Northwestern University and University of Chicago’s business schools surveyed a group of top economists, as well as the public at large, and found some big differences when it came to economic policy. Some of the questions tested basic economic literary: A full 100 percent of economists agreed that permanently raising the federal tax rate by 1 percent for those in the top income tax bracket would increase federal tax revenue over the next 10 years. By contrast, only 66 percent of the general public agreed that this was the case, with just 50 percent of Republicans concurring and 80 percent of Democrats. The misconception could partly explain why there’s such aversion to tax increases.
Harry Reid is aiming for a Senate vote this week on a $35 billion jobs bill that would help state and local governments rehire or retain teachers, first-responders, policemen, firefighters. Democrats claim that it will save some 400,000 jobs at a time when state and local budget cuts are forcing these public-sector layoffs. So how do things look for state budgets these days?