Wednesday, October 5, 2011

David Frum: "On the most urgent issue of the day...the GOP is seriously wrong"

I am loathe to credit former "W" Bush speech-writer David Frum - a leading proponent of the Iraq war and author of the nutty and utterly incoherent "Axis of Evil" (Iraq-Iran-North Korea) locution that signaled the cynicism and delusions of the Bush-Cheney inner circle - but increasingly Frum has come around to a relatively reasonable and chastened  conservatism that rejects the aggressive ignorance of the Tea Party Right and takes a step back from the most assertive neo-conservative expressions of global bullying as a "national security" strategy.

In a commentary entitled, paradoxically, "What Romney Gets Right", the conservative gadfly Frum acknowledges that the GOP is totally bankrupt in its economic agenda.

Frum's conclusions about the chameleon Romney are tepid at best ("the only one who has shown any degree of skepticism about the profoundly and dangerously mistaken Republican consensus"), but his indictment of Republican orthodoxy is brutal, considering it's coming from a very conservative author:
On the most urgent economic issue of the day – recovery from the Great Recession – the Republican consensus is seriously wrong.

It is wrong in its call for monetary tightening.

It is wrong to demand immediate debt reduction rather than wait until after the economy recovers.
It is wrong to deny that “we have a revenue problem.”
It is wrong in worrying too much about (non-existent) inflation and disregarding the (very real) threat of a second slump into recession and deflation.
It is wrong to blame government regulation and (as yet unimposed) tax increases for the severity of the recession.
It is wrong to oppose job-creating infrastructure programs.
It is wrong to hesitate to provide unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other forms of income maintenance to the unemployed.
It is wrong to fetishize the exchange value of the dollar against other currencies.
It is wrong to believe that cuts in marginal tax rates will suffice to generate job growth in today’s circumstance.
It is wrong to blame minor and marginal government policies like the Community Reinvestment Act for the financial crisis while ignoring the much more important role of government inaction to police overall levels of leverage within the financial system.
It is wrong to dismiss the Euro crisis as something remote from American concerns.
It is wrong to resist US cooperation with European authorities in organizing a work-out of the debt problems of the Eurozone countries.
It is wrong above all in its dangerous combination of apocalyptic pessimism about the long-term future of the country with aloof indifference to unemployment.

No comments:

Post a Comment