Taxes must go up, entitlements must be cut, and the Tax Code needs to be reformed by Congress, according to a staggering majority of our nation’s leading economists.
The Associated Press reports that the sequester cuts that went into effect Friday night were opposed by most business economists, despite approving (in an overwhelming majority) efforts to reduce the deficit over the next decade.
A survey released Monday of 196 members of the National Association for Business Economics showed that when it comes to our nation’s best and brightest thinkers on all matters economical, (surprise) both sides of the US government budget debate have good points and the solution is simpler than they’re making it.
On the Republican side: 56 percent of economists supported the right’s view that deficit reduction should be achieved “only” or “mostly” with spending cuts. More than half (58 percent) said that the cuts should focus on “entitlement” programs, like Social Security and Medicare.
On the Democrat side: Most surveyed economists said that spending cuts should be balanced by increasing taxes. A staggering 95 percent of economists said that Congress should reform the individual tax code, with 74 percent saying that the reforms should “slightly” or “significantly” increase revenues.
Other interesting finds: 35 percent think that the government’s fiscal policy is “too restrictive,” which is down from 43 percent in September. About 44 percent felt that monetary policy was “too stimulative,” up from 26 percent in September.
Roughly 53 percent said that the monetary course plotted out by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is “about right,” down from 60 percent in September.
Touching on other issues peripheral to the economy (but not unrelated): More economists now believe that President Obama should approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The percentage of support grew to 78 percent, up from 69 percent. About 52 percent think that regulations over the controversial practice known as “fracking” should be enacted. Also, 51 percent think that the government should subsidize development of alternative energy sources.
What do you think of the results of the National Association for Business Economics survey? Are you surprised that most economists seem to advocate (*gasp*) bipartisan solutions to our country’s financial woes?