Here’s Mitch McConnell on why we can’t spend our way out of a recession:
“…we know for sure that the big spending programs of the New Deal did not work. In 1940, unemployment was still 15%. And, it’s widely agreed among economists, that what got us out of the doldrums that we were in during the Depression was the beginning of World War II.”
I heard Rush Limbaugh make exactly the same point last week, not to mention Joe the Plumber in the post below. The self-contradiction is pretty obvious, isn’t it? WWII was a big spending project, much bigger than anything FDR undertook under the New Deal. Conclusion: yes we can spend our way out of a recession. FDR’s New Deal spending just wasn’t big enough.
Another conclusion is pretty obvious too. Republicans would be delighted to get us out of our economic problems right now if they could find an Adolph Hitler to fight. But, lacking one, they would prefer to wait years, decades if necessary, for the economy to completely deflate, then recover on it’s own. They would prefer that hundreds of thousands of workers sit idle, perhaps for years, witness the permanent loss of trillions of dollars of economic output, the further deterioration of roads, bridges, docks; the consignment of millions more to poverty, many of them children. All of this they would endure because the spectacle of government solving a problem, other than fighting a war, interferes with their cult-like devotion to the free market.