Krugman's off on another rant
about the economy.
The conventional wisdom among business forecasters now calls for growth of a bit more than 3 percent over the next year. Growth at that pace is barely enough to keep up with rising productivity and an expanding labor force, not enough to make a serious dent in unemployment.
Gee whiz, and what was the growth rate during the Clinton years? A little less than 3%.
Then there's the effect of the worst fiscal crisis in the 50 states since World War II. Iris Lav of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggests that tax increases and spending cuts at the state level could drain $100 billion from the national economy over the next year. Aid from Washington is an obvious answer — but the Bush administration refuses to provide a penny.
He's smart enough NOT to rag on Bush about the budget deficit in this column--after all it would be a little silly to suggest $100 billion in new spending by the feds, and in the same breath complain about the budget deficit. But he sneaks it in:
Why is the administration so uninterested in helping the economy? Here's my theory: The depressed state of the economy provides a convenient if bogus rationale for the huge, extremely irresponsible long-run tax cuts that, after Iraq, constitute this administration's principal obsession. To do anything else to help the economy would suggest that it's possible to create jobs now without putting the country's future solvency at risk — and that's not a message this administration wants to convey.
The country's future solvency
is of course a roundabout way of talking about the deficit.