Meg Whitman's Plans Flawed?


A group of liberal economists, unsurprisingly, have taken issue with the data used and conclusions drawn by California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's economic proposals. Economists from throughout California signed the letter, in support of a report written by UC-Berkley's Michael Reich and released through the left-wing think tank the Center for American Progress, and which concluded that "the evidence and theory that Whitman uses to diagnose California's problems are unscientific and an unsound basis for policy." Reich specifically criticizes Whitman's contention that the California economy is sputtering because residents are overtaxed and businesses over-regulated, noting that the study she cites has been criticized as "schlock science" and that her measurement of individual taxes takes into account only California's high income tax and not its low property tax. On Whitman's contention that government is bloated, the letter notes that California ranks 48th of 50 in government employees per capita (of course running a state has a certain level of fixed costs, so perhaps a per capita measure isn't a fair way to measure the most populous state).

Reich and his colleagues find Whitman's solutions no more convincing than her diagnosis of the problems, noting that her plan to solve a $20 billion deficit includes $15 billion in service cuts and billions in tax cuts, numbers which "do not add up to $20 billion."

The State Republican Party declared that the report was partisan but, according to news articles didn't dispute any specific claims made. Even the liberal economists concede that Democratic candidate Jerry Brown has released too little information to conduct a similar analysis on his proposals to fix California's ailing economy.

SSDAN Office

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