Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
After reading the endorsements by the state's two largest daily circulation newspapers, The Arizona Republic(an) and the Arizona Daily Star, it is clear that the editors of these newspapers are fully invested in failed GOP economic policies and are out of touch with the Arizona electorate.
Conservatives like to refer to the Arizona Daily Star as the "Red Star" because it is generally progressive on social issues and frequently endorses Democrats. But on economic issues, there is little daylight between the views of The Arizona Daily Star and the Arizona Republic(an). These newspapers enable failed GOP economic policies to survive by giving them the veneer of credibility, to the detriment of all Arizonans.
Ask any Arizona voter what the top issue is in the election this year and they will tell you "JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!" Or as James Carville once famously said, "It's the economy, stupid."
The editors of the state's two largest daily circulation newspapers, The Arizona Republic(an) and the Arizona Daily Star, however, tell us the top issue in the election this year is the federal debt and government spending. This is traditionally an issue upon which Republicans run against when a Democrat is in the White House, but immediately abandon once a Republican is in the White House. As Vice President Dick Cheney famously said after election, "deficits don't matter." (See below).
To endorse a Republican on the basis of the federal debt and government spending, as the Arizona Daily Star did for Jonathan Paton, and The Arizona Republic(an) did for Jeff Flake today is to turn a blind eye to history and to the facts. Ronald Reagan quadrupled the federal debt as president, and George W. Bush doubled it again before blowing up the financial system and our economy with the Bush Great Recession, the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression.
In the case of Jeff Flake, he voted for the Bush tax cuts and putting two wars on the nation's credit card without asking any sacrifice from Americans -- except our service men and women -- to pay for those wars. (He subsequently voted against veterans benefits.)
When the private sector withdraws from the economy during economic collapse, the government sector must step in to stimulate economic activity and restore stability. This is Economics 101. It is also known as Keynesian economics, which the "geniuses" (sic) who sit on the editorial boards of this state's two major newspapers reject.
The Arizona Republic(an) has frequently editorialized against the federal stimulus packages, which arrested the economic freefall the U.S. economy was in and stabilized the economy, allowing for the return of economic growth.
The Arizona Daily Star writes today that it does not believe that "the government should directly create more jobs to help the economy. Private job creation, not more government spending, is the answer."
Such willful ignorance of basic economics and blind faith in failed GOP economic policies that resulted in the federal debt and the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression is a great disservice to the readers of these newspapers, and to Arizona voters.
I would suggest that the editors take a look at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report issued last week which was highly critical of the "austerity" measures of the European Union as a major contributing factor to Europe's financial problems and recession. As Paul Krugman writes, Triumph of the Wrong? - NYTimes.com:
Republicans are dead wrong.
The latest devastating demonstration of that wrongness comes from the International Monetary Fund, which has just released its World Economic Outlook, a report combining short-term prediction with insightful economic analysis. This report is a grim and disturbing document, telling us that the world economy is doing significantly worse than expected, with rising risks of global recession. But the report isn’t just downbeat; it contains a careful analysis of the reasons things are going so badly. And what this analysis concludes is that a disproportionate share of the bad news is coming from countries pursuing the kind of austerity policies Republicans want to impose on America.
O.K., it doesn’t say that in so many words. What the report actually says is: “Activity over the past few years has disappointed more in economies with more aggressive fiscal consolidation plans.” But that amounts to the same thing.
For leading Republicans have very much tied themselves to the view that slashing spending in a depressed economy — “fiscal consolidation,” in I.M.F.-speak — is good, not bad, for job creation. Soon after the midterm elections, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives issued a manifesto on economic policy — titled, Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy (pdf) — that called for deep spending cuts right away and pooh-poohed the whole notion that fiscal consolidation (yes, it used the same term) might deepen the economy’s slump. “Non-Keynesian effects,” the manifesto declared, would make everything all right.
Well, that turns out not to be remotely true. What the monetary fund shows is that the countries pursing the biggest spending cuts are also the countries that have experienced the deepest economic slumps. Indeed, the evidence suggests that in brushing aside the standard view that spending cuts hurt the economy in the short run, the G.O.P. got it exactly wrong. Recent spending cuts appear to have done even more harm than most analysts — including those at the I.M.F. itself — expected.
* * *
Republicans, however, are committed to an economic doctrine that has proved false, indeed disastrous, in other countries. Nor are they likely to change their views in the light of experience. After all, facts haven’t gotten in the way of Republican orthodoxy on any other aspect of economic policy. The party remains opposed to effective financial regulation despite the catastrophe of 2008; it remains obsessed with the dangers of inflation despite years of false alarms. So it’s not likely to give up its politically convenient views about job creation.
And here’s the thing: if Mitt Romney wins the election, the G.O.P. will surely consider its economic ideas vindicated. In other words, politically good things may be about to happen to very bad ideas. And if that’s how it plays out, the American people will pay the price.
Paul Krugman makes this additional point in a blog post, A Global 1937:
The truly amazing thing is that this calamitous error is not, for the most part, the result of special interests, or an unwillingness to make hard choices. On the contrary, it’s being driven by Very Serious People who pride themselves on their willingness to make hard choices (which, naturally, involve inflicting pain on other people). In fact, I’d argue that the desire to make hard choices, or at least to be seen as doing so, is the reason the VSPs chose to ignore the extensive and, we now know, completely accurate warnings from some economists of what would happen if they gave in to their austerity obsession.
And in this blog post, The IMF and the GOP:
The reality is that everything that has happened economically since the turn away from stimulus to austerity, from interest rates to inflation to output, has refuted the doctrine the GOP is pushing. Since there has of course been no concession of error, this does not bode well for the US economy if Romney wins.
The editors of our two major newspapers in Arizona are willfully ignorant of basic economics, encouraging voters to have blind faith in failed GOP economic policies that will lead us over the cliff -- again -- and cause more job losses and economic hardship for Americans. Such willful ignorance is reckless and irresponsible. They should be ashamed.