An open letter to Congress from over 100 economists: Pass tax reform and watch the economy roar
Business Insider
November 29, 2017

Dear Senators and Representatives:

“Ask five economists,” as the Edgar Fiedler adage goes, “and you’ll get five different answers.”

Yet, when it comes to the tax reform package aimed at fixing our broken system, the undersigned have but one shared perspective: Economic growth will accelerate if the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passes, leading to more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living for the American people. If, however, the bill fails, the United States risks continued economic underperformance.

In today’s globalized economy, capital is mobile in its pursuit of lower tax jurisdictions. Yet, in that worldwide race for job-creating investment, America is not economically competitive. Here’s why: Left virtually untouched for the last 31 years, our chart-topping corporate tax rate is the highest in the industrialized world and a full fifteen percentage points above the OECD average. As a result of forfeiting our competitive edge, we forfeited 4,700 companies from 2004 to 2016 to cheaper shores abroad. As a result of sitting idly by while the rest of the world took steps to lower their corporate rates, we lowered our own workers’ wages by thousands of dollars a year.

Our colleagues from across the ideological spectrum – regardless of whether they ultimately support or oppose the current plan – recognize the record-setting rate at which the United States taxes job-creating businesses is, either significantly or entirely, a burden borne by the workers they employ. The question isn’t whether American workers are hurt by our country’s corporate tax rate – it’s how badly. As such, the question isn’t whether workers will be helped by a corporate tax rate reduction – it’s how much.

The enactment of a comprehensive overhaul – complete with a lower corporate tax rate – will ignite our economy with levels of growth not seen in generations. A twenty percent statutory rate on a permanent basis would, per the Council of Economic Advisers, help produce a GDP boost “by between 3 and 5 percent.” As the debate delves into deficit implications, it is critical to consider that $1 trillion in new revenue for the federal government can be generated by four-tenths of a percentage in GDP growth.

Sophisticated economic models show the macroeconomic feedback generated by the TCJA will exceed that amount – more than enough to compensate for the static revenue loss.

We firmly believe that a competitive corporate rate is the key to an economic engine driven by greater investment, capital stock, business formation, and productivity – all of which will yield more jobs and higher wages. Your vote throughout the weeks ahead will therefore put more money in the pockets of more workers.

Supporting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will ensure that those workers – those beneficiaries – are American.

Sincerely,

James C. Miller III
Former OMB Director, 1985-88

Douglas Holtz-Eakin
American Action Forum

Alexander Katkov
Johnson & Wales University

Ali M. Reza
San Jose State U (Emeritus)

Ann E. Sherman
DePaul University

Anthony B. Sanders
George Mason University

Anthony Negbenebor
Gardner-Webb University

Arthur Havenner
University of California, Davis

Austin J. Jaffe
Penn State University

Barry J. Seldon
UT Dallas (retired)

Barry W. Poulson
University of Colorado

Boyd D. Collier
Tarleton State University, Texas A&M University System (Emeritus)

Brian Stuart Wesbury
Joint Economic Committee

Carlisle E. Moody
College of William and Mary

Charles W. Calomiris
Columbia University

Christine P. Ries
Georgia Institute of Technology

Christopher C. Barnekov
FCC (Retired)

Christopher Lingle
Universidad Francisco Marroquin

Clifford F. Thies
Shenandoah University

Daniel Fernandez
Universidad Francisco Marroquin

Daniel Houser
George Mason University

David H. Resler
Chief US Economist, Nomura (Retired)

David Ranson
HCWE & Co.

Dennis E. Logue
Steven Roth Professor, (Emeritus) Tuck School, Dartmouth Colleges

Derek Tittle
Georgia Institute of Technology

DeVon L. Yoho
Economist Ball State University (Retired)

Donald J. Oswald
California State University, Bakersfield (Retired)

Donald Koch
Koch Investments

Donald L. Alexander
Western Michigan University

Donald Luskin
TrendMacro

Douglas C. Frechtling
George Washington University

Douglas Kahl
The University of Akron

Douglas O. Cook
The University of Alabama

E. Kingdon Hurlock Jr.
Calvert Investment Counsel

Edward M. Scahill
University of Scranton

Eleanor Craig
University of Delaware

F. Owen Irvine
Michigan State University (Emeritus)

Farhad Rassekh
University of Hartford

Francis Ahking
University of Connecticut

Frank Falero
California State University (Emeritus)

Gary R. Skoog
Legal Econometrics, Inc.

