Top Economists Advise Against Trump

The Wall Street Journal contacted all 45 surviving former members of the three-member White House Council of Economic Advisers under the past eight presidents, going back to Richard Nixon.

Of the 23 Republican appointees, six said they did not support Mr. Trump, 11 declined to say either way, and six did not respond. Two plan to vote for Mrs. Clinton: Matthew Slaughter, George W. Bush appointee and Richard Schmalensee, George H.W. Bush appointee.

Richard Schmalensee, dean emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said Mr. Trump “would have to change both many of his positions and his character” to win my support.

Martin Feldstein, Harvard University economist and Ronald Reagan Council chair, said “I have known personally every Republican president since Richard Nixon. They all showed a real understanding of economics and international affairs ... Donald Trump does not have that understanding and does not seem to be concerned about it. That alone disqualifies him in my judgment.”

Gregory Mankiw, Harvard University economist and George W. Bush appointee, said he would not support Mr. Trump. “I have Republican friends who think that things couldn’t be worse than doubling down on Obama policies under Hillary Clinton. And, like them, I am no fan of the left’s agenda of large government and high taxes. But they are wrong: Things could be worse. And I fear they would be under Mr. Trump.”

Of the 22 Democratic appointees, 13 said they supported Mrs. Clinton, seven declined to say either way, and two didn’t respond.

William Nordhaus, Yale University economist and Jimmy Carter appointee, said some of Trump's proposals “range from dangerous to truly bizarre.”