Sunday, August 21, 2011

Obama’s Broken Record: Spend Now, Cut Later and Only Fools Disagree

The BEA’s downward revision of GDP revealed that we have yet to recover back to pre-recession levels. Rather than taking this bad news as evidence we need to cut government spending and deficits, the Obama administration sees an opportunity to spend more now and cut later. Maybe we won’t even need the cuts if business activity picks up, he says.

Obama’s liberal mouthpiece, the New York Times, reveals Obama’s new political strategy without apology:

“The President spent this week combining his pitch for deficit reduction with a renewed emphasis on the need for further temporary spending and tax cuts to encourage businesses to hire and consumers to spend.”

Note the “bait and switch:” We spend now temporarily and cut in the distant future, if at all. We have heard this “Let’s spend more now and save later” too often. The elder Bush actually fell for it, and it cost him his reelection.

The NYT’s second drumbeat is that all “reasonable” economists agree that we should spend now and save later. After all, we all know the first Obama stimulus worked:

“Contrary to Republicans’ claims, economists generally judged his 2009-10 stimulus program to have helped, but to have been insufficient to overcome the deep downturn.”

The NYT has at least the decency to say instead of “all” economists that:

“many economists argue that while temporary spending and tax cuts [e.g., a second stimulus] add to deficits initially, such measures can increase tax collections, reduce costs for safety-net programs and ultimately keep deficits smaller than otherwise by spurring business activity and lowering unemployment.”

What is this? Lower taxes raise revenue by promoting economic activity? Is this not “voodoo economics”? I guess as long as the tax cuts are not for the rich, the NYT can embrace voodoo economics.

President Obama reminds me of an inept magician who attempts to misdirect his audience from the rabbit up his sleeve (more spending and deficits) to a beautiful bikini –clad female assistant (spending cuts and deficit reduction). No matter, how often he is caught, he tries it again.

I am becoming like a broken record too. This is at least the third post I have written on the lack of consensus on Keynesian economics and stimulus spending.

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