Friday, May 2, 2008

Political gimmicks

I can't agree more:

From Thomas Friedmann:

It is great to see that we finally have some national unity on energy policy. Unfortunately, the unifying idea is so ridiculous, so unworthy of the people aspiring to lead our nation, it takes your breath away. Hillary Clinton has decided to line up with John McCain in pushing to suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for this summer’s travel season. This is not an energy policy. This is money laundering: we borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through our gas tanks. What a way to build our country

Over at Politico I found this:

An Open Statement Opposing Proposals for a Gas Tax Holiday
In recent weeks, there have been proposals in Congress and by some presidential candidates to suspend the gas tax for the summer. As economists who study issues of energy policy, taxation, public finance, and budgeting, we write to indicate our opposition to this policy. Put simply, suspending the federal tax on gasoline this summer is a bad idea and we oppose it. There are several reasons for this opposition. First, research shows that waiving the gas tax would generate major profits for oil companies rather than significantly lowering prices for consumers. Second, it would encourage people to keep buying costly imported oil and do nothing to encourage conservation. Third, a tax holiday would provide very little relief to families feeling squeezed. Fourth, the gas tax suspension would threaten to increase the already record deficit in the coming year and reduce the amount of money going into the highway trust fund that maintains our infrastructure. Signers of this letter are Democrats, Republicans and Independents. This is not a partisan issue. It is a matter of good public policy.
Henry Aaron, Brookings Insitution
Gilbert Metcalf, Tufts University
Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2001)
James Heckman, University of Chicago (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2000)
Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002)
Charles Schultze, Brookings Institution (President of the American Economic Association, 1984, Chairman Council of Economic Advisers 1977-1981, Director, Bureau of the Budget, 1965-1967)
Alice Rivlin, Brookings Institution (President of the American Economic Association, 1986, Director of O.M.B. 1994-1996)
Peter Diamond, M.I.T. (President of the American Economics Association, 2003)
Richard Schmalensee, M.I.T. Sloan School of Management (member of Council of Economic Advisers, 1989-1991)
Michael Jensen, Harvard Business School (President of the American Finance Association, 1992)
Clyde Prestowitz, President, Economic Strategy Institute (Counsellor to the Secretary of Commerce, Reagan Administration)
Robert Shapiro, Sonecon, LLC (chief economic advisor to 1992 Clinton Campaign)
Michael Greenstone, M.I.T.
John Shoven, Stanford University
Wallace Oates, University of Maryland
Barry Bosworth, The Brookings Institution
Bob Bixby, Concord Coalition
Alan Auerbach, University of California, Berkeley
Jonathan Skinner, Dartmouth College
Diane Lim Rogers, Concord Coalition
Martin Weitzman, Harvard University
Lawrence Goulder, Stanford University
Gerhard Glomm, Chairman, Economics Dept. Indiana University
Roger Morris, Indiana University
Willard Witte, Indiana University
Elyce Rotella, Indiana University
Eric Leeper, Indiana University
Arlington Williams, Indiana University
Susan Monaco, Indiana University
Robert Campbell, Indiana University
Michael Alexeev, Indiana University
Robert McIntyre, Citizens for Tax Justice
David Cutler, Harvard University
Martha Blaxall, George Washington University
Jeffrey Liebman, Kennedy School of Government Harvard University
Seema Jayachandra, Stanford University
Frank Ackerman, Tufts University
Ken Cordell, University of Georgia
Catherine Wolfram, University of California, Berkeley
Julie Nelson, Tufts University
Nancy King, Yale University
Richard Howarth, Dartmouth College
Jeff Romm, University of California, Berkeley
Joseph Cortright, Impresa Inc.
Beth DeSombre, Wellesley College
David Lindauer, Wellesley College
Jan Kregel, Levy Economic Institute
John Gowdy, R.P.I.
Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future (director of research)
Winston Harrington, Resources for the Future
Tim Wolf, Global CFO, Molson Coors Brewing Company
Nancy King, Yale University
Gloria Helfand, University of Michigan
Ulla Grapard, Colgate University
Susan Feiner, University Southern Maine
Austan Goolsbee, University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business
Robert Schwab, University of Maryland
Marilyn Power, Sarah Lawrence
Andrea Cohen, Tufts University
Paul Courant, University of Michigan
Chris Avery, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Robert Stavins, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Alan Deardorff, University of Michicagn
Rebecca Blank, University of Michigan
James Galbraith, University of Texas
Loretta Fairchild, Nebraska Wesleyan University
Roger White, Frankliln and Marshall College
Anne Mayhew, University of Tennessee
Gillian Hewitson, Franklin and Marshall College
William Waller, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Adriana Lleras-Muney, Princeton University
Myra Strober, Stanford University
Marcellus Andrews, Barnard College
Noelwah Netusil, Reed College
Yannis Ioannides, Tufts University
Jim Levinsohn, University of Michigan
Richard Thaler, University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business
Chih Ming Tan, Tufts University
Thomas Swartz, University of Notre Dame
Todd Easton, University of Portland
Duncan Foley, New School for Social Research
John Weyant, Stanford University
Charles Wilber, University of Notre Dame
Adam Jaffe, Brandeis University
Ian Parry, Resources for the Future
Dani Rodrick, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Jon Faust, John Hopkins University
Paul Portney, University of Arizona
Stephen Cohen, University of California, Berkeley
Joel Darnstadter, Resources for the Future
Ilyana Kuziemko, Princeton University
Ron Stanfield, Colorado State University
Paul Davidson, The New School
David Popp, Syracuse University
Haynes Goddard, University of Cincinnati
Robert Gertner, University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business
Stanley Black, University of North Carolina
Patrick Conway, University of North Carolina
Buck Goldstein, University of North Carolina
John Akin, University of North Carolina
Wojciech Kopczuk, Columbia University
Mary King, Portland State University
Jesse Rothstein, Princeton University
Leemore Dafny, Northwestern University
Erin Mansur, Yale University
Jeff Zabel, Tufts University
Gar Alperovitz, University of Maryland
Harley Shaiken, University of California, Berkeley
Michael Haneman, University of California, Berkeley
Jeffrey Perloff, University of California, Berkeley
Sheila Olmstead, Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies
Edward Barbier, University of Wyoming
LeRoy Hansen US Dept. of Agriculture
Shanna Rose, New York University
John Weyant, Stanford University
A. Myrick Freeman III, Bowdoin College
Michael Bernstein, Tulane University
Richard Revesz, New York University
Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
Jonathan Isham, Middlebury College
Wayne Gray, Clark University
Radhika Balakrishnan, Marymount Manhattan College
Charles Kolstad, University of California, Santa Barbara
Erzo Luttmer, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Randall Dodd, Johns Hopkins University
Todd Schatzki, Analysis Group
Lori Bennear, Duke University
J. R. DeShazo, U.C.L.A.
Hilary Sigman, Rutgers University
Marianne Ferber, University of Illinois
Joshua Fischman, Tufts University
Martha Campbell, SUNY Potsdam
Sanford Jacoby, U.C.L.A.
Bruce Kogut, Columbia Business School
Jaime Ros, University of Notre Dame
Arleen Leibowitz, U.C.L.A.
Daniel Mitchell, U.C.L.A.
Eban Goodstein, Lewis & Clark College

Now, could it be that this is a sham? that like the Heartland Institute which posted the names of 500 scientists who don't agree with global warming only to find out they "fibbed," could it be that Politico is doing the same thing? I see a name or two of faculty I recognize, I'll see if I can verify these.

UPDATE (5/4/08) I heard back Dr. Marianne Ferber and the above letter is the real deal.

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