Friday, August 31, 2012

The Tea Party says government spending creates jobs, stimulates the economy

The Economist blog (hat tip: Barry Ritholtz) picked up on this delicious bit of cognitive dissonance from Judson Phillips, the Tennessee lawyer who heads Tea Party Nation, a far-right pressure group, objecting to prospective defence cuts proposed by the Obama administration:
"If we decided to build a couple of new carriers, thousands of workers would be hired for the shipyards. Thousands of employees would be hired for the steel mills that would provide the steel for the hull and various sub contractors would hire thousands. Do you know what that means?It means they would receive paychecks and go out and spend that money.

That would help a recovery. That is a shovel ready project! Increasing spending for the military does a couple of things. It not only not only stimulates the economy, it protects our nation."
So there you have it. The Tea Party -- or at least this hardcore Tea Party believer -- believes that government spending creates jobs and stimulates the economy. As The Economist blogger continues:
"The tea-party movement has spent the past year arguing that stimulus doesn't work and cannot, by nature, create more jobs or economic activity. The idea that a major tea-party figure can turn around and make a bog-standard argument for defence spending on Keynesian grounds testifies to a startling capacity for cognitive dissonance. I'm impressed."

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