Misapplied History: Aye Yie Yie!: Delong Morning Coffee Podcast

100 Economists This Moronic? And This Easily Grifted?

Preview of 100 Economists This Moronic And This Easily Grifted

"Economists for Trump"—I do not know whether to be gratified that only 100 economists would sign this, or horrified that even 100 economists would sign this. It is certainly a remarkable document—one that I do not think anybody who was not both 100% cynical and 100% deluded could sign. Cynical: you have to genuinely not care about whether you are making contrary-to-fact assertions. Deluded: you have to believe that what you say will be credited by anybody other than partisan Trumpist ideologues and the professional opinions-of-shape-of-earth-differ crowd:

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that the TCJA is a middle-class tax cut that will boost economic growth, rather than an upward redistribution of income with more than 100% of the value of the small growth effects it will have going to foreigners.

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that Trump offers regulatory relief rather than a Berlusconi-like corrupt advantaging of favored clients.

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that Trump is for "reciprocal free trade with lower trade barriers on all sides". To the extent that Trump is for anything, it is for managed trade with bilateral trade balanced or in export surplus for the U.S.

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that there are any signs that "President Trump's negotiations on trade are working".

  • At this point, you need to be cynical and deluded to be willing to claim that there has been an "improvement in the economic growth trajectory" or that CBO's estimates justify such a claim.

I look at this, and I cannot help but think: I know that America has lots of easily-grifted morons on it. But this moronic? And this easily grifted?: Economists for Trump: A ECONOMISTS LETTER IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ECONOMIC POLICY AGENDA : "We enthusiastically endorse President Trump's economic agenda to create jobs and restore economic growth...

...We believe the President's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which lowered the corporate income marginal tax rate from 35% (previously the highest rate among OECD countries) to 21% and provides individual income tax relief for tens of millions of middle-class Americans, will bolster economic growth, wage growth and job growth both in the short-term and long-run. 

We commend the President's record setting reduction in the number of new federal statutes and his administration's efforts to adopt a regulatory budget. We believe this will have a significantly positive impact on economic growth by providing relief to businesses that previously were hampered by unnecessary regulations set forth by previous administrations.

We believe that reciprocal free trade with lower trade barriers on all sides produces higher overall economic growth and hope that the President's efforts to negotiate better trade deals, including willingness to re-enter the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), will bring about a stronger long-run free trade equilibrium by reducing trade barriers and opening markets that were previously closed to American businesses.

We hope that Chinese President Xi's stated willingness to reduce China's 25% auto tariff will be honored and is an early sign that President Trump's negotiations on trade are working.

The combination of a more competitive tax environment, fewer burdensome regulations, and negotiations to lower overall trade barriers has already played a role in improving consumer sentiment, business sentiment and the economic growth trajectory of the economy since the beginning of 2017. 

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now estimates that U.S. real GDP will grow above 3.0% in 2018 which we believe is another bellwether of an improved outlook on economic growth, in part resulting from the President's pro-growth economic policy agenda.

We reject the notion that the economic stagnation realized since the 2007-2009 recession is the best our economy can generate. Reversing the poor economic policies of the previous administration will once again unleash the economic potential of the most productive, innovative economy in the world.

We believe that the President's economic policy efforts are a strong step in the right direction to restore long-run economic growth and opportunity for all Americans.


