Mitt and GOP Offer Voodoo Economics Again

From “What the war over ‘didn’t build that’ is really about,” Greg Sargent, The Plum Line:

“As it happens, mainstream economic consensus is closer to Obama than to Romney on the broader questions here.  Many economists believe the stimulus worked (albeit not as well as we’d like); that tax cuts for the wealthy won’t magically create enough growth to pay for themselves; that more spending now would indeed create jobs; and that more austerity now could make things worse. The public’s views on these matters are not nearly as clear cut.  But on the question of the relationship between government spending and job creation, Romney’s positions are at odds with mainstream economic opinion. ‘The debate in Washington has become completely unmoored from this consensus,’ Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers write today.  ‘Republicans have pushed their representatives to adopt positions that are at odds with the best of modern economic thinking.’

Romney does not have a plan to fix the short term crisis, in the sense that he’d be proposing exactly the same things if the economy were doing great.  But the politics of the presidential race are such that Romney needs to promise that electing him would fix the crisis.  To make this case, he has to sell the American people on the idea that government — and Obama’s hostility towards individual initiative and American free enterprise — are to blame for holding back the recovery, and that shoving both of those things ‘out of the way’ will reignite the economy.  That’s why Romney continues to falsely claim that stimulus spending only succeeded in growing government and didn’t help the private sector at all. That’s why he continues to falsely claim that Obama ‘demeans success.’  That’s why he continues to falsely claim that Obama thinks only government, and not individual initiative, creates jobs — and that this is why you’re suffering.

“These ideas are essential to Romney’s entire argument. Without them, he doesn’t have one.”  Italics in original; emphasis added.

The austerity the GOP wants to push in this country is failing in Britain.  The latest numbers there show a double-dip recession.  That’s what Mitt offers. 

I think the question for this election isn’t so much “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” (although clearly we are, because the economy was losing 750,000 jobs a month then), but “Could you be much worse off four years from now?”


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