NFIB vs. GOP talking points

When it comes to the larger economic debate, Democrats and Republicans agree on basically one point: the status quo isn’t very good. On everything else, the parties part ways.

This includes the root problems causing the weak economic conditions. For Democrats, liberals, economists, financial analysts, the Fed, the IMF, Treasury officials, the CBO, and even mildly-observant people, the problem has to do with demand: businesses need more customers. For Republicans and other conservatives, demand is largely irrelevant.

Jamison Foser reports this week that businesses have no use for GOP talking points.

…A new survey of small business owners conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business finds that not only do more small business owners identify lack of demand as the biggest impediment to growth than any other factor, most of those who identify “uncertainty” as an impediment really mean lack of demand. […]

It turns out that when small business owners say “uncertainty” is an impediment to growth, they mean economic uncertainty, not political uncertainty. And by economic uncertainty, they mean uncertainty about demand.

And what about crushing government regulations and oppressive taxes, which Republicans perceive as the root of weak growth? The NFIB survey, not surprisingly, found that these weren’t major concerns for businesses.

Regrettably, none of this matters to congressional Republicans, who apparently believe they know better than to believe these pesky facts. It’s why the GOP is so eager to undermine demand — resisting a payroll tax break, opposing an extension of unemployment benefits, and demanding spending cuts that take money out of the economy and force more public-sector layoffs.

It’s why we can’t have nice things.