Zoltan Acs, Ph.D., George Mason University
Richard Agnello, Ph.D., University of Delaware
Charles W. Baird, Ph.D., California State University, East Bay
Marjorie Baldwin, Ph.D., Arizona State University
Robert Battalio, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Sanjai Bhagat, Ph.D., University of Colorado
Michael Bond, Ph.D., University of Arizona
Fred Bounds, Georgia State University
Lawrence Brunner, Ph.D., Central Michigan University
William Butos, Ph.D., Trinity College
Charles Calomiris, Ph.D., Columbia University
Richard J. Cebula, Ph.D., Jacksonville University
K. C. Chen, Ph.D., California State University, Fresno
Michael Cosgrove, Ph.D., University of Dallas
Eleanor Craig, Ph.D., University of Delaware
Ward S. Curran, PhD, Trinity College (Emeritus) 
Allan DeSerpa, Ph.D., Arizona State University
Robert DeYoung, Ph.D., University of Kansas
Floyd H. Duncan, Ph.D., Virginia Military Institute (Emeritus) 
Frank Falero, Ph.D., California State University (Emeritus)
Ralph Frasca, Ph.D., University of Dayton
Douglas C. Frechtling, Ph.D., George Washington University (Emeritus)
Gary L. French, Ph.D., Nathan Associates Inc.
Moheb Ghali, Ph.D., Western Washington University (Emeritus)
J. Edward Graham, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Richard J. Grant, Ph.D., Cumberland University
Anthony J. Greco, Ph.D., University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Kenneth V. Greene, Ph.D., Binghamton University (Emeritus)
Earl Grinols, Ph.D., Baylor University
Gerald A. Hanweck, Ph.D., George Mason University
John A. Haslem, Ph.D., University of Maryland
Arthur Havenner, Ph.D., University of California, Davis (Emeritus)
Daniel Heath, Georgetown University Law Center
Aaron Hedlund, Ph.D., University of Missouri
Scott Hein, Ph.D., Texas Tech University (Emeritus)
John Helmuth, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Flint
Jesse Hoyt Hill, Ed.D., Tarrant County College 
Forrest E. Huffman, Ph.D., Temple University (Emeritus)
Jason P. Imbrogno, Ph.D., University of North Alabama
Ed Ireland, Ph.D., Texas Christian University
F. Owen Irvine, Ph.D., Michigan State University (Emeritus)
John D. Johnson, Ph.D, Utah State University
Douglas R Kahl, Ph.D. University of Akron (Emeritus)
Tim Kane, Ph.D., Stanford (Former)
Alexander Katkov, Ph.D., Johnson & Wales University
Barry Keating, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Richard Kilmer, Ph.D., University of Florida (Emeritus)
Arthur B. Laffer, Ph.D., Laffer Associates
George Langelett, Ph.D., South Dakota State University
Norman Lefton, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
John R Lott, Jr., Ph.D., Crime Prevention Research Center
Tim Loughran, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Don Chance, Louisiana State University
Donald Luskin, TrendMacro
Keith D. Malone, Ph.D., University of North Alabama
Yuri N. Maltsev, PhD, Carthage College
Paul Mason, McMurry University
Thomas H. Mayor, Ph.D., University of Houston (Emeritus)
William McKillop, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley (Emeritus)
Roger Meiners, Ph.D., University of Texas-Arlington
Steven C. Michael, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
James D. Miller, Ph.D., Smith College
Chandra Mishra, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University
Robert D. Niehaus, Robert D. Niehaus, Inc.
James B. O’Neill, Ph.D., University of Delaware (emeritis)
Lydia Ortega, PhD, San Jose State University
Richard A. Palfin, Ph.D., Economic Analysis
Judd W. Patton Ph.D., Bellevue University (Emeritus)
Barry Poulson, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder
R. L. Promboin, Ph.D., University of Maryland University College (former) 
Christine P. Ries, Ph.D, Georgia Institute of Technology 
M. Christopher Roebuck, RxEconomics LLC
Diana Furchgott-Roth, Fmr Chief Economist, US Department of Labor
Timothy P. Roth, Ph.D., University of Texas at El Paso
Paul H. Rubin, Ph.D., Emory University
John Ruggiero, Ph.D., University of Dayton
Philip Rushing, Ph.D., University of Illinois (Retired)
Joseph T. Salerno, Ph.D., Pace University
Anthony B. Sanders, Ph.D., George Mason University
Robert Sauer, Ph.D., Royal Holloway University
Barry J. Seldon, The University of Texas at Dallas (retired)
Ann E. Sherman, Ph.D., DePaul University
James F. Smith, Ph.D., EconForecaster LLC
Richard L. Smith, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
Robert F Stauffer, Ph.D., Roanoke College (Emeritus)
Thomas Martin Stoker, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Emeritus)
Robert Tamura, Ph.D., Clemson University
T. Craig Tapley, D.B.A., University of Florida
Mark Thornton, Ph.D., Mises Institute
David G. Tuerck, Ph.D., Suffolk University
T.. Norman Van Cott, Ph.D., Ball State University (Emeritus)
Hrishikesh Vinod, Ph.D., Fordham University
J.W. Verret, Associate Professor, George Mason Antonin Scalia Law School & former Chief Economist at House Financial Services Committee
Donald A Walker, Ph.D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Leon Wegge, Ph.D., University of California, Davis (Emeritus)
J. Gregg Whittaker, Ph.D., William Jewell College
Gene C. Wunder, PhD, Washburn University (Emeritus)
Mokhlis Zaki, Ph.D., Northern Michigan University (Emeritus)
John Zdanowicz, Ph.D. Florida International University
Jerold L. Zimmerman, Ph.D., University of Rochester.