Friday, February 25, 2011

The Tea Party v. The US Economy

The ever-sensible Ryan Avent, writing at the "Free Exchange" blog of The Economist (here), explains why the Republican/Tea Party chainsaw massacre of the federal budget would be very bad for the US economy. Avent quotes a non-partisan analysis from Goldman Sachs that predicts that GDP would decline by 2 percent as a result of the proposed budget cuts.

As I have noted in a previous blog post (here), some true-believing Tea Partiers might not care about the economic consequences of budget cuts; for them, smaller government is better government, regardless of the consequences. Most, however, are at best inconsistent supporters of smaller government; they are very happy to support some big-government programs, like Medicare, while cutting others. But even those inconsistent (or incoherent) Tea Party politicians are more concerned with short-term electoral consequences than longer-term economic consequences.

Whether they are true-believers or opportunists, sensible and pragmatic voters should oppose their efforts to cut government programs for the sake of cutting, without regard for the economic consequences.

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