Bush the Keynesian

Veronique de Rugy:

I don’t quite agree with de Rugy here on the efficacy of the later Bush tax cuts, but I think she’s more or less on the money. The Keynesians have yet to explain why the biggest spending President in American history (so far) who ran up the biggest debts (until Obama) and slathered the nation with demand-side tax cuts failed to produce an unending economic boom.

We can’t pretend that Obamanomics started in 2009. A shadowy version was running as early as 2002. And the only complaints were that Bush wasn’t spending enough. So why did we see a lost decade of minimal wage growth? Why did we end the decade poorer than we started it?

Update: The Keynesians are countering that Bush spent during an expansion, not a recession. Several problems with this. First, we were in a recession when Bush started and were in a recession when he ended. Second, the point is that the Bush economy was largely an illusion; a similar Keynesian-fed Obama recovery will also be an illusion. And third, since when have the Keynesians ever called for spending cuts during a healthy economy? I mean, ever? Hell, they constantly talk about 1937, when FDR scaled back some spending, as an example of what we can never ever do?

Make up your minds, guys.

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  1. Seattle Outcast

    There’s only one problem with Keynesian “economics” – it has never once worked as advertised. Of course, the explanation is always the same: you didn’t spend enough.

    It’s all bullshit – anyone capable of logical thought can see right through it.

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  2. georgebalella

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  3. Poosh

    Debt has very little to do with our economic problems.

    idiot

    georgebalella is so, SO f*cking thick he actually thinks there’s austerity in Europe. A few number of countries? Yeah, like Greece. The bulk? No. Estonia, which had real austerity, is working. There is no austerity in the UK, for example. You’ll note, I believe, it was Sweden that was cutting and smashing down their welfare state (that they are famous for lol) PRIOR to the recession, which is why they’re doing better.

    Bush was not deliberately being Keynesian, he was a compassionate conservative ( a centrist) and followed suit, (he did not hide this either) i.e a good deal of welfare spending, and a good deal of government programs to help.

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  4. sahrab

    And to call Obama’s a Keynesian response is even ridiculous as we have laid off more than 600,000 public workers since he became president. Had we hired public workers at the same rate as Reagan did there would be 1 million or more people with jobs

    Here is your Honesty Test for the day:

    How many of those 600,000 that were “cut” included the 1.2 million that were hired for the 2010 Census?

    (this ought to be cute)

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  5. georgebalella

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  6. Poosh

    it has never once worked as advertised.

    But it LOOKS like it works. And that’s all that matters. The politicians who advance this are long gone by the time it fully brings the house of cards down.

    And as for politicians, like Bush, accidentally engaging in activity that has the same consequences as Keynesian -like behavior, good intentions: unforeseen disaster. Which is something common to most politicians.

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  7. richtaylor365

    George, you are one funny dude. Nobody believes that redistribution/big government will save us from ourselves horseshit, even DWS has a hard time keeping a straight face while reciting the party line, and she is getting paid big bucks to spread nonsense. You, otoh, just get laughed at.

    Face it, your guy has been a complete and utter disaster, he failed, man up and admit it.

    You know, when McCain lost I thought to myself ,”Fair enough, Bush wasn’t getting the job done, let’s see what this new guy can do”. I was not optimistic, given his background (his affinity for spooning with socialists, his diaphanous resume Re: anything business related, and his list of legislative accomplishments-which you could fit on a postage stamp) but he had surrounded himself with competent advisors, I figured equity and fair play demanded that an infusion of new blood be given a chance. The first two years he had a bullet proof democratic congress that gave him everything he wanted, I knew that he would have a chance to implement his future for America with no interference from the other side. He got his stimulus package, he now got his Obamacare, he has gotten everything he asked for, yet he( and you) still makes excuses for his failure.

    If the left had a shred of integrity, they would admit the facts, they would admit that the little community organizer was in way over his head, that this progressive nonsense just doesn’t work, that raising taxes and making doing business more difficult does not promote prosperity, and most of all, that it is the private sector that will grow us out of this recession, not big government.

    Your side had their chance and they failed miserably, and in the process managed to enslave the next generation(and probably the next after that) with an encumbrance of debt the likes of which no nation in the history of the world has seen, way to go Obama.

    Be an American first, and not a party hack, your guy dropped the ball, shot himself in the foot, screwed the pooch, his plow just won’t scow (and any other metaphor you care to use) he deserves to get fired just like the last guy did. We deserve a new guy with new ideas. And if he proves incompetent like Obama, then we will summarily fire him as well.

