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Thursday, November 29, 2012

DeLong: America’s Political Recession

Since Brad DeLong is such a shy, wallflower type, I'll take it upon myself to highlight his latest column:

America’s Political Recession, by Brad DeLong, Commentary, Project Syndicate: The odds are now about 36% that the United States will be in a recession next year. The reason is entirely political: partisan polarization has reached levels never before seen, threatening to send the US economy tumbling over the “fiscal cliff”...
Obama broadly follows Ronald Reagan’s (second-term) security policy, George H.W. Bush’s spending policy, Bill Clinton’s tax policy, the bipartisan Squam Lake Group’s financial-regulatory policy, Perry’s immigration policy, John McCain’s climate-change policy, and Mitt Romney’s health-care policy... And yet he has gotten next to no Republicans to support their own policies. ...
There are obvious reasons for this. A large chunk of the Republican base, including many of the party’s largest donors, believes that any Democratic president is an illegitimate enemy of America, so that whatever such an incumbent proposes must be wrong and thus should be thwarted. ... Moreover, ever since Clinton’s election in 1992, those at the head of the Republican Party have believed that creating gridlock whenever a Democrat is in the White House ... is their best path to electoral success.
That was the Republicans’ calculation in 2011-2012. And November’s election did not change the balance of power anywhere in the American government...
Now, it is possible that Republican legislators may rebel against their leaders... It is possible that Republican leaders like Representatives John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Senator Mitch McConnell will conclude that their policy of obstruction has been a failure. ... But don’t count on it. ...
It seems to me that the odds are around 60% that real negotiation will not begin until tax rates go up on January 1. And it seems to me that, if gridlock continues into 2013, the odds are 60% that it will tip the US back into recession. Let us hope that it will be short and shallow.

Nah, the press will do its job, expose the fraud that underlies the Republican's budget and tactics, and they will be forced to fold their hand (are you laughing yet -- that's supposed to be a joke).

    Posted by on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 09:49 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (34)


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