Economists favor keeping Bush tax cuts

July 9, 2012 at 8:25 PM

WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- A survey of economists said extending President George W. Bush's controversial tax cuts would be a good way to stoke the U.S. economy.

CNNMoney asked 15 economists to rank the proposed steps Congress could take to help spur on the recovery, and nine endorsed extending the Bush cuts, which are due to expire.

There was some difference of opinion on whether all or just some of the cuts should survive. CNNMoney said five economists favored extension of all cuts, but four liked the idea of extending them for the middle class but allowing breaks for upper-income taxpayers to expire.

Carl Riccadonna, senior economist at Deutsche Bank, told CNNMoney keeping all of the cuts made the most sense for both economic and political reasons.

"By pushing an extension for one group of taxpayers and not the other, you reduce the possibility of it being passed," Riccadonna said. "We don't need to raise taxes in the short term. When unemployment is down to 6 percent, we can talk about phasing out these tax cuts, even though that could be a while."

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