The Federal Reserve's near-zero interest rate policy amounts to trickle-down economics and will not fix the U.S. economy, Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities said on Tuesday.
The Fed has held interest rates near zero since December 2008 in a bid to increase lending and spur economic growth. The policy has also driven investors into equity markets because stocks provide the yield they can can no longer get from bonds.
While many economists expect an initial 25-basis point rate hike at the central bank's September meeting, Vitner said the economic data available to that point won't look good.
"If you look at the data they're likely to see in September, it's going to be a GDP number less than 2 percent in the second quarter, a GDP number that's negative in the first quarter, and no reading on third-quarter GDP yet," he said.
"It may be a little uncomfortable to raise rates in a sub-2 percent GDP world," he added.
Mark Okada, co-founder and CIO at Highland Capital Management, told "Squawk Box" that the Fed should have raised rates already.
While low rates have helped pump up equity markets, raising rates would help Americans save money more efficiently, freeing them to spend more of their income in the broader economy, Okada said.
Near-zero interest rate policy boosts wealth, he said, but added, "There's a certain point where it stops working. It doesn't reach the right part of the economy."