Reducing Republican plans to spur the economy to “tired slogans about cutting regulations and spending”, the New York Times editorial board on Wednesday accused Senate Republicans of engaging in “economic vandalism” for their “unanimous decision . . . on Tuesday to filibuster and thus kill President Obama’s jobs bill”. Citing conclusions reached by a group a selected group of economists, the Times editors ignore Republican concerns about the package’s cost and similarity to the Democrat’s stimulus, er, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
They also ignore economists, including the two who just won the Nobel Prize in economists, who have “separately produced empirical data that Keynesian stimulus theory is highly questionable.”
That Democrats’ costly stimulus, as we recall, worked wonders to restore our economy, keeping unemployment only a point or two above the rate forecast by the administration’s economic team had the package failed. (And even as these editors fault Republicans for their “lack of serious ideas” or offering up “an ash heap of used ideas,” they fail to note how the president’s current package is merely a scaled down version of the failed “stimulus.”)
Citing not a Republican legislator — or even a GOP political strategist — but instead a representative of the president’s reelection campaign, Times editors contend Republicans seem
content to run out the clock on Mr. Obama’s term while doing very little. On Tuesday, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, accused Republicans of trying to “suffocate the economy” in hopes that the pain would work to their political advantage.
Problem with this talking point is that Republicans are willing to support items on the president’s economic agenda when they are consistent with conservative principles. Just this week, House and Senate Republicans overwhelmingly supported three free-trade agreements that the president also backed. (more…)