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Over 300 Economists Agree: Failing to Extend Tax Cuts Would Create an “Anti-Stimulus”
For Immediate Release September 22, 2010
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, VA) – Today the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) sent a letter to Congress signed by 313 economists (including a Nobel Laureate) who unanimously agree that extending all provisions of the 2001 and 2003 taxpayer relief laws is imperative in order to avoid a crushing blow to America’s struggling economy. Those laws will expire on January 1, 2011 unless Congress intervenes.
“The notion that we can borrow, tax, and spend our way to prosperity has fallen flat on its face, taking down hardworking American families with it. But now, Congress has the opportunity to do something that will actually help families and businesses across the country get back on their feet,” NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp stated. “This is why NTU worked with some of our nation’s leading economists to send policymakers this powerful reminder that higher taxes won’t foster economic growth or job creation.”
As the economists wrote in their statement, “Robust economic growth is best served by a tax code that levies low and predictable rates. The promise of a tax increase in January 2011 would create significant economic distortions as individuals and businesses conserve capital or stave off hiring.” The economists go on to explain that Congress’s inaction “would constitute a profound and damaging ‘anti-stimulus’ that would harm our prospects for expansion in the near future.” Noting that “[e]ven confining tax hikes to wealthier individuals will have deleterious effects,” the signatories concluded that “[i]f Congress allows heavier taxes on work and investment, we will undoubtedly see less of both at a time when they are needed most.”
Sepp contrasted the NTU-led economists’ letter with a statement last week from a progressive think tank (having fewer economist signatories) arguing, among other things, that Congress should consider a raft of revenue-raising proposals; their examples add up to more than $5.5 trillion over a decade. “Clearly, such massive tax increases do not reflect a mainstream vision of our economic future,” he said. “If Congress fails to keep taxes at current levels, every taxpayer will start off the New Year on the wrong foot – one that is forced to walk down the path of economic uncertainty. A tax increase on any American – regardless of his or her income bracket – is a burden our economy cannot afford.”
The 362,000-member NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen group founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: The economists’ letter as well as more information about NTU’s work to reduce taxes is available at www.ntu.org/extend-tax-relief.