A Useful Compilation Of Republican Economic Thinking

by Jonathan Chait | August 5, 2011

The Jennifer Rubin post I mentioned earlier this morning also usefully reveals the paucity of Republican economic analysis. The party's agenda largely consists of maintaining current tax rates and deepening fiscal contraction. Rubin compiles quotes from various Republicans. Only Michelle Bachmann offers any prescriptive element. Let's look at her soundbites one by one:

When I asked economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum about his assessment of our economic woes, he pointed to investors moving back to Treasurys (and out of the stock market) with the U.S. debt ceiling crisis resolved, the European debt crisis growing and the realization that “Obama has no strategy for growth and jobs.” He says, “Bottom line — the absence of good news leads to a cumulative lack of confidence.”

Analysis: Obama has no strategy, but no counter-strategy offered.

The Bachmann campaign put out a statement that reads:
“Unfortunately, Americans continue to feel the effects of President Obama’s failed economic policies as they see their life savings dwindle in the falling stock market, and watch the economy and unemployment continue in a no-growth spiral. Clearly, the markets are reacting negatively to giving President Obama a $2.4 trillion blank check, as well as the President’s promise to increase taxes on the American people and job creators. He has no intention of cutting spending. What the markets wanted, and what the country needs, is a fundamental restructuring in the way Washington spends taxpayers dollars that reins in unprecedented spending, gets our debt under control, and encourages pro-growth economic policies. Politicians can say what they want to say, but you can’t fool the markets.”

Analysis: The markets wished Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling, and have plunged on the sudden realization that we're scheduled under current law to revert to Clinton-era tax rates in 2013. O-oo-kay.

Tim Miller from the Jon Huntsman camp e-mailed me, “On the most important issue facing our country — the economy and jobs — the President has failed. He’s had 2.5 years to inject more confidence into the economy, create an environment for growth, pass free trade agreements, and he’s done none of that. To get the economy going again, the country needs new leadership, someone with a track record of creating an environment that allows entrepreneurs to create needed jobs.”

It's Obama's fault, but no analysis of what he's done wrong except fail to extend free trade agreements, which he in fact favors.

Andrea Saul,the spokeswoman for Mitt Romney, who has made jobs the centerpiece of his campaign, had this take: “In the past, President Obama has cited gains in the stock market as an indicator of a recovering economy and a healthy financial system. Now that the Dow is falling, he needs to explain what that says about his failed leadership and the state of the economy.”

Another 100% blame Obama, 0% argue what he's done wrong or offer an alternative.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/93250/useful-compilation-republican-economic-thinking