I don't even understand how this argument is supposed to work. Probably because no one ever explains it. But the size of the deficit is supposed to be a measure of how bad the economy is. Again, not really sure why this is, it's just so obviously is -- according to Republicans, tea partiers, and various and sundry morons. Never mind that people are buying all those bonds and everyone seems to be confident in America's ability to pay down her debt, debt itself is the worst thing ever. Without any evidence at all, we can be totally confident that deficits will doom us forever and all, amen.
So the smart thing, as conventional idiot wisdom will tell us, is to cut spending. Cut, cut, cut, and, when in doubt, cut. Government is a huge spender in our economy and the smartest thing we could ever do is pull all that money out of the economy, because... OK, you just lost me. This is stupid.
Let me give you a little taste of what passes for fiscal sanity these days.
[Wisconsin State Journal:]
A day after voters issued a scathing rebuke of his party, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle halted progress on the state's controversial $810 million passenger train -- some of which had been authorized only hours before.
"At the governor's request, I have asked contractors and consultants working on the high speed rail project to temporarily interrupt their work for a few days," Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi, said Thursday, a day after the companies were informed of the decision.
"In light of the election results, our agency will be taking a few days to assess the real world consequences, including the immediate impacts to people and their livelihoods, if this project were to be stopped."
See, this was some of that gummint stimulus money, so it's totally evil. Governor-elect Scott Walker ran against it, because he's smart like that. And governor-for-real Doyle gave up on the whole thing because Walker doomed it. As a result, 300 jobs have just ended and a projected 5,500 jobs will never happen. Because that's so good for the economy. Fewer jobs, more freedom, I guess. The hell if I know how that's supposed to work. It just does.
In other states, it's the same thing. Republicans talk about "job killing" this and that, while actively and enthusiastically killing jobs. New Jersey will shed "at least" 1,200 workers because adding to unemployment rolls is the best idea anyone's ever had. How best to measure a successful new Republican governor? Count how many jobs they've thrown away.
Have no doubt, "smaller government" is just another way of saying "fewer jobs." At a time when unemployment is too high, Republicans think adding to it is the smartest thing ever. This is not going to turn out well.
Get updates via Twitter