The great Keynesian hope: Republicans?

It is well known that Republican politicians typically denounce John Maynard Keynes as an apologist for big government and deride “public investment” as a smokescreen for pork-barrel spending (mmm, smoked pork). Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly notes, however, that Republicans in Congress are rather Keynesian in prolifically proposing public investments in their own districts. Which leads him to a clever idea:

‘… how about a new stimulus package focused on granting Republicans’ requests for public investments?

‘Here’s the pitch: have the White House take the several hundred letters GOP lawmakers have sent to the executive branch since 2009, asking for public investments, and let President Obama announce he’ll gladly fund all of the Republicans’ requests that have not yet been filled.’

(Hat tip: Bob Cesca, who sums it up as ‘Keynesian economics as endorsed by the Republican Party.’)

If Obama wants to make this idea more responsible, he could say he’ll do this only for requests that are also on the American Society of Civil Engineers‘ extensive list of needed infrastructure improvements.

It may be the best hope for a new spending stimulus. (A tax-cut stimulus might be easier to get through Congress, but standard economic impact estimates find that tax cuts do less to increase GDP than new spending does. And the type of tax cuts that Republicans tend to favor, like lowering the top marginal tax rate and reducing the capital gains tax rate, do even less, because wealthy people don’t consume much of their extra income.) If Republicans reject it, they’ll look hypocritical for wanting one thing for their districts and another for the nation.

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One Response to “The great Keynesian hope: Republicans?”

  1. social media YouTube B2C Says:

    social media YouTube B2C…

    […]The great Keynesian hope: Republicans? « Blogging Through the Wreckage[…]…

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