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What . . . We Agree ???


One of my favorite conferences each year is the annual Policy Conference of the National Association of Business Economics, which starts today in Washington.  This is the first time in many years I have missed it and already regret missing it.

One of the opening events is the release of the latest member survey.  What strikes me as unusual with this new survey is the remarkable agreement among the members.  It is normally hard to pick the right adjective for economists when the choices are  “arrogant” and “confrontational,” but neither is appropriate this time.

87% think tax increases have to be part of any realistic program to reduce the deficit.  (If it is true that Eric Cantor refused Obama’s offer of $10 in spending cuts in exchange for every $1 of tax increase, I will be contributing to Cantor’s opponent.)  

70% believe serious reform of our 70,000 page tax code is a top priority.

83% favor construction of the Keystone pipeline.

67% favor the “Volcker Rule,” which would limit the ability of banks to risk their own capital in certain types of trading.

Such a high degree of agreement among economists is a good sign.  Now, if we can only get that kind of agreement among the elected children in Congress . . .

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