The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology. They, who do not understand monetary sovereignty, do not understand economics.
For those of you who don’t remember the Great Depression (almost everyone, now), it began in 1929, after several years of federal surpluses ( Item 3.), but by the early-1930’s we already were on our way to recovery – something like today. Then, the government decided to reduce the federal deficit with increased taxes and reduced spending — something like today. So we had four more years of depression (something like tomorrow?)
According to Wikipedia: “The Recession of 1937–1938, sometimes called the Roosevelt Recession, was a temporary reversal of the pre-war 1933 to 1941 economic recovery from the Great Depression in the United States. Economists disagree about the causes of this downturn. Keynesian economists tend to assign blame to cuts in Federal spending and increases in taxes at the insistence of the US Treasury, while monetarists, most notably Milton Friedman tended to assign blame to the Federal Reserve’s tightening of the money supply in 1936 and 1937.”.
Hmmm. Let’s think about that. “Cuts in federal spending . . . and increases in taxes” = federal deficit reduction. “Tightening of the money supply . . .” also = federal deficit reduction. So here you had two different schools of thought, both saying essentially the same thing. The 1937 recession was caused by what we today refer to as “austerity.”
So what do our political leaders favor, now that we are creeping out of the latest recession. Yes, that same austerity. Republicans hate federal spending. They stand ready with dozens of proposals to slash the federal budget. Reportedly, they want to cut $260 billion (25%) from the federal budget. Now that should be stimulative.
Republicans also do not believe their proposed cuts in education, Medicare, unemployment compensation and many other worthy federal projects will hurt anything or anyone.
The Democrats are no smarter. They have to be dragged kicking and screaming, to retain (not even cut, just retain) the Bush era tax levels. They do not believe taxes, which remove money from the economy, slow the recovery. They want to tax the “wealthy,” because . . . well, because that is what Democrats, with their eternal class warfare strategy, do.
Then we have the media. My hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune repeatedly rails against the federal debt. They never explain why. They don’t provide data. They just don’t like it. The Tribune is typical of the media, which almost universally hate the debt, and almost universally don’t provide data supporting their position.
And then there is Fed Chairman Bernanke, who feels we must “act to bring down long-term fiscal deficits.” He too, has no clue about why and never gives a coherent reason.
Finally, we have the mainstream economists – all those Nobel winners – none of whom seem to understand monetary sovereignty, and all of whom call for less deficit spending.
Put them all together and things look very bad for this fragile economy. With leaders like these, who needs enemies?
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity. Those who say the stimulus “didn’t work” remind me of the guy whose house is on fire. A neighbor runs with a garden hose and starts spraying, but the fire continues. The neighbor wants to call the fire department, which would bring the big hoses, but the guy says, “Don’t call. As you can see, water doesn’t put out fires.”