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There Goes the Economist Vote

Economists from all over the political spectrum haven’t liked the gas-tax holiday idea since it landed in the middle of the presidential campaign last month. But Hillary Clinton’s ABC appearance on Sunday has provoked a whole new round of outrage.

“I think we’ve been for the last seven years seeing a tremendous amount of government power and elite opinion basically behind policies that haven’t worked well for the middle class and hard-working Americans,” Clinton said when asked if there were any economists out there who actually like the plan. "I’m not going to put in my lot with economists."

That was enough to get Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor, all worked up:

In case you’ve missed it, we now have a president who doesn’t care what most economists think. George W. Bush doesn’t even care what scientists think. He rejects all experts who disagree with his politics. This has led to some extraordinarily stupid policies.

I’m not saying HRC is George Bush. And I’m not suggesting economists have all the answers. But when economists tell a president or a presidential candidate that his or her idea is dumb – and when all respectable economists around America agree that it’s a dumb idea – it’s probably wise for the president or presidential candidate to listen. When the president or candidate doesn’t, and proudly defends the policy by saying she’s "not going to put my lot in with economists,” we’ve got a problem, folks.

Don’t expect a big crowd at the next Economists For Clinton luncheon.

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