(h/t Political Carnival)
At a town hall last Wednesday attended by ThinkProgress, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) was asked why he supports the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy since America has lost millions of jobs since its passage. When Lungren deflected, saying that everyone benefits from the Bush tax cuts and that Obama supported extending them, several people began jeering him.
LUNGREN: Obama extended the tax cuts for several more years [...]
CONSTITUENT: You use the deficit ceiling to blackmail! That’s what you did. [...]
LUNGREN: I know of no economists who suggest we ought to raise taxes in the midst of a down turn in the economy.
As you can see, Lungren is so taken aback by the attitude of the crowd, that he almost leaves the town hall entirely. As to the facts, perhaps if Lungren didn't limit himself to reading Heritage and AEI Foundation publications, he might actually learn that many economists have recommended the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. In fact, contra-Republican thinking (the same thinking that insists that climate change is not real, that having birth control available to women would result in no new generations, and that the "job creators" are simply worried about the uncertainty of having a finite, specified tax holiday end keeping them from offering Americans millions of needed jobs), raising taxes is actually beneficial in a recession.
At a time when Republicans in Congress are digging in their heels against raising more federal tax revenue, private-sector economists are sending an opposite signal in a new poll.
Some three-quarters of economists who do forecasting for the private sector say tax revenue should rise as part of efforts to tame unsustainable budget deficits, according to the survey released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).
By contrast, 19 percent said tax reform should be done in a "revenue-neutral" way, and 5 percent said reforms should reduce tax revenues. About 250 business economists participated in the NABE survey.
Couldn't find an economist, Lungren? Willful blindness only gets you angry constituents.