Tuesday, November 1, 2011

When Republicans Become Keynsians

To grow this economy we need to cut spending. The deficit is an enormous burden on job creation, as are taxes. So, say the Republicans, let's cut taxes. And cut spending even more. On education, health services, research, welfare, etc.

What about defense? Can't do that!! That would cost us jobs. Krugman has a good article on the recent flip flop from Republicans here. It's the weaponized Keynzians. Stimulus to create stuff we blow up? Good. Stimulus to help average Americans? Bad. Yglesias likewise comments.

And I agree with Yglesias. For once the Republicans are right. Cutting defense spending would be a real blow to the economy. It's probably true that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have prevented our economic situation from being even worse. That's an absurdity, but it's a consequence of our consumption based economy.

Notice the pattern though of the right wing apologist. When it comes to government spending that helps the average guy they talk about waste, misallocation of resources, Milton Friedman is awesome, etc. When it comes to spending on war? A lot of chirping crickets. Austerity is for poor people. For the rich? Socialism.


Sheldon said...

Yes, and all that war spending can be taken out of defense and put into positive spending on things that last and people use.

HispanicPundit said...

The same flip could be said of Democrats but in the other direction: when it comes to spending that goes to pet projects, they are for it. Spending that wasn't even timed to coincide with the recession - for it. Then they are Keynsian. But when it comes to spending that is actually written into the constitution, spending that protects our security, spending that is directed at people putting their lives on the line to protect our freedom...well, all of the sudden they are budget deficit hawks.

Does that sound partisan? Of course. Now you know how your post reads to others on the opposite side.

But atleast conservatives have the constitution on their side...

Jon said...

The Democrats say that? The Democrats say that we should cut military spending in order to create jobs?

Sure, they say we should cut spending to reduce the deficit. If your goal is reducing the deficit military spending is a good place to start. That's true. They're right about that. But show me a Democrat that says cutting military spending is the prescription for reducing unemployment.

Chad said...

Problem here is that the Dems want to cut Defense and shift the spending to other places of their choosing - just like Sheldon said.

For every dollar cut in Defense (Repubs sacred cow) then a dollar should be cut from Entitlements (Dems sacred cow) - done.

Its gonna be a painful climb out of this gigantic hole that gov't has created via the hand of both Repubs and Dems.

There is an answer to the problem that neither side will be happy with.

HispanicPundit said...

Increased spending, not cuts. Democrats are for INCREASED spending to generate jobs - but when it comes to increased MILITARY spending, they back down. Same argument in reverse.

Jon said...

HP, are you being serious?

Here's 2 different statements.

1-Government spending creates jobs.
2-I support ALL government spending efforts because government spending creates jobs.

It's like your saying that since Democrats think spending creates jobs they must support every job creation effort the government comes up with, even if the job is bombing people and stabbing people. Sure, hiring stabbers creates jobs. Doesn't mean everyone should support it.

Paul said...

HP -

But when it comes to spending that is actually written into the constitution, spending that protects our security

Showing my ignorance on the matter. Can you tell me which part of the constitution states this. I'd like to read the actual verbiage. Thanks

Jon said...

For every dollar cut in Defense (Repubs sacred cow) then a dollar should be cut from Entitlements (Dems sacred cow) - done.

If your goal is to send us to some sort of Great Depression then sure, that's a great idea.

There is an answer to the problem that neither side will be happy with.

You got that right. I'm guessing even HP would be unhappy.

Paul said...

btw - I am guessing, not sure, you may be referring to the following

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

However, the wording you used and the wording from the constitution are not quite the same so I am thinking maybe you are referring to something else.

Chad said...

Yeah stealing from haves to give to the have nots is better - my bad.

Since Imam funding thesemfine people tomsit on their ass then the least that they could do is mow my lawn don't you think?

HispanicPundit said...


Here and here are two good sources. With that said, can you find anywhere in the constitution where it gives congress permission to provide for say, healthcare coverage? Education? Safety nets?


You may see military spending as tantamount to "stabbing people" but that is certainly not the Democrats position. You take their public position on the military and their public position on increased military spending and its just as hypocritical as the Republicans - actually more so, since they are the Keynsians.

Oh and, remember all the great things that military spending created? Need I go into the internet, GPS, computer, etc even Steve Jobs, remember, couldn't have been without it. Now you want real bang for your buck, I say increase military spending and spend less on other weak spending like the fiscal "stimulus". There, that's a better jobs bill than Obama's! :-)

Oh wait, Republicans are already fighting for that...

