Thursday, February 14, 2013

News Flash! Republicans Admit Austerity Hurts Employment!

From Paul Krugman (what? you don't like Krugman? hooboy, are you ever reading the wrong blog right now!):
Even Republicans admit, albeit selectively, that spending cuts hurt employment. Thus John McCain warned earlier this week that the defense cuts scheduled to happen under the budget sequester would cause the loss of a million jobs. It’s true that Republicans often seem to believe in “weaponized Keynesianism,” a doctrine under which military spending, and only military spending, creates jobs. But that is, of course, nonsense. By talking about job losses from defense cuts, the G.O.P. has already conceded the principle of the thing.
(Bolds mine. - SB)

"Weaponized Keynesianism" ... to this have we sunk.

If any government spending creates jobs, all government spending creates jobs. Whether any given government spending is of value to the Republican observer is irrelevant to the fact that it creates jobs. The only problem is getting GOPers to admit it. Indeed, to their likely horror, government spending in support of increasing employment or providing direct benefits to people who are broke surely increases demand more than bankrolling large defense contractors, who are less likely to spend those bucks than poor people. But that fact runs contrary to Republican "philosophy," if one can dignify what they peddle with that term. So we have, as Krugman notes, John Boehner hawking austerity as the solution to the problem he claims he's seen in his 22 years in government. See Krugman's facts to the contrary, facts doubtless toxic to GOPers like Boehner: a goodly chunk of that time was in Bill Clinton's economically very successful presidency.

We can have austerity or prosperity, but we can't have both at once right now. Austerity will undermine demand; lack of demand will undermine prosperity. Now, that wasn't too difficult to understand, was it? One would think even a Republican... never mind.

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