Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pushing spending cuts will kill a fragile recovery

Please don't "compromise" on a machete...
Deficit hysteria - pushed by a "Tea Partyized" GOP that refuses to take responsibility for creating the long-term deficits with their tax cut dogmas over three decades - has poisoned the debate over a responsible economic agenda.

The Republicans refuse to even discuss anything other than deep cuts in spending, killing government programs including Medicare and - of course - more across-the-board tax cuts benefiting the economic elite.  This is a recipe for disaster. Arguably it's a politically calculated strategy to target Obama for an economic crisis triggered under Bush by prolonging recession and unemployment.  Whether it's driven by pure cynicism or willful ignorance, we don't have to hypothesize the result - the evidence is in from overseas on the most likely outcome.

David Dayen, writing at American Prospect, has an excellent piece that looks at the apparent bi-partisan buy-in to deficit hysterics - under the gun of GOP/Tea Party fanaticism - and how it threatens to kill jobs. He notes that the austerity/spending cuts agenda hasn't worked in England and there's no reason to believe it can work here.  The danger of austerity when consumer demand is already in the dumps is a double-dip recession. As Dayen frames it, "I Ruined the Economy and All I Got Were These Lousy Tax Cuts":