Steven Pearlstein has an great column on the self-contradictory economic claims of the current crop of GOP presidential candidates.
Here’s two examples:
Theirs is a magical world in which the gulf oil spill and the Japanese nuclear disaster never happened and there was never a problem with smog, polluted rivers or contaminated hamburger. It is a world where Enron and Worldcom did not collapse and shoddy underwriting by bankers did not bring the financial system to the brink of a meltdown. It is a world where the unemployed can always find a job if they really want one and businesses never, ever ship jobs overseas.
As politicians who are always quick to point out that it is only the private sector that creates economic growth, I found it rather comical to watch the governors at last week’s debate duke it out over who “created” the most jobs while in office. I know it must have just been an oversight, but I couldn’t help noticing that neither Mitt Romney nor Perry thought to exclude the thousands of government jobs included in their calculations — the kinds of jobs they and their fellow Republicans now view as economically illegitimate.
They reject as thoroughly discredited all of Keynesian economics, including the efficacy of fiscal stimulus, preferring the budget-balancing economic policies that turned the 1929 stock market crash into the Great Depression.
Pearlstein also points out that the platform of the Republican party seems to be taking the “Party of No” to new extremes. They don’t just oppose any new programs, but they want to repeal many of the political advancements of the last 100 years — starting with health care reform and the new financial regulations, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Federal Reserve, the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution (federal income tax and the direct election of senators). They also want to go back to the gold standard and repeal the theory of evolution. As Pearlstein puts it “What’s next — repeal of quantum physics?”