Sunday, March 4, 2012

Paul Krugman: GOP Candidates Are “Fiscal Phonies”

Paul Krugman points out that for all their talk about the deficit, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul would leave us with much greater debt due to their zeal for more tax cuts for the wealthy, while they slash programs that benefit the middle class and the poor. The four Republican presidential candidates seek to reassure us that such cuts will stimulate the economy–a notion that should have been put to rest following the Bush administration. Excerpts from Krugman's “Four Fiscal Phonies”:

...all four significant Republican presidential candidates still standing are fiscal phonies. They issue apocalyptic warnings about the dangers of government debt and, in the name of deficit reduction, demand savage cuts in programs that protect the middle class and the poor. But then they propose squandering all the money thereby saved — and much, much more — on tax cuts for the rich.

And nobody should be surprised. It has been obvious all along, to anyone paying attention, that the politicians shouting loudest about deficits are actually using deficit hysteria as a cover story for their real agenda, which is top-down class warfare.

...here’s what [the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget] tells us: According to an “intermediate debt scenario,” the budget proposals of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney would all lead to much higher debt a decade from now than the proposals in the 2013 Obama budget. Ron Paul would do better, roughly matching Mr. Obama. But if you look at the details, it turns out that Mr. Paul is assuming trillions of dollars in unspecified and implausible spending cuts. So, in the end, he’s really a spendthrift, too.

Is there any way to make the G.O.P. proposals seem fiscally responsible? Well, no — not unless you believe in magic. Sure enough, voodoo economics is making a big comeback, with Mr. Romney, in particular, asserting that his tax cuts wouldn’t actually explode the deficit because they would promote faster economic growth and this would raise revenue.

And you might find this plausible if you spent the past two decades sleeping in a cave somewhere...

2 comments:

Michael The Molar Maven said...

It seems to me that those who cry the loudest about the deficit are the ones who feel the recession the least.

Jeff Tone said...

Michael, that's why they are so focused on the wrong solution, deficit cutting, instead of the one that wil help those who feel the recession the most, jobs.