have actually had a massive unethical human experiment in austerity
doctrine. Here we have had this view
that cutting government spending is going to be good for the economy even when
the economy is deeply depressed and we have put it into effect in large parts
of Europe and we have put it into effect to a significant effect in the US . . . . And the results have been exactly what someone like me said
that they would be, which is there has been a very depressing effect on the
economy. Where is the evidence that this
other view is at all right?”
Unfortunately, it looks as if Romney is inconsistent with his views on government spending, though it is possible to rationalize this quote by saying that changing spending will temporarily create frictional unemployment. From an interview in Time Magazine:
Halperin: I want to get to a lot of those, and let’s go to spending, which is a big thing for you, one of the bases of comparison – you say you’d cut spending a lot more than the President has. And like most governors I know, you can get down in the detail. A lot of people don’t know that about you; you can really get your arms around a policy issue and go deep, so let’s talk about spending. You have a plan, as you said, over a number of years, to reduce spending dramatically. Why not in the first year, if you’re elected — why not in 2013, go all the way and propose the kind of budget with spending restraints, that you’d like to see after four years in office? Why not do it more quickly?
Romney: Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I’m not going to do that, of course. What you do is you make adjustments on a basis that show, in the first year, actions that over time get you to a balanced budget. So I’m not saying I’m going to come up with ideas five or ten years from now that get us to a balanced budget. Instead I’m going to take action immediately by eliminating programs like Obamacare, which become more and more expensive down the road – by eliminating them, we get to a balanced budget. And I’d do it in a way that does not have a huge reduction in the first year, but instead has an increasing reduction as time goes on, and given the growth of the economy, you don’t have a reduction in the overall scale of the GDP. I don’t want to have us go into a recession in order to balance the budget. I’d like to have us have high rates of growth at the same time we bring down federal spending, on, if you will, a ramp that’s affordable, but that does not cause us to enter into a economic decline. . . .
Labels: austerity, GDP, keynesianism, paulkrugman, stimulus