Sunday, November 2, 2008

Economic Hacks for McCain

This article in the L.A. Times on the candidates' economic programs includes the following bits:

"Barack Obama is a sure-fire depression," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's domestic policy chief.
...
"The policy Obama has proposed is unlikely to result in any economic growth," said Alex Brill, a research fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.
Not any economic growth? An economist with any self-respect would be ashamed to see his name in print next to such a ridiculous claim.

Obama would raise tax rates to at or below where they were during the Clinton years, a period of tremendous prosperity and sustained job growth. The idea that these policies would grind the economy to a halt or plunge us into a depression is not a serious claim. (Or maybe Holtz-Eakin is referring to his own psychological state?)

The article quotes Jared Bernstein as saying, correctly, "You can't find evidence that low tax rates foster high economic growth." What we need for long-term growth are the investments in education and infrastructure that Obama is proposing.

2 comments:

B. S. E. said...

"What we need for long-term growth are the investments in education and infrastructure that Obama is proposing."

Exactely! Besides, govt. spending spurs growth! Have people forgotton how we got out of the Great Depression? Not by cutting the size of govt. (as though that was a goal pursuing for its own sake). The way I see it, increasing social service and infrastructure spending is hitting two birds with one rock - it spurs growth by increasing aggregate demand and perpetuates the common directly by providing better services.

pants said...

Here come the Hail Marys from the McCain campaign. Get ready for more in the next 24 hours.