A survey of forty economists from across the ideological and partisan spectrum has concluded that on some of its most cherished issues, the Republican Party has simply taken leave of economic reality. For instance, economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers noted that one of the results from the survey — run by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, which is hardly known for a left-wing slant — is an overwhelming agreement that the 2009 Recovery Act (i.e. the stimulus) brought down unemployment. But GOP leaders have spent years roundly denouncing the stimulus as a failure:
And while there was a bit more disagreement as to whether the benefits of the stimulus bill outweighed its costs, the bulk of the economists surveyed came down in the “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” camps. Other points from the survey’s respondents worth noting:
No gold standard. They roundly rejected the belief that a return to the gold standard would stabilize prices or lower unemployment. Enthusiasm for the gold standard made a significant comeback in Republican circles during the presidential primaries.
The “Laffer Curve” won’t help. Virtually all of them rejected the notion that cutting income tax rates would actually increase total tax revenue in future years.
Rethink the drug war. The respondents were also generally in favor of softer approaches to the nation’s drug problem.