Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Greg Sargent makes an astute observation in the The Morning Plum today:
It’s been widely pointed out by liberals that much of the discussion of fiscal issues conducted by supposedly “neutral” reporters actually does take sides in a pernicious way. It often treats it as a given that near term deficit reduction is a good thing — sometimes even cheerleading for that outcome – when in fact there is an actual policy dispute over this point, with many arguing that immediate deficit reduction is destructive to the recovery, and that dealing with the deficit should be deferred until the economy is stronger.
And that’s why today’s big New York Times piece quoting a range of economists arguing that Washington’s deficit obsession has proven a drag on the recovery is so important and welcome. The piece states clearly and unequivocally that the consensus view among economists is actually the one that’s often marginalized — i.e., that short term deficit reduction and spending cuts hurt the economy:
The nation’s unemployment rate would probably be nearly a point lower, roughly 6.5 percent, and economic growth almost two points higher this year if Washington had not cut spending and raised taxes as it has since 2011, according to private-sector and government economists.
After two years in which President Obama and Republicans in Congress have fought to a draw over their clashing approaches to job creation and budget deficits, the consensus about the result is clear: Immediate deficit reduction is a drag on full economic recovery.
Now it’s true that Obama and Democrats are heavily complicit in the 2011 decision to agree to a big deficit cutting deal that continues to harm us to this day (though it’s an open question whether Obama had any choice). And it’s also true that Obama and Dems agreed to end the payroll tax holiday, another drag on the recovery.