As Nick Gillespie noted Monday, Nobel Prize-winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman claims that only a "dishonest flack" would dare say anything bad about the so-called stimulus bill. Well, more than 200 distinguished economists, including Nobel Laureates James Buchanan, Edward Prescott, and Vernon Smith, beg to differ. They've signed an open letter opposing the bailout that appears in today's New York Times. From their letter:
Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's "lost decade" in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.