Axios omits crucial details about economists who say Trump will destroy the economy

A letter signed by 16 top economists warning of the economic dangers of electing former President Trump, which is being amplified by the Biden campaign and other Biden surrogates, is littered with signatories who have either donated to Biden or supported him politically in the past.

‘While each of us has different views on the particulars of various economic policies, we all agree that Joe Biden’s economic agenda is vastly superior to Donald Trump,’ the economists wrote in a letter first reported on by Axios this week that has been promoted by various members of the Biden campaign on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

The letter’s Nobel Prize-winning signatories show political donations to President Biden’s 2020 and 2024 campaigns. The signatories also donated tens of thousands of dollars to other Democrat candidates and signed previous letters supporting Biden’s agenda, including attacking ‘selfish and reckless’ Trump, a Fox News Digital review found.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz, the Columbia University professor who reportedly spearheaded the letter, previously signed a letter supporting Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and donated $1,250 to the Biden Victory Fund in 2020. 

Between 2004 and 2020, Stiglitz donated over $90,000 to Democrat candidates, FEC records show.

Georgetown University Professor George A. Akerlof, who is married to Biden’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, donated $25,000 to the Biden Victory Fund and maxed out as a donor in 2020, giving the campaign $5,600.

Akerlof, who donated nearly $90,000 to Democrats between the 1990s and 2022, also signed a letter supporting Build Back Better, and signed a letter in 2020 calling Trump’s re-election effort ‘selfish and reckless.’

Harvard University economist and historian Claudia Goldin donated $500 to the Biden campaign in 2020 and 2024 and has donated over $8,000 to Democrats in recent years. Goldin also signed a 2020 letter endorsing the Biden campaign. 

Economist and mathematician Eric Maskin signed a 2020 letter expressing support for the Biden campaign’s agenda and donated $3,000 to Democrats in recent years, including Senate candidates Raphael Warnock, Beto O’Rourke and Jon Ossoff. 

When reached for comment on his background supporting Biden and Democrats, Maskin said, ‘Although I am a registered Democrat and have donated money to Democratic candidates on occasion, I have also voted for many Republicans over the years (including Bill Weld and Charlie Baker for governor of Massachusetts)’ in a statement to Fox News Digital.

He added that he considers himself to ‘be more a centrist than a strong partisan in either ideological direction’ and pointed to an op-ed he recently wrote against political polarization in favor of a Republican senator and ‘supported the 2020 Biden agenda on its economic merits and signed the recent letter for the same reasons.’

Paul Milgrom, an economist at Stanford University, also previously signed letters supporting Build Back Better and calling Trump’s 2020 campaign ‘selfish and reckless.’

Daniel McFadden, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, donated at least $4,500 to Democrats in 2020. He also signed onto a letter saying Biden’s Build Back Better plan will ‘ease’ inflation. He was also part of another letter endorsing Biden in 2020.

Roger Myerson, an economist at the University of Chicago, donated $2,350 to the Biden campaign in 2020 and $250 in 2024 on top of donating over $40,000 to Democrats between 2004 and 2024.

Myerson also previously signed a letter backing Build Back Better and Biden’s economic recovery agenda. The University of Chicago economist took to X after the letter was published, posting, ‘A dictator from day 1 would be bad for America, and we should testify to that fact as patriotic Americans.’

‘As economists we can testify that his policies would not help against inflation either,’ he added.

Economist Edmund S. Phelps wrote an article in 2020 called ‘The Economic Case for Biden’ and also said that everything Trump has stood for in the past has been a ‘disaster.’

Phelps has also donated to Democrats in the past, including a $1,500 donation to a Democratic House candidate and $25 to Pete Buttigieg.

Paul Romer, an economist at Boston College, has previously described the Trump years as ‘miserable’ and publicly supported his impeachment. Romer endorsed Biden in a 2020 letter, praised Biden’s pandemic plan, and signed a letter in support of Build Back Better.

Stanford University economist Alvin Roth also signed multiple letters opposing Trump and supported the letter that referred to him as ‘selfish and reckless’ on top of donating $1,250 to presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

Nobel Prize-winning economist William Sharpe donated $500 to the Biden campaign and $500 to the Biden Victory Fund in 2020. Sharpe also signed a letter to business leaders in 2020 arguing that it was time to speak out against Trump and the ‘threat’ he ‘poses to the Republic.’

Robert Shiller, a Yale University economist, donated $1,000 to the Biden Victory Fund in 2020 and over $20,000 to Democrats in total in recent years. In 2019, Shiller said he would support any candidate over Trump.

Princeton University economist Christopher Sims donated $500 to the Biden Victory Fund in 2020 and over $9,000 to various Democrats. 

Two British economists on the list, Sir Oliver Hart and Sir Angus Deaton, signed a letter in support of Build Back Better. Hart endorsed Biden in 2020 and also signed the 2020 letter calling Trump ‘selfish and reckless.’

Several Biden campaign officials pounced on the story Tuesday morning to amplify the Axios report, including the Biden campaign’s rapid response adviser, James Singer, and campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez.

White House senior deputy press secretary Andrew Bates and other Biden surrogates also shared the report and quoted from it, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Tim Murtaugh, who served as Trump’s 2020 campaign spokesman, mocked the report on social media Tuesday, saying, ‘How amazing that this happens just in time for Biden to reference it in the upcoming debate (it’s a good bet that he does).’

‘It’s almost as much of a stroke of luck as the letter from 51 intelligence officers claiming that Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation,’ Murtaugh continued. ‘Amazing.’

Axios did not note the previous political activism of the economists in the story nor did it note that one of the top signatories is married to Yellen.

Axios did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Fox News Digital reached out to the Biden campaign and all 16 economists for comment.

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