University News

Econ prof declares support for Romney platform

By
Contributing Writer
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Professor of Economics George Borts recently signed his name to a statement of support for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s proposed economic policy, joining more than 640 economists, including six Nobel Laureates, on the list titled “Economists for Romney.”

The statement of support outlines Romney’s proposed fiscal policies, which include cutting taxes, limiting federal spending to 20 percent of the economy to cut down on the federal debt, reducing the growth of Social Security and Medicare, decreasing federal economic regulations, reforming national health care legislation and encouraging the use of domestic energy resources.

Disappointment with the current administration’s economic policy, the importance of this presidential election and his respect for other economists who signed the statement factored into his decision to add his name, Borts said.

Roberto Serrano, chair of the economics department, declined to comment on Borts’ endorsement.

Many other faculty members have taken public stances to support liberal political candidates and liberal policy, wrote Terrence George ’13, president of the Brown Republicans, in an email to The Herald. These have included professors who have protested the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Brown, supported the Occupy movement and signed leftist political petitions, he said. George added that Borts should receive “the same level of quiet acceptance” from the Brown community as members of the faculty who voice liberal views.

Though Borts’ support for a Republican presidential candidate may place him in the minority of the University community, differing views can foster intellectual diversity and discussion, said Sofia Fernandez Gold ’14, president of the Brown Democrats.

Fernandez Gold said that she would be happy taking classes from professors of all political inclinations, as long as the professor’s personal views do not get in the way of teaching or result in discrimination.

“We can only truly understand why we believe what we do when our ideas are challenged, and we’re forced to defend them,” she said. “If I always stayed out of a classroom where a conservative professor was teaching, I don’t think I would learn a lot.”

“I try to stay on the economics, and also, if I do deal with issues that are controversial, I try to be sure that I will assign both positions. I don’t feel as if I’m there to proselytize,” Borts said. But he added that he will voice his opinion if asked and that the atmosphere at the University is one of free speech, which leads to healthy discussion among faculty and students.

Though offending the administration with one’s views was once grounds for being fired, the freedom of faculty to voice political views has been widespread at universities since the 20th century, he said.

“I’d like to think that voting for a Republican is still not going to lead people to be fired,” Borts said.

  • Anonymous

    Will they be supporting it when the details of the policy are revealed after election day?

  • Anonymous

    Mitt Romney will cut the deficit, cut taxes, cut spending, raise defense spending, protect Social Security and Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicare, grow the economy, give everyone a pony, and help you lose 25 pounds. Just elect him into office, then he’ll tell you the secret of how he will work these miracles. How could anyone NOT endorse such a plan?