Last week, more than 200 economists signed a letter expressing concern about the White House's proposed bailout plan. While not completely opposed to government action, the letter urged caution, thoughtfulness, and careful assessment before rushing to action. It concluded this way:
…we ask Congress not to rush, to hold appropriate hearings, and to carefully consider the right course of action, and to wisely determine the future of the financial industry and the U.S. economy for years to come.
When asked about the letter at a meeting last week with leaders of Congress, President Bush reportedly replied:
"I don't care what somebody on some college campus says."
This administration's contempt for intellect and worldliness is bizarre. It's not as if the letter came from the heads of 200 women's studies or sociology departments. These are people who've studied economics for much of their lives. And most of them share Bush's alleged (if not practiced) fondness for free markets.