Does RBC stand for Really Busy Cutting taxes?

When he meets Peter Costello tomorrow, Nobel Prize-winning economist Ed Prescott will apparently argue in favour of more tax cuts.

So far as I’m aware, Prescott never met a tax cut he didn’t like. And, at least according to Brad De Long, he hasn’t always been super-accurate when spruiking the Bush tax cuts.

(And in unrelated news, it looks like Jessica Rowe won’t be becoming an embedded reporter anytime soon.)

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6 Responses to Does RBC stand for Really Busy Cutting taxes?

  1. Sinclair Davidson says:

    At his blog de Long has referred to people who don’t agree with him as liars and fools (from memory). To paraphrase another Nobel winner, “any tax cut, any time for any reason” (James M Buchanan).

    Does the link under ‘apparently’ need correcting?

  2. Eco Student says:

    Well, Prescott has a Nobel Prize, and you don’t (yet). When you have one, maybe your criticism will be justified.

  3. Sinclair Davidson says:

    That’s not a fair criticism. You don’t have to have a nobel to criticise – for example, you can recognise bad writing without having won the literature prize.

  4. Andrew Leigh says:

    Eco Student, you can go further with your criticism. Not only am I not a Nobel laureate, indeed most of my research is in micro, not macro.

    But I’m not sure that means that I oughtn’t comment on things that Nobel laureates say.

  5. Patrick says:

    EcoStudent’s criticism is almost completely bad. Expertise and Qualification aren’t immunities from criticism, merely a guide to non-expert parties. After all, does ecostudent think that Howard is a four-times elected PM and so until he is, or indeed until Beazley is for that matter, they had better shut up?

    Also, I’ll point out that Hayek and Friedman are pretty highly recognised and Nobel memorialist economists – should we refrain from criticising them? In which case who has to reconcile the unquestionable views of Sen and Stiglitz?

    But as a general rule, tax cuts of any kind are good and tax raises of any kind are bad – there are technical issues about distortion and the like, but I am not aware of any evidence for tax cuts having done any harm, and plenty that they have done good. Perhaps some here have different views?

  6. John Quiggin says:

    It would certainly simplify things. We could just count up the Nobel prizewinners on either side and leave it at that. My guess is that the social democrat team (Arrow, Samuelson, Solow and so on) is marginally ahead of the classical liberals (Friedman, Prescott …) but there are lots of potential swing votes among the econometricians and other technical types.

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