both will result in the loss of health insurance for some 13 million Americans. Meanwhile, research warns that millions will face higher taxes and a spike in their health insurance premiums in the years ahead. And there isn't a single credible study that supports the claim that either of these tax plans will deliver the kind of economic growth -- with higher wages and substantially more jobs -- the GOP is touting to sell their plan. In response to a plethora of criticism, and to defend their wild growth projections, Republicans recently circulated a letter, claiming to show that the economic community was backing their plan. What you may not know is that this letter was put together by a corporate advocacy group called the RATE Coalition and, as it turns out, some of the 137 signatories weren't even economists. A portion of their letter reads: "Economic growth will accelerate if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes, leading to more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living for the American people." Let us be clear. This is not what most economists believe. Tax cuts that create economic growth start at the bottom, not at the top. That is why my colleagues, John T. Harvey, Fadhel Kaboub, and I drafted our own statement and circulated it among professional economists. In the last 48 hours, more than 200 Ph.D. economists have added their names to our open letter. We hope that you will read what we have to say and pass along our message. It's not too late to make the current bill into something that could deliver on the promise of more robust growth, high wages and a new era of prosperity for all Americans. Thank you for staying engaged, Stephanie Kelton, Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Stony Brook University, and Sanders Institute Founding Fellow

Sanders Institute

Friend,

Both the House and the Senate have passed versions of a GOP tax plan. According to analyses from the Tax Policy Center, the CBO and numerous economists, both plans overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest people in this country, and both will result in the loss of health insurance for some 13 million Americans. Meanwhile, research warns that millions will face higher taxes and a spike in their health insurance premiums in the years ahead. And there isn’t a single credible study that supports the claim that either of these tax plans will deliver the kind of economic growth — with higher wages and substantially more jobs — the GOP is touting to sell their plan.

In response to a plethora of criticism, and to defend their wild growth projections, Republicans recently circulated a letter, claiming to show that the economic community was backing their plan. What you may not know is that this letter was put together by a corporate advocacy group called the RATE Coalition and, as it turns out, some of the 137 signatories weren’t even economists.

A portion of their letter reads: "Economic growth will accelerate if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes, leading to more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living for the American people."

Let us be clear. This is not what most economists believe. Tax cuts that create economic growth start at the bottom, not at the top.

That is why my colleagues, John T. Harvey, Fadhel Kaboub, and I drafted our own statement and circulated it among professional economists. In the last 48 hours, more than 200 Ph.D. economists have added their names to our open letter. We hope that you will read what we have to say and pass along our message. It’s not too late to make the current bill into something that could deliver on the promise of more robust growth, high wages and a new era of prosperity for all Americans.

Thank you for staying engaged,
Stephanie Kelton, Professor of Public Policy and Economics at Stony Brook University, and Sanders Institute Founding Fellow 

 

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December 4, 2017
An Open Letter to the U.S. Congress
The tax plan will have disastrous consequences for the American people
Dear Senators and Representatives:
 
The current tax plan will prove ineffective at best. More likely, it will further the collapse of wages and widen the already dangerous levels of income and wealth inequality that have become so obvious that both political parties referenced them during the 2016 presidential campaign. Our central problem is not insufficient profits for corporations. Consumers, not employers, are the real job creators and cutting the corporate tax rate won’t jumpstart the economy. The key to getting businesses to hire and invest is to swamp them with demand for their products, something that is accomplished by raising the incomes of the poor and the middle-class and not those at the very top of the income distribution. Unfortunately, not only have the former faced stagnating wages and unemployment, but they are burdened by mortgage debt, credit card debt, student debt, and payday loan debt. Little wonder this has been the weakest recovery in the post-World War Two era.
 
Cut taxes for the poor and the middle class and we will see an increase in wages and the creation of the kind of full-time jobs that we so desperately need. Cut corporate tax rates and corporations will end up sitting on an even bigger stockpile of cash. Period. There is no reason to believe that any jobs would come back to the United States or that more funds would be invested here. Firms invest because they expect strong demand for their products, not simply because they have higher profits. Strong demand will only materialize if consumers are empowered with higher wages and relieved of their debt burden.
 
We, the undersigned economists, stand firmly opposed to the President’s tax plan. Reforms of some sort are not unwarranted, but if our goal is to improve the lives of American workers then this is absolutely not the route to take. Indeed, it may prove to be disastrous. Tax cuts that create economic growth start at the bottom, not at the top. It is not too late to make the current bill into something that could spur growth and employment and usher in a new era of prosperity for all Americans.
 
