If you’ve read one Paul Krugman column, you’ve read them all. Alongside his unabating clarion call for ever more stimulus spending, Krugman decries spending cuts of all sizes, shapes and colors, and despises the idea of a balanced budget. This clip just about sums up his entire body of work since 2007, and encapsulates the Obama administration’s approach to the economy for the duration of his term in office.
Leading the charge to slash spending, on the other hand, Paul Ryan has repeatedly made the case that we face a crushing burden of debt which must be addressed right away lest we hit the point of no return.
And where does Candidate Romney fit into the mix? Speaking today in Shelby Township, Michigan, Gov. Romney situated himself in the Krugman school of economics. “If you just cut, if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy,” Gov. Romney stated. “So you have to, at the same time, create pro-growth tax policies.”
Though Krugman and Romney agree that spending cuts would worsen the economy, there is, to be sure, a major distinction between the conclusions each man draws. According to Krugman, spending cuts are bad; therefore, we must increase spending. Romney has stated that spending cuts, if not coupled with pro-growth tax policies (which he plans to outline this week, incidentally), would be lethal.
But is the underlying assumption here that spending cuts on their own would slow down the economic recovery a correct one? If Krugman, Obama, and Romney are correct on this, then Paul Ryan and his emphasis on spending cuts have been folly.