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Economists Disagree on the Stimulus, Gore Self-Serving Testimony and the Trouble with TARP

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Economists Disagree on the Stimulus, Gore Self-Serving Testimony and the Trouble with TARP

Two-hundred economists dispute President Obama’s claim that there is “no disagreement” about the need to expand government spending to jumpstart the economy.

Former Vice President Al Gore testifies in the Senate on global warming and subsidies for alternative energy.

The Securities and Exchange Commission brings its first fraud investigation relating to the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) financial bailout. 

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. ECONOMY 

Two-hundred economists dispute President Obama’s claim that there is “no disagreement” about the need to expand government spending to jumpstart the economy.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Policy Analyst Cord Blomquist on the newspaper ad listing the objections of the 200 economists: 

“We at CEI disagree [about the alleged need for federal stimulus spending] and, as it turns out, we’re not alone.  The Cato Institute’s ad includes the names of 200 economists who oppose the ‘stimulus’ package.  Among them are towering intellects like James Buchanan, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1986 for his work on how politicians’ self-interest and non-economic forces affect government economic policy.  How appropriate.” 

 

2. ENVIRONMENT

Former Vice President Al Gore testifies in the Senate on global warming and subsidies for alternative energy.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy Myron Ebell on Gore’s personal stake in the issue: 

“Former Vice President Al Gore has warned that we need to examine the financial interests of people in the global warming debate. Fair enough. What we discover in looking at the policies that Mr. Gore advocated in his Senate testimony is that they will make him and his friends extremely wealthy at the expense of consumers, who will be stuck with skyrocketing energy prices.” 

 

3. BUSINESS

The Securities and Exchange Commission brings its first fraud investigation relating to the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) financial bailout.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on why the bailout legislation itself might be unconstitutional

“…[if] the bailout was just a big slush fund for the Administration to dispense with as it chooses, then the bailout law itself was unconstitutional, since it conferred unbridled discretion in the hands of the President to do whatever he wanted with it.  The Supreme Court ruled in the Schechter Poultry case that giving the executive unchecked discretion violates the constitutional separation of powers between different branches of government, by giving the president essentially legislative powers.” 

 

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