Thursday, October 6, 2011

Frum A Conservative Comes A Surprising Dose Of Sanity

I find his views on Israel abhorrent, and I don't always agree with his values, but David Frum is one of the few conservative voices of sanity with respect to the economy (Bill Bennett has been making a lot of sense as well), as illustrated in this piece. His refusal to fall for austerity-mania is highly laudable. His refusal to follow the mainstream of the Right off a cliff is commendable. The fact that his is to the left of some key Democrats is soul-crushingly depressing.

Here's the key part:

On the most urgent economic issue of the day – recovery from the Great Recession – the Republican consensus is seriously wrong.
It is wrong in its call for monetary tightening.
It is wrong to demand immediate debt reduction rather than wait until after the economy recovers.
It is wrong to deny that “we have a revenue problem.”
It is wrong in worrying too much about (non-existent) inflation and disregarding the (very real) threat of a second slump into recession and deflation.
It is wrong to blame government regulation and (as yet unimposed) tax increases for the severity of the recession.
It is wrong to oppose job-creating infrastructure programs.
It is wrong to hesitate to provide unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other forms of income maintenance to the unemployed.
It is wrong to fetishize the exchange value of the dollar against other currencies.
It is wrong to believe that cuts in marginal tax rates will suffice to generate job growth in today’s circumstance.
It is wrong to blame minor and marginal government policies like the Community Reinvestment Act for the financial crisis while ignoring the much more important role of government inaction to police overall levels of leverage within the financial system.
It is wrong to dismiss the Euro crisis as something remote from American concerns.
It is wrong to resist US cooperation with European authorities in organizing a work-out of the debt problems of the Eurozone countries.
It is wrong above all in its dangerous combination of apocalyptic pessimism about the long-term future of the country with aloof indifference to unemployment.

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