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Federal Fiscal Reform: The Economists’ Letter

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 21, 2023

Ed. note: Robert L. Bradley Jr. was one of 435 economists decrying the Biden Administration’s refusal to engage in deficit reduction through less government spending and borrowing. The letter, organized by Jim Carter, Founder of Concerned Economists and Director, Center for American Prosperity, follows:

Dear Speaker McCarthy and Leader Schumer: 

We, the undersigned economists, urge Congress to reject the anti-growth tax increases and unsustainable budget deficits put forward by the Biden Administration. 

Our economy is still suffering the lingering effects of excessive government spending, massive increases in regulation, and the 40-year high inflation crushing American families. With consumer sentiment languishing and 41% of the American people saying they are worse off economically than they were two years ago, the recent failure of three banks will further shock our economy.

President Biden’s budget proposal continues these disastrous policies by calling for trillions of dollars more in taxes and spending over the next 10 years. These proposals would lock in government spending at nearly 25% of our gross domestic product compared to the less than 21% it has averaged over the last 40 years.

As government commands more of the economy, private sector investment has less room to facilitate long-term growth. Meanwhile, federal receipts totaled 19.2% of national output last year, the fourth-highest total in our Nation’s history. We do not have a revenue problem; we have an enormous spending problem.

It is time for Congress to ensure we avoid future high inflation resulting from the federal government’s unsustainable fiscal path. The consequences of allowing federal debt to accumulate at its current and projected pace—with spending demands vastly outstripping the country’s ability to meet them—would be disastrous for the well-being of the country and especially for the most vulnerable Americans.

Families and small businesses have already been struggling for too long under the weight of high inflation, rising borrowing costs, crippling labor shortages, and damaging economic uncertainty. We urge Congress to reject President Biden’s irresponsible budget proposal and work together to address the country’s short-term needs while also committing itself to take steps toward reducing the federal government’s unsustainable and dangerous fiscal imbalances.


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