GOP Squares off Against Economists, Reality

But we already knew that, didn't we? Here's the first salvo in their latest crusade against rationality, in the form of the following statement from Boehner's office, circa formation of the debt panel committee:
Deficit reduction will spur job creation and, therefore, the supercommittee does not need to take on an additional mission. “As every economist and every rating agency has made clear, getting our deficit under control is the first step to help get our economy growing again and to create jobs."
Stopped laughing yet? Okay.

It hardly seems necessary to point out how time after time, it has been determined that, no, tax cuts don't quite create jobs like the GOP wishes they would, but I kinda can't resist this:
"Congressman Cantor (R-VA) either failed English class or failed logic class or failed history class because these tax cuts for the rich that Bush did twice, in '01 and '03, resulted in very little economic growth. We saw only one million jobs created in the Bush years, 22 million created in the Clinton years when we reached a balanced budget with a fairer tax system," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said on MSNBC.
In other words, Boehner et al could not be more laughably wrong. Forget the fact that seeking universal consensus among economists is akin to hunting unicorns; there is no way even a majority of them believes in tax-cut, trickle down voodoo nonsense. A sampling of economists who are on record as agreeing, though, includes the likes of Paul Krugman, Alice Rivlin, Christina Romer, Greg Ip, Jared Bernstein, and Larry Summers. The point on which they all agree? Deficit reduction should be a long-term concern only and that what the economy needs right now is juice, spending, "increasing aggregate demand," or as it's commonly known, stimulus:
Contrary to Boehner's spokesman's claim that "every economist" agrees with the need for immediate cuts in government spending, there is an essentially limitless supply of economists on the left, on the right, and in between who argue the exact opposite. Nobel Prize-winning economists. Economists who have run the OMB and CBO and CEA and Treasury Department; economists who work at investment banks and elite universities. There is simply no conceivable way that John Boehner and his spokesman don't know this. They must. They're lying. And it's a lie that has driven the nation's economic strategy for two years, as policymakers and politicians in both parties have prioritized deficits over jobs, with negative consequences for both.
Happily, it isn't just pointy-headed ivory tower intellectuals pointing out the profound wrongness of the GOP's approach. Not that they have much more regard for government administrators, but I'd hope they would listen when someone from the CBO itself speaks out against their "plan," or at least in support of the opposite approach. Doug Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, had this to say to members of the Murray/Hensarling Superduper Congressional Debt Übercommittee, after he told them the deficit must get worse before it gets better.:
“If policymakers wanted to achieve both a short-term economic boost and medium- and long-term fiscal sustainability,” Elmendorf said, the “most effective” policy would be “changes in taxes and spending that would widen the deficit now but narrow it later in the decade.” ...“Attaining a sustainable budget for the federal government will require the United States to deviate from the policies of the past 40 years in at least one of the following ways,” he said. “Raise federal revenues significantly above their average share of GDP; make major changes to the sorts of benefits provided for Americans when they become older; or substantially reduce the role of the rest of the federal government relative to the size of the economy.”
So, it's raise taxes, cut seniors' benefits or whittle governance down so it fits in the soap dish of Grover's proverbial bathtub. I wonder which solution the GOP will favor? Obama's jobs bill contains tax cuts for workers and some employers. It does not contribute to the debt. It will add thousands upon thousands of jobs -- which is tantamount to saving their own damn hides at this point -- and yet they still resist.
Taken together, every credible observer with a pulse — the Fed, the CBO, a wide variety of economists, the financial industry, the bond market, business leaders — are all saying more or less the same thing. They all want policymakers to approve short-term stimulus and oppose drastic short-term budget cuts. GOP officials, of course, desperately want to do the opposite.
"Credible" being the key word, I guess.