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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Vote for the Guy You Disagree With?

I'm not buying this. Do you? (Even if the benefit described below exists, there are also costs to weigh against the benefits, and I don't see any way to make the potential benefits larger than the potential costs. And as to the claim that opposite day prevails in politics -- that Republicans would be more likely to implement policies Democrats favor -- I'm skeptical. Republicans would be more likely to impose austerity than stimulus if they controlled both Congress and the presidency, and with John Taylor, or someone like him, as head of the Fed you can forget about more monetary stimulus):

Vote for the Guy You Disagree With, by Justin Fox: There's a case to be made (and, in fact, it has been made) that, if what you think the U.S. economy needs is more fiscal and monetary stimulus, you should vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in November... This is despite the fact that Romney and Ryan say they're against fiscal stimulus, and ... monetary stimulus... The reasoning is pretty simple: the likely Republican majority in the House and the possible Republican majority in the Senate will work against any attempt by President Obama to stimulate the economy — or do much of anything else, for that matter. Whereas if Romney moves into the White House, Republican lawmakers will cut him slack and the Democrats will too if he pushes policies that they wanted in the first place. A similar if less-stark dynamic could play out on the monetary-policy Federal Open Market Committee, where inflation hawks with Republican leanings would discover they weren't so hawkish after all.
What I hadn't really thought of ... is that you could just as easily make the opposite argument. If you think what the nation needs above all is austerity and entitlement reform — meaning entitlement cutbacks — you're likelier to get your way in a second Obama administration than under Romney/Ryan. ...
I shouldn't overstate my case here. Sometimes presidents deliver what they promise on the campaign trail. Ronald Reagan said he'd cut taxes, and he did. Barack Obama said he'd expand health insurance coverage to all, and he's getting pretty close. ...

    Posted by on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 09:49 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (53)


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