Sincerely,
 
John T. Harvey, Professor of Economics, Texas Christian University, TX
Stephanie Kelton, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Stony Brook University, NY
Fadhel Kaboub, Associate Professor of Economics, Denison University, OH
James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and a Professorship of Government, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Aaron Pacitti, Associate Professor of Economics and the Douglas T. Hickey Chair in Business, Siena College, NY
Agnes Quisumbing, PhD Economics, Senior Research Fellow at International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC
Alan Aja, Associate Professor and Deputy Chairperson Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Brooklyn College, NY
Alexander Binder, Assistant Professor of Economics, Finance & Banking, Pittsburg State University, KS
Alexandra Bernasek, Sr. Associate Dean & Professor of Economics, Colorado State University, CO
Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, Professor of Economics, Syracuse University, NY
Allison Shwachman Kaminaga, PhD, Lecturer in Economics, Bryant University, MA
Andrew Barenberg, Assistant Professor of Economics, St. Martin's University, WA
Andrew Larkin, Emeritus Professor of Economics, St Cloud State University, MN
Anita Dancs, Associate Professor of Economics, Western New England University, MA
Antonio Callari, Professor of Economics, Franklin and Marshall College, PA
Antonio J. Fernós-Sagebien, PhD Economist
Arthur MacEwan, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Massachusetts Boston, MA
Avanti Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Economics, SUNY Cortland, NY
Avraham Baranes, Assistant Professor of Economics, Rollins College, FL
Baban Hasnat, Professor of Economics, The College of Brockport, SUNY, NY
Barbara Wiens-Tuers, Associate Professor of Economics Ermerita, Penn State Altoona, PA
Bernard Smith, Associate Professor of Economics, Drew University, NJ
Brian Werner, PhD Economist at USDA
Bruce Pietrykowski, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan at Dearborn, MI
Cameron Ellis, Assistant Professor of Economics, Temple University, PA
Carol Scotton, Associate Professor of Economics, Knox College, IL
Charalampos Konstantinidis, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Boston, MA
Charles Becker, Research Professor of Economics, Duke University, NC
Charu Charusheela, Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington, Bothell, WA
Chiara Piovani, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Denver, CO
Chris Tilly, PhD in Economics and Urban Studies and Planning, Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA, CA
Christopher Brown, Professor of Economics, Arkansas State University, AR
Clara Mattei, Assistant Professor of Economics, New School for Social Research, NY
Dale Tussing, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Syracuse University, NY
Dania Francis, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA
Daniel Lawson, Professor of Economics, Oakland Community College, MI
Daniele Tavani, Associate Professor of Economics, Colorado State University, CO
Daphne Greenwood, Professor of Economics, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO
Darrick Hamilton, Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and the Department of Economics, New School for Social Research, NY
David Eil, Assistant professor of Economics, George Mason University, VA
David Zalewski, Professor of Economics, Providence College, RI
Dell Champlin, PhD economist, Instructor of Economics, Oregon State University, OR
Devin T. Rafferty, Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance, Saint Peter's University, NJ
Don Goldstein, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Allegheny College, PA
Dorene Isenberg, Professor of Economics, University of Redlands, CA
Douglas Bowles, Assistant Director, Center for Economic Information, University of Missouri at Kansas City, MO
Edith Kuiper, Assistant Professor of Economics, SUNY New Paltz, NY
Edward J Nell, Emeritus Professor, New School for Social Research, NY, and Vice-President, Henry George School of Social Science, Chief Economist, RECIPCO Corp
Eiman Zein-Elabdin, Professor of Economics, Franklin & Marshall College, PA
Elaine McCrate, Associate Professor of Economics and Women's and Gender Studies, University of Vermont, VT 
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Elhussien Mansour, PhD Economist, Senior Financial Analyst, Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia, NY
Elizabeth Ramey, Associate Professor of Economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY
Emily Blank, Associate Professor of Economics, Howard University, Washington DC
Ellis Scharfenaker, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Missouri - Kansas City, MO
Enid Arvidson, Ph.D. economist, Associate Professor, College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington, TX
Eric Tymoigne, Associate Professor of Economics at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR
Erik Dean, Ph.D., Instructor of Economics, Portland Community College, OR
F. Gregory Hayden, Professor of Economics (retired), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE
Farida Khan, Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin at Parkside, WI
Fatma Gul Unal, Assistant Professor of Economics, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY
Firat Demir, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Oklahoma Norman, OK
Flavia Dantas, Associate Professor of Economics, SUNY Cortland, NY
Frank McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Economics (retired), Boston College, MA
Fred Moseley, Professor of Economics at Mount Holyoke College, MA
Frederic Jennings, PhD economist, Economic Consultant, MA
Gary Mongiovi, Associate Professor of Economics and Finance, St. John's University, NY
Geoffrey Schneider, Professor of Economics, Bucknell University, PA
George DeMartino, PhD economist, Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, CO
Gerald Epstein, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA
Glen Atkinson, Foundation Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Nevada, Reno, NV
Haider A. Khan, John Evans Distinguished University Professor, Professor of Economics, University of Denver, CO
Haimanti Bhattacharya, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Utah, UT
Haydar Kurban, Associate Professor of Economics, Howard University, Washington DC
Hector Saez, PhD Economist, Faculty in Community Economic Development, Chatham University, PA
Howard Stein, Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) and the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan, MI
Hyun Woong Park, Assistant Professor of Economics, Denison University, OH
Ilene Grabel, Professor of Economics in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, CO
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James Sturgeon, Professor of Economics, University of Missouri - Kansas City, MO
Jeffrey S. Zax, Professor of Economics, University of Colorado Boulder, CO
Jennifer Olmsted, Professor of Economics, Drew University, NJ
Jim Peach, Regents and Chevron Endowed Professor of Economics, Applied Statistics, and International Business, New Mexico State University, NM
Joelle Leclaire, Associate Professor of Economics and Finance, SUNY Buffalo State, NY.
Johan Uribe, Assistant Professor of Economics, Denison University, OH
John Dennis Chasse, PhD Economist
John Hall, Professor of Economics, Portland State University, OR
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John Willoughby, Professor of Economics, American University, Washington DC
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Kazim Konyar, Professor of Economics, California State University, San Bernardino, CA
Kimberly Christensen, Professor of Economics, Sarah Lawrence College, NY
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Marc Tomljanovich, Professor of Economics and Business, Executive Director of Business Programs, Director, Wall Street Semester Program, Drew University, NJ
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Randy Albelda, Graduate Program Director and Professor of Economics, and Senior Research Fellow, Center for Social Policy, University of Massachusetts at Boston, MA
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