The art of fact-checking took a beating in columnist Glenn Kess- ler’s review [“Would more taxes on the wealthy mean fewer jobs?,” Fact Checker, Nov. 18] of our rigorous Ernst & Young study analyzing the long-term economic effects of higher marginal tax rates on jobs and investment.
As a start, the column repeated previous criticisms made by the White House and responded to by us, including the purely ad hominem attack that, since the study was sponsored by the National Federation of Independent Business, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several other business organizations, it should be considered suspect. In fact, the study’s author is a widely respected economist, the study is consistent with other work in this area, and the implication that Ernst & Young is going to risk its global reputation for a single economic study is simply not credible.
Also like the White House, The Post suggested the study is not relevant to the debate over the fiscal cliff because it focuses on the long-run impact of raising taxes. Not so fast: While the long run may run out 10 years or more, much of the harm measured in the study will be felt in the short run and should get the attention of policymakers now. As Kessler noted, this was made abundantly clear by the recent Congressional Budget Office analysis that found substantial job losses from letting the top rates expire in just the first year.
Raising rates will cost jobs — that’s the fact.
Chris Whitcomb, Washington
The writer is tax counsel at the National Federation of Independent Business.