There it was. Big as life. A full-page ad in The New York Times signed by 450 U.S. economists, including 10 Nobel Prize winners, all lined up in adamant opposition to the tax cuts at the heart of George W. Bush’s economic recovery plan.
This is not a stimulus plan, said the economists. It’s radical tax reform that will starve the government, fuel massive deficits, croak Social Security, destroy investment in schools and health and drive up economic inequailty.
It is, said one Nobel winner, “a weapon of mass destruction aimed at the middle class.” But not all economists, or Nobel Prize winners, buy the critique. Some say, bring it on. Tonight, On Point: a clash of titans. Three Nobel Prize winners debate the Bush tax cuts.
Paul Samuelson, professor emeritus, MIT and a 1970 Nobel laureate
Daniel McFadden, professor of economics, UC Berkeley and a 2000 Nobel laureate
Milton Friedman, senior research fellow, Hoover Institution and a 1976 Nobel laureate