Leaving the Obama administration certainly does wonders for your ability to speak plainly. Here is Christine Romer:
President Obama’s former top economic adviser is jumping on Friday’s weak jobs numbers to make the case that the economy needs a much bigger boost from Washington than it’s getting.
….What should Washington be doing? Romer called for additional fiscal stimulus, as part of a package that reduces the deficit over the long term. That spending, she said, should take the form of a cut in the employer side of the payroll tax–an idea with bipartisan appeal–as well as more aid to state and local governments. She also supports infrastructure spending of the kind President Obama has proposed.
We could do this if elite consensus in this country accepted that chronic massive unemployment was a bigger problem than our future federal deficit. But the former affects actual middle class people right now, while the latter — might, possibly — affect the financial fortunes of the well-off in the indefinite future. Looked at that way, it’s a no brainer. Deficits it is.