The Rise of Tea Party Keynesianism

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#1
Good article about how the Tea Party has adopted a dysfunctional attitude towards government spending.

Spending money on defense is good because it creates jobs and stimulates the economy -- wait, what?!

After the past month of pitched battles in which two American political parties competed for the right to demonstrate themselves the most committed to cutting huge swaths of government spending, the sight of a Tea Party leader making the case for classic Keynesian fiscal stimulus is more than a little aggravating. So I completely understand the high dudgeon that Economist blogger M.S. works himself into after catching TeaPartyNation leader Judson Phillips in the act.

Here's Phillips, explaining why writing a $9 billion check for a new aircraft carrier makes terrific economic sense:


If we decided to build a couple of new carriers, thousands of workers would be hired for the shipyards. Thousands of employees would be hired for the steel mills that would provide the steel for the hull and various sub contractors would hire thousands. Do you know what that means? It means they would receive paychecks and go out and spend that money. That would help a recovery. That is a shovel ready project!

Increasing spending for the military does a couple of things. It not only not only stimulates the economy, it protects our nation.


M.S., in response, writes that "the idea that a major tea-party figure can turn around and make a bog-standard argument for defense spending on Keynesian grounds testifies to a startling capacity for cognitive dissonance."


But it seems that there are no other things the government spends money on, apart from defense, that Mr Phillips believes can stimulate the economy. He appears to believe that while government spending on aircraft carriers leads to workers getting hired, spending their paychecks, and helping the recovery, government spending on highways, high-speed rail, education, and health care does not.


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Again, I feel great sympathy for M.S.'s sense of annoyance. But there are two problems here: First, there appears to be good question as to whether Judson Phillips legitimately qualifies as a prominent Tea Party leader. He has a history of making outrageously inflammatory statements that put him well outside the mainstream of conventional right-wing politics. To his fellow Tea Partyers, his defense of stimulus spending might fall on the same crazy continuum as his belief that Obama spent the last 48 hours before Osama bin Laden was killed trying to stop the raid, or that the Founding Fathers were correct to limit voting rights to property owners. The man is a veritable fountain of nuttiness.

But secondly, it's just not true that advocating defense spending on Keynesian grounds is cognitively dissonant for anyone on the right. Phillips spells this out in a sentence that M.S. neglects to quote: "Defense is the one area, even in the time of a depression, such as the Obama depression, when we should be increasing spending."

(Obama depression? Growth is slow, yes, but the economy has been adding jobs for a year and growing for most of the last two years. What depression is Phillips talking about?)

Anyway, spending on the military is, by definition, different from all other kinds of government spending, mainly because it satisfies a strong constitutional mandate to provide for the national defense. The fact that it puts people to work is a perk, a side benefit, a two-for-one drink special.

This line of thinking is by no means unique to Tea Party extremists. It has long been part of the core platform of the Republican Party, a fact that we saw underlined anew at the tail end of the debt ceiling debate, when some of the most vociferous deficit hawks in the GOP suddenly got cold feet about the possibility that a debt reduction plan might also slice away at the Pentagon budget.

M.S. is on stronger ground when he notes that if one is prepared to acknowledge that spending money putting people to work building aircraft carriers creates jobs, then by definition, cutting other programs to save money must end up destroying jobs. A balanced budget amendment of the type so desired by Tea Partyers would therefore be one of the most anti-stimulative policy initiatives a government could possibly undertake during a stalling economy.

There's your cognitive dissonance, if you're still looking for it.
http://www.salon.com/technology/how...2011/08/05/the_rise_of_tea_party_keynesianism
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#2
Hey look, yet another article from someone who doesn't understand the proper role of government and thinks all spending is the same.

Its the responsibility of government to defend the country. Its not their job to pay farmers not to grow corn or givemedats not to work.

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Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
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#3
Hey look, yet another article from someone who doesn't understand the proper role of government and thinks all spending is the same.

Its the responsibility of government to defend the country. Its not their job to pay farmers not to grow corn or givemedats not to work.

Sent from my HTC Glacier using Tapatalk
Hey look, yet another post from someone whose head is still stuck in the last Ice Age. :action-sm
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#4
Hey look, yet another article from someone who doesn't understand the proper role of government and thinks all spending is the same.

Its the responsibility of government to defend the country. Its not their job to pay farmers not to grow corn or givemedats not to work.

Sent from my HTC Glacier using Tapatalk
This.

Just more deflecting in order to cover up the fact that the democrats have become so dysfunctional, and even while holding a majority for nearly two years...they only fucked things up worse. But they can always blame it on the guy who left office nearly three years ago and irrelevant VP candidate from three years ago, and a movement that wore out it's welcome back in 2009.

2008: "Wow maaaan, Obama and the democrats are going to take complete control of Washington! They'll be able to pass whatever they want! Finally, we'll get some business done and this country can be put on the right path!! YESSS!!!!"
2011: "Fuckin George Bush man. Fuckin Tea Parties ruined the economy. Fuckin conservative trash."

You lefties are so fuckin pathetic.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#6
Hey look, yet another article from someone who doesn't understand the proper role of government and thinks all spending is the same.

Its the responsibility of government to defend the country. Its not their job to pay farmers not to grow corn or givemedats not to work.
Hey look, a head-in-his-ass response from someone who didn't read the article. Not a surprise by any means. Figure the logic in how building aircraft carriers is going to result in a net increase of jobs if taxes are not raised for said new capital expenditures?
 
