“Robust economic growth is best served by a tax code that levies low and predictable rates.”

That’s the consensus reached by more than 300 economists, including Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith, who sent a letter to Congress last week urging lawmakers to extend all of the provisions of the 2001 and 2003 taxpayer relief laws. Inaction or failure to prevent these massive tax increases, according to the economists’ letter, would be the equivalent of an “anti-stimulus.”

While these words of warning are specifically directed at congressional lawmakers concerning the extension of the Bush tax cuts, there is a broader lesson to be learned here: higher taxes in today’s environment will hurt, not help, our chances at recovery.

Instead, the best way to promote economic growth and recovery is to minimize the footprint of government and reduce the burden on taxpayers at every level. In this way, our elected officials can truly expect to give the private sector a “stimulus.”

– James Quintero