Gary Wolfram
Hillsdale College

Gene Simpson
NPTC, Auburn University

George Langelett
South Dakota State University

Gerald P. Dwyer
Clemson University

Gordon L. Brady
Joint Economic Committee (former)

Gil Sylvia
Oregon State University

H Daniel Foster
HDFCO

Hugo J. Faria
University of Miami

Inayat Mangla
Western Michigan University

J. Edward Graham
UNC Wilmington

Jagdish Bhagwati
Columbia University

James B. Kau
University of Georgia

James C.W. Ahiakpor
California State University, East Bay

James D. Adams
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

James D. Miller
Smith College

James F. Smith
EconForecaster, LLC

James Keeler
Kenyon College

James M. Mulcahy
SUNY – Buffalo economics department

James Moncur
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Jeffrey Dorfman
University of Georgia

Jerold Zimmerman
University of Rochester

Jody Lipford
Presbyterian College

Joe Cobb
Congressional Joint Economic Committee (1985-91)

John A. Baden
Chm., Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE)

John P. Eleazarian
American Economic Association

John C. Moorhouse
Wake Forest University (Emeritus)

John D. Johnson
Utah State University

John H McDermott
University of South Carolina

John McArthur
Wofford College

John Ruggiero
University of Dayton

John Semmens
Laissez Faire Institute

Joseph A. Giacalone
St. John’s University, NY

Joseph Haslag
University of Missouri-Columbia

Joseph S. DeSalvo
University of South Florida – Tampa

Joseph Zoric
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Kathleen B. Cooper
SMU’s John Tower Center for Politico Science

Kenneth V. Greene
Binghamton University (Emeritus)

Kenneth W. Chilton
John Hammond Institute at Lindenwood University

Lawrence Benveniste
Goizueta Business School, Emory University

Lawrence R. Cima
John Carroll University

Leon Wegge
University of California, Davis

Lloyd Cohen
Scalia Law School

Lucjan Orlowski
Sacred Heart University

Lydia Ortega
San Jose State University

M. Northrup Buechner
St. John’s University, New York

Maurice MacDonald
Kansas State University

Michael A. Morrisey
Texas A&M University

Michael Connolly
University of Miami

Michael D Brendler
Louisiana State University Shreveport.

Michael L. Marlow
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Moheb A. Ghali
Western Washington University

Nancy Roberts
Arizona State University

Nasser Duella
California State University, Fullerton

Nicolas Sanchez
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA (Emeritus,)

Norman Lefton
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Paul H. Rubin
Emory University

Pavel Yakovlev
Duquesne University

Pedro Piffaut
Columbia University

Peter E. Kretzmer
Bank of America

Peter S. Yun
UVAWISE (Emeritus)

Phillip J. Bryson
Brigham Young University (Emeritus)

R. Ashley Lyman
University of Idaho

R. L. Promboin
University of Maryland University College (former)

Richard J. Cebula
Jacksonville University

Richard Kilmer
University of Florida

Richard Timberlake
Prof. of Econ., Univ. of Ga. (Retired)

Richard Vedder
Ohio University

Robert B. Helms
American Enterprise Institute (Retired)

Robert F. Stauffer
Roanoke College , (Emeritus)

Robert Heller
Former Governor, Federal Reserve Board

Robert Sauer
Royal Holloway University

Robert Tamura
Clemson University

Roger Meiners
University of Texas-Arlington

Roger Sedjo
Resources for the Future (retired)

Sanjai Bhagat
University of Colorado Boulder

Scott Hein
Texas Tech University

Stan Liebowitz
University of Texas

Stephen Happel
Arizona State University

T. Craig Tapley
University of Florida

Thomas H. Mayor
University of Houston

Thomas J. Kniesner
Claremont Graduate University

Thomas M. Stoker
MIT (retired)

Thomas Saving
Texas A&M University

Timothy Mathews
Kennesaw State University

Tomi Ovaska
Youngstown State University

Tony Lima
California State University, East Bay

Victor a Canto
La Jolla economics

Vijay Singal
Navrang Inc

Wallace Hendricks
University of Illinois

Ward S. Curran
Trinity College Hartford Connecticut (Emeritus)

Wayne T. Brough
FreedomWorks Foundation

William Albrecht
University of Iowa

William B. Fairley
Analysis & Inference, Inc.

William Buchanan
Valdosta State University

William McKillop
Resource Economics (Emeritus)

William R. Allen
UCLA Department of Economics

William S. Peirce
Case Western Reserve University

Wim Vijverberg
CUNY Graduate Center

Xuepeng Liu
Kennesaw State University

Yuri N. Maltsev
A.W. Clausen Center for World Business, Carthage College