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More than 500 economists, 5 Nobel laureates back Romney’s economic strategy

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

More than 500 economists — including five Nobel laureates — have endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s economic plan as the right choice for jobs creation and economic growth.

The pro-Romney group “Economists for Romney” announced Monday that its statement of support for the former Massachusetts governor’s economic plan now has 526 signatories, up from 400 a week ago.

“We enthusiastically endorse Governor Mitt Romney’s economic plan to create jobs and restore economic growth while returning America to its tradition of economic freedom,” Economists for Romney’s statement of support reads, proclaiming Romney’s plan as based on “proven principles” to restrain the federal government and expand opportunities in the private sector.

The 526 economists — including Nobel laureates Gary Becker, Robert Lucas, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, and Myron Scholes — point to six facets of Romney’s economic approach that they see as beneficial to future economic success.

  • Reduce marginal tax rates on business and wage incomes and broaden the tax base to increase investment, jobs, and living standards.
  • End the exploding federal debt by controlling the growth of spending so federal spending does not exceed 20 percent of the economy.
  • Restructure regulation to end “too big to fail,” improve credit availability to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and increase regulatory accountability, and ensure that all regulations pass rigorous benefit-cost tests.
  • Improve our Social Security and Medicare programs by reducing their growth to sustainable levels, ensuring their viability over the long term, and protecting those in or near retirement.
  • Reform our healthcare system to harness market forces and thereby reduce costs and increase quality, empowering patients and doctors, rather than the federal bureaucracy.
  • Promote energy policies that increase domestic production, enlarge the use of all western hemisphere resources, encourage the use of new technologies, end wasteful subsidies, and rely more on market forces and less on government planners.

Seven of the signatories are from Harvard University and five from Columbia University — two of President Barack Obama’s alma maters.

The economists’ statement of support pillories Obama’s economic record, claiming that his expansion of the federal government has resulted in “anemic economic recovery and high unemployment,” which will continue if his future plans are implemented.

Among the Obama policies with which the 526 economists take issue include:

  • Relied on short-term “stimulus” programs, which provided little sustainable lift to the economy, and enacted and proposed significant tax increases for all Americans.
  • Offered no plan to reduce federal spending and stop the growth of the debt-to-GDP ratio.
  • Failed to propose Social Security reform and offered a Medicare proposal that relies on a panel of bureaucrats to set prices, quantities, and qualities of healthcare services.
  • Favored a large expansion of economic regulation across many sectors, with little regard for proper cost-benefit analysis and with a disturbing degree of favoritism toward special interests.
  • Enacted health care legislation that centralizes health care decisions and increases the power of the federal bureaucracy to impose one-size-fits-all solutions on patients and doctors, and creates greater incentives for waste.
  • Favored expansion of one-size-fits-all federal rulemaking, with an erosion of the ability of state and local governments to make decisions appropriate for their particular circumstances.

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