BUSHONOMICS….Not for the first time, Brad DeLong is puzzled by the fact that the Bush administration is manifestly pursuing economic policies that won’t help the economy much, despite the fact that a good economy would be a considerable benefit to their reelection hopes. (Oh, and good for the country, too!)

I figure there are five possibilities here:

  1. Despite abundant evidence to the contrary, they really do believe that their policies will provide a strong short-term stimulus to the economy. After all, they believe in creationism, so why not this?

  2. They are so ideologically wedded to lowering taxes on capital that they’d rather cut taxes than stimulate the economy, even at the possible risk of losing the election.

  3. They take the principled view that the president doesn’t actually have any effect on the economy at all, so why not just do what they want anyway and hope for the best?

  4. On a related theme, they figure their reelection depends only on whether people think they’ve tried hard. As long as the public sees plenty of activity, they will forgive a lack of results.

  5. Karl Rove believes that Bush’s reelection primarily depends on fundraising. Cutting taxes on the rich brings in lots of campaign cash, and that’s all that really matters.

I’m sure there are other possibilities too, but that’s all I can come up with off the top of my head. The part I can’t figure out is, which of these possibilities is the scariest?

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