Paul said...

HP -

I was familiar w/ the first link you provided. I glanced through the Heritage one.

With that said, can you find anywhere in the constitution where it gives congress permission to provide for say, healthcare coverage? Education? Safety nets?

So we are clear; I had not made a statement one way or another w/ regards to this topic outside of asking you to provide sources of the claim *you* made
But when it comes to spending that is actually written into the constitution, spending that protects our security

But to answer you question -
healthcare coverage? Education? Safety nets?

I wouldn't suspect the constitution to mention healthcare coverage at all. We are talking about a document written around 230 years ago where the notion of healthcare itself (as we conceive of it now) may not have existed and/or applied. Similarly for safety nets. As for education I don't know. Ultimately - article 1 section 8 does state the following

"to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"

I suspect what general Welfare means to you is different than what is means to me. For me ensuring that the populace is healthy-ish, educated society is providing for the Welfare of the nation. Perhaps you disagree.

I think the constitution is a product of very enlightened men. However, it is in some ways a product of its time.

I am neither lawyer and clearly not a constitution scholar so keep that in mind.

From this same section of the constitution it states -

"To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years"

What do you think this means? I don't know but it does sound a bit as making a case against a standing army.

HispanicPundit said...


Yeah, didn't mean to imply you were taking a position one way or the other. Just trying to reiterate the point to others reading the discussion that atleast in this case, it's Republicans who are more aligned with the constitution.

Whether the constitution is out dated, needs revising, or is sufficient for today's needs is a whole different discussion.

Chad said...

The Constitution was built to allow change through the Admendment Process outlined in Article V.

Liberals love the 'Welfare" portion of the Constitution and run with it fully, but when you read the Federalist Papers and you actually take the time to read the writings of our founders during that time you can see what that sentence was supposed to mean.


Reading the writings of our Founders - Madison, Jefferson and Franklin (others as well) they wanted gov't to have very limited power for good reason and they warned in their writings what would come from a gov't that got too large and too powerfull.

Here is a quote from Madison that says it all.

"Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government."

Chad said...

Another of my favorite quotes from Thomas Jefferson - read these carefully Jon - this is a brilliant man dropping some commons sense knowledge.

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." - Thomas Jefferson

Another one.

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

How amazing is it that these great men predicted with such clarity how this once great country would fall. That is the Liberal mission statement - vote for us and we'll take care of you.

Jon said...

Chad, regarding stealing from the wealthy, you must distinguish what I'm saying here about the effects on the economy of government job reduction and the morality of the existence of government jobs.

Here's a claim that I think HP would agree with. You cut government jobs right now (military and non-military) you create some really bad economic conditions. Unemployment is a genuine short term problem and these actions really won't help.

Whether or not it's moral to take from the wealthy and generate these government jobs is a separate question. Maybe it's "wrong" (whatever you might mean by that). That's not really what I'm discussing.

Just as an example, take Stalin. Stalin wanted to industrialize. He knew the Soviet Union had a strong agricultural sector and no industry. So here's what he did. He worked farmers to the bone, took all their profits, and used that money to industrialize. Farmers starved by the millions. Did it work? Economically it did. He did industrialize, and that was his goal. It was also wrong because he starved people like crazy.

And regarding the founders, here's a tip. The Federalist Papers are the public face of the founders. In other words, this is how you spin it in order to make it look good. If you really want to know what they are thinking you have to read the actual arguments that occurred in Washington. You get stuff like this:

Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability. Various have been the propositions; but my opinion is, the longer they continue in office, the better will these views be answered. - James Madison

Madison is also famous for saying "The people are a great beast." He feared the common man and wanted to deny him access. The rulers are to be a wealthy elite. That's not the kind of talk that is offered of the fathers for public consumption, but it's true.

Chad said...

He said that Tuesday June 26th, 1787 - I enjoy reading all that I can about the formation of our country.

Protecting is a far far far cry from providing. A properly formed gov't body should not allow power to persuade the arguement. Your doing the Liberal trick - take a pure statement - throw dirt on it, twist it a little here, wash it off - paint it and magically it means something else.

All of the Founding Fathers would be disgusted at the Liberal movement that has occured in this country. The liberty and freedoms that they fought for, all the sacrifices that were made now ruined by a group of people who spit on Liberty and who do not believe in the God that guided them. It is a shame.