Weaponized Keynesianism

WEAPONIZED KEYNESIANISM…. For all the talk about cutting wasteful spending and saving taxpayer money, a whole lot of members of Congress are fighting awfully hard to spend billions on the basically useless F-22 fighter jet. Conservative Republicans, in particular, are arguing that it will be good for the economy to spend the money.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) highlights the irony.

“These arguments will come from the very people who denied that the economic recovery plan created any jobs. We have a very odd economic philosophy in Washington: It’s called weaponized Keynesianism. It is the view that the government does not create jobs when it funds the building of bridges or important research or retrains workers, but when it builds airplanes that are never going to be used in combat, that is of course economic salvation.”

We seem to keep running into this problem. For Republicans, there are certain incontrovertible, unyielding truths: government spending does not create jobs and cannot stimulate the economy. The only thing worse than government spending is government spending on unnecessary programs. It has always been thus; it will always be so.

Unless, that is, the government spending and the unnecessary program relates to the military, at which point the economic benefits are huge.

Back in April, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a conservative Georgia Republican, argued on NPR, “When it comes to stimulating the economy, there’s no better way to do it than to spend it in the defense community.”

So, for the GOP, government spending can’t help the economy, except when it can. I’m glad we could clear this up.