GOP Economics - Jobs and Government Spending

August 31, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston

A post inspired by the speeches at the Republican convention last night.

America is the greatest country on earth. State and local government budget reductions have meant the layoff of more than 700,000 people who used to work in the public sector. You didn’t hear much about that at the convention.

I love America.  Of course, we already have too much government, and public sector jobs  – teachers, cops, firefighters, and many others – those are government jobs, so we’re better off without them.

God loves America.  The idea that government spending affects employment is one of those discredited Keynsian ideas that just gets in the way of tax cuts. 

I really, really, really love America. I thought I had finally understood the conservative economic idea that government spending does not create jobs and that cutting government spending in a recession does not eliminate jobs or delay job creation.

I believe in America. But then Mitt Romney said this to me last night.  “His trillion-dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs.”*

“His” referred to the President of the United States, who apparently does not think that America is the greatest country on earth, does not believe in America, and does not love America.

Oh, and did I forget to mention - America is the greatest country in the world.

* UPDATE, Sept. 10:  I’ve just learned that years ago, Barney Frank coined a term for people who, like Romney, claim that government spending weakens the economy, except for military spending, which creates jobs: “weaponized Keynesians.”  As Rep. Frank put it, they believe
that the government does not create jobs when it funds the building of bridges or important research or retrains workers, but when it builds airplanes that are never going to be used in combat, that is of course economic salvation.

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