13 Ways In Which Republicans Are Wrong

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I’ve got a piece coming up in the next issue of the magazine about five economic memes that deserve to die. By the time it was done, it had actually turned into six memes, but apostate Republican David Frum goes me seven better today by listing 13 — yes, 13! — ways in which the Republican consensus on the economy is wrong, wrong, wrong:

  1. It is wrong in its call for monetary tightening.
  2. It is wrong to demand immediate debt reduction rather than wait until after the economy recovers.
  3. It is wrong to deny that “we have a revenue problem.”
  4. 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.
  5. It is wrong to blame government regulation and (as yet unimposed) tax increases for the severity of the recession.
  6. It is wrong to oppose job-creating infrastructure programs.
  7. It is wrong to hesitate to provide unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other forms of income maintenance to the unemployed.
  8. It is wrong to fetishize the exchange value of the dollar against other currencies.
  9. It is wrong to believe that cuts in marginal tax rates will suffice to generate job growth in today’s circumstance.
  10. 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.
  11. It is wrong to dismiss the Euro crisis as something remote from American concerns.
  12. It is wrong to resist US cooperation with European authorities in organizing a work-out of the debt problems of the Eurozone countries.
  13. 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.

I have to say, once people break with the Republican Party these days, they really break. They don’t become Democrats or anything, but if anything, they actually savage their former comrades more than Democrats do. I’d love to see something this pithy from, say, Barack Obama. It’s inspiring.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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