Friday, March 23, 2012

If the Other Side Is Always Dead Wrong about Debt—

—Then No One Can Ever Be Right for the Economy:

23 MARCH 2012

Everyone, Even Most Democrats, believes that we need to get government investment in line with tax revenues over time, or America will be economically ruined. The two sides, Republican and Democrat, just have two different theories behind how best to accomplish this.

The theory behind Democratic thinking is that cutting government spending in times of economic crisis invites disaster. Instead, a focus on government investing at such times revitalizes the economy, for future growth to get things ultimately in balance.

The Republican theory seems to be that cutting spending always helps, no matter the particulars of the day. This one-size-fits-all approach to economics may be correct. But we haven’t seen it much borne out in history.

We Need to Find Some Way to work on these differences with reasonable discourse. The shouting, railing and denouncing of each other gets us nowhere.

Democrats and Republicans Alike, and everybody in between, know that we need to get government spending under control. The Democrats favor a moderate approach, finding ways to increase revenue and then to modify government programs over time, as conditions improve. Meanwhile, the contrary opinion—about “job creators”—looks somewhat foolish while so many such “creators” are pouring millions of dollars into failing presidential-nominee campaigns.

(Could it be all this political spending finally be that’s finally gotten the economy growing again? How ironic if it takes political “hot air” to inflate the economy more than any particular candidate’s words or actions do—if and when she or he is elected.)

(In which case, perhaps thanks may be due the Supreme Court Justices, for the unintended consequences of their “Citizens United” decision.)

History Shows that spending cuts during hard times slow the progress of recovery.

Even today, while local governments are cutting police, firefighter, and teacher jobs almost as fast as the Obama-led government can stimulate jobs in the private sector, we see the counter-productive effects of trying to save water during a fire, by turning off the fire hoses.

Say What You Like about opposing opinions based on different theories, both are likely to hold elements of truth.

But if you can only make your argument by shouting down the corollary facts on the opposite side—as so many Americans seem to do—then you’ll likely make a lot of noise, but get very little good work done.

(($; -)}


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