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Impeccable Logic September 2, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in politics, Uncategorized.
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One of the main talking points of Republicans in this election year is that the stimulus didn’t work to generate jobs so we have to go back to conservative, supply-side  economics—cutting taxes for the wealthy and eliminating regulations on business.

In fact, Carly Fiorina made this argument in her debate with Senator Boxer on Wednesday.

But this argument makes no sense. Here is Steve Benen’s explanation of why its nonsense—his logic is impeccable.

“…in early 2009 there were basically four main approaches.

(1) Pass a massive, ambitious economic stimulus.

(2) Pass a trimmed down economic stimulus that could overcome a Republican filibuster.

(3) Do nothing.

(4) Pass a five-year spending freeze proposed by confused congressional Republicans at the time.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can safely say that (1) was the best option, but we ended up with (2). The policy was effective and worked as it was intended, but it was too small to generate a robust, sustained recovery.

But let’s be clear about this — the shortcomings of (2) doesn’t discredit (1). That’s actually backwards. For that matter, those who thought (4) was just a terrific idea — i.e., almost every single Republican serving in the United States Congress — aren’t in a position to complain about (2), since (2) was an infinitely superior approach to (3) and (4).

Some folks, at this point, get to say, “I told you so.” Every Republican critic of the stimulus isn’t in this group.

You see. This is not really that hard to figure out.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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Track Record January 11, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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Most Republicans were opposed to the stimulus package signed by Obama last year and, according to some polls, the public also has its doubts. But the people who measure such things agree that it prevented a deeper recession and has contributed to growth.

The American Enterprise Institute is a conservative outfit but even they grant that the stimulus package was effective. Via Jon Chait:

The real economy … responded to the massive stimulus but remained heavily dependent on it. In the United States, growth during the second half of 2009 probably averaged about 3 percent. Absent temporary fiscal stimulus and inventory rebuilding, which taken together added about 4 percentage points to U.S. growth, the economy would have contracted at about a 1 percent annual rate during the second half of 2009.

As Steve Benen noted last week:

The GOP said the stimulus package would fail to create jobs. We now know the Republicans were wrong.

The GOP said the recovery efforts would fail to generate economic growth. We now know the Republicans were wrong.

The GOP said the stimulus “failed.” We now know the Republicans were wrong.

The GOP said the government should cancel unspent recovery funds. We now know the Republicans were wrong.

The GOP said tax cuts are more effective at stimulating the economy than government spending. We now know the Republicans were wrong.

Had Republicans been in the majority a year ago, the results for the United States and the global economy likely would have been devastating. That GOP officials and their allies continue to pretend otherwise serves as a reminder of just how little role reality can play in our discourse.

book-section-book-cover2                        Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com