You know that article portraying the White House paralysis in the face of 9.1% unemployment? Should they do nothing and run on the promise of more deficit and entitlement cuts in a second term? Or should they do almost nothing, like renaming the Department of Commerce “The Department of Confidence Fairies”?
It gets still worse:
There’s an article in today’s NYT on the economic debate within the White House. The print version—not the online one—contains this quote from an admin official:
“It would be political folly to make the argument that government spending equals jobs.”
Really? I mean, I get the reluctance, and certainly the “spending=jobs” frame, while essentially correct, may not be the right way to frame it.
But in fact, the best way to get people back to work right now, with consumers weakened and investment on the sidelines is through more government spending…it should be targeted and temporary, but jeez, the President himself has been making this point, and correctly pointing out that R’s are blocking him on it. [my emphasis]
The President did an event on Thursday in a shiny new factory that owes its existence to government spending. The jobs at that factory are some of the best jobs created in the last decade, because they’re innovative, they include high end jobs in a new segment, and (if the President doesn’t send them all away with trade deals) they make us competitive internationally.