Jun 2, 2005
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#7
Hey look, a head-in-his-ass response from someone who didn't read the article. Not a surprise by any means. Figure the logic in how building aircraft carriers is going to result in a net increase of jobs if taxes are not raised for said new capital expenditures?
In the vacuum in which the concept of defense spending = more jobs long term the other economic issues we're facing as a country should already be under control. No one's saying to run out and start building carriers to fix our problems now.

It's a troll article when used in this context.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#8
Hey look, a head-in-his-ass response from someone who didn't read the article. Not a surprise by any means. Figure the logic in how building aircraft carriers is going to result in a net increase of jobs if taxes are not raised for said new capital expenditures?
The entire premise of the article is bogus. We have to build carriers to defend our nation, and the federal government is the party tasked with such building. Since it takes people to build the carrier, the building creates jobs. Probably not as many jobs as the same money spent in the private sector, but that is irrelevant.

The guy who wrote this article is a fucking dope. Referring to Tea Partiers as "extremists" is the dead giveaway. He's trying to make an equivalency between types of spending that just isn't true.

If I wrote an article saying that birds can fly because the sky is purple, the fact that birds can really fly doesn't change the fact that the sky isn't purple. Just like this article, it would be a crock of shit. Sorry to end yet another "gotcha" moment that you thought you'd have, but try harder next time.
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#9
The guy who wrote this article is a fucking dope.
Well, I'm sure he's a political expert...right?

Andrew Leonard Bio
I once described myself, in a bio for a short-lived column on Hotwired's Packet "channel," as "your basic techno-cultural hack." Now I go by the more illustrious title of "senior technology writer" for Salon.com. I've also got a side gig as a contributing editor to Newsweek, and I've managed to write one book so far, "Bots: The Origin of New Species," so I guess I'm getting somewhere. But I still feel mostly like a hack, which is nice, since these days I write mostly about hackers.

In January, a Netscape public relations executive asked me if I'd been covering Web browsers for very long. I took some pleasure in telling him that I'd been on the beat since before Netscape existed. I've been covering the Web and writing for the Web since early 1994, which feels like an awfully long time by now, though it certainly hasn't yet become boring. In addition to being published in Web outlets like Web Review, Hotwired and Salon, I've also appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Nation, Wired, the Far Eastern Economic Review and a whole bunch of places you've never heard of.

I live in Berkeley, Calif., with my wife, daughter, son, dog, cat and a few fish. I like to garden, read science fiction, build things out of Lego blocks and cook really spicy Szechuan Chinese food. I'm having the time of my reporting life covering free software, and hope people will enjoy reading what I've got to say half as much as I enjoy writing it.
:rolleyes: So, Salon has their "browser guy" from Berkeley, CA write up a piece on the Tea Party "extremists".

The best are in the ultra-progressive comments to the article, like this one...

Tea Bagger Racists

Why does anyone even care what these racist, sexist, homophobe tea baggers say? Even the core Republicons know they're a bunch of inbred hillbilly angry white males, grasping at the final straws before they are relegated to the dustbin of history.

Here's what all liberals should be working toward: Offshoring every last blue collar job. Period. This is the way to go. Hate NAFTA? That's the wrong approach. We should embrace more free-trade deals, with the goal of permanently off-shoring every last blue collar job. Will tech and high skill jobs go too? Sure, some of them will. It's absolutely worth the sacrifice though to get all those blue collar tea bagger jobs gone for good.

Here's why: We need to deprecate these conservative working class tea baggers, for the good of the country. We tried reasoning with them, we tried working with them, and they just won't have it. If these insane tea baggers had their way, we'd all be forced to accept jesus as our personal savior, and that the earth is 6,000 years old. In short, we'd have to accept the destruction of the country.

So we no longer have any choice. It's unlawful to kill them off, although that is preferable. It's quicker and solves the problem efficiently. It's illegal though. Off-shoring all their jobs is not. Perfectly legal and it achieves the same result, although it takes longer. The result? These angry conservative white males tea baggers will be economically devestated, permanently. Then it's just a matter of cleaning up the mess, putting some of them in jail, etc ... But they'll be politically and socially relegated to the past. America will then be renewed.
:haha7: Somehow, I don't think this fella is kidding. He admits that, while it's preferable to just start "killing" conservatives...it's against the law to do that. So, we'll just take their jobs and move them offshore. They'll then go broke and they can be thrown in jail. And if we don't do this, the teabaggers will force every one of us to love Jesus and think the earth is 6,000 years old.

That's terrific.

Another fave of mine...

No Cognitive Disonance

A large segment of the Republican party has always thought it preferable to spend increasingly larger parts of our budget on defense so that we may kill dark skinned people throughout the world. This is also a two-for-one for this wing of the party because as we spend more on defense, we crowd out domestic social programs that help to feed, clothe, house, and provide health care or our own dark-skinned people.
LOL, sometimes the comments are just the best when you read these bullshit articles.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#10
In the vacuum in which the concept of defense spending = more jobs long term the other economic issues we're facing as a country should already be under control. No one's saying to run out and start building carriers to fix our problems now.
You didn't read the article very well. That's EXACTLY what Mr. Tea Party guy is saying.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#11
You didn't read the article very well. That's EXACTLY what Mr. Tea Party guy is saying.
I hate to break it to you, but Mr. Tea Party's comments are almost certainly a fabrication. This "journalist" can't even spell Tea Partiers right.
 

mills

I'll give em a state, a state of unconsciousness
Jan 30, 2005
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#12
I'm just satisfied there's anyone left who knows who Keynes is. Ant would think it's the word for a Kenyan resident.