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  8. Seattle Outcast

    but he had surrounded himself with competent advisors

    Jarret, Axelrod, Van Jones, etc are “competent advisors”? Seriously? I call it a Marxist sounding board, or in Obama’s case, who he takes marching orders from, particularly in the case of Jarret. All reports pretty much say the same thing – she does ALL of Obama’s thinking for him.

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  9. Poosh

    So the Estonian president says he’s doing real hard austerity, real cuts, not rearranging the deckchair like in the US and UK, and times are hard, he explains why, and you reject them all! He’s just making it up and he somehow, blindly managed to stumble into success…. Along with the others!

    THESE COUNTRIES MUST BE THE LUCKIEST COUNTRIES EVER! TO HAVE LOONY LEADERS ALL DOING THE SAME RIGHT-WING THINGS AND SOMEHOW ACCIDENTALLY FIXING THEIR COUNTRIES!

    How lucky!

    And these countries are magically producing goods that apparently only backwater eurotrash countries can produce?

    And WHAT? Did you just admit that PRODUCTION and EXPORTING are a good means of getting out of the mess PEOPLE LIKE YOU got the west in? follow the bread crumbs… follow the bread crumbs …

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  10. georgebalella

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  11. Poosh

    ok ok, I’m now starting to think George might not be honest with his rants, and he’s actually just delibs talking shit for fun. I stupidly clicked on one of his links, and now I doubt he actually believes anything he types, he’s just in for the chaos.

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  12. georgebalella

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  13. sahrab

    Consider yourself educated. Honesty test of the day. Was I right

    An unsourced image, purportedly comparing the months in office of the last three administrations?

    That really wasnt a serious response was it?

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  14. georgebalella

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  15. georgebalella

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  16. georgebalella

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  17. Hal_10000 *

    Do facts matter to you guys?

    George, take a look at the graph again and remember that fiscal stimulus began in 1929, under Hoover. So much stimulus that FDR denounced him as a socialist.

    Today’s jobs report…only 80,000 new jobs…. It would have been 98,000 but we laid off another 18,000 public employees.

    Oh, if it had been 98,000, we would be dancing in the streets!

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  18. georgebalella

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  19. Dave D

    Either Georgie WANTS the US to fail like stated above or, (more likely) a conservative or libertarian fucked his boyfriend once. He is obviously INCAPABLE of giving anyone right of bHo any credit for a good idea and ALL ideas put out buy frothing lefties are “a good starting point for discussion”. Laughable! Why do you guys bother with this twit?

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  20. Poosh

    I’m willing to bet that there are post-Keynesian theories, just as most Marxists are actually carrying out a variant of Marxism.

    George, SLIGHTLY has a point, but it’s really the same as saying “oh, communism doesn’t work because Stalin didn’t implement it properly”.

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  21. Poosh

    *from the wonderful part II rap:

    KEYNES:

    We could have done better had we only spent more.
    Too bad that only happens when there’s a world war.
    You can carp all you want about stats and regressions.
    Do you deny that world war cut short the Depression?

    HAYEK:

    Wow. One data point and you’re jumping for joy.
    The last time I checked wars only destroy.
    There was no multiplier. Consumption just shrank
    as we used scarce resources for every new tank.
    Pretty perverse to call that prosperity.
    Ration meat. Ration butter. A life of austerity.
    When that war spending ended, your friends cried disaster.
    Yet, the economy thrived and grew faster.

    KEYNES:

    You too only see what you want to see.
    The spending on war clearly goosed GDP.
    Unemployment was over, almost down to zero.
    That’s why I’m the master. That’s why I’m the hero.

    HAYEK:

    Creating employment is a straight forward craft
    when the nation’s at war and there’s a draft.
    If every worker were staffed in the army and fleet
    we’d have full employment and nothing to eat.

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  22. Hal_10000 *

    For the love of God Hal… that is such re-written history.
    SEE Table 1.1 Spending hardly goes up until Hoover gives in during his last year 1932

    Outlays:

    1928 – 2.961 billion
    1929 – 3.127 billion (6% increase)
    1930 – 3.320 billion (6% increase)
    1931 – 3.577 billion (8% increase)
    1932 – 4.659 billion (30% increase)

    So increases every year, with 30% in the out year. Keep in mind:

    1) There was no inflation. We were on the gold standard and we were actually in a DEflationary period.

    2) There were no entitlements.

    3) Because of this, spending had been relatively stable over the previous decade, falling massively from its WWI peak of 18.5 billion, decreasing or being steady ever year until Hoover took office. You’ve gotten too used to baseline budgeting to recognize how huge these increases were. Reminder: the 1920’s were one of the great economic decades.

    4) By 1936, we were up to 8.2 billion, a near tripling of the budget. Even in 1937, when spending was cut about 10%, we were still 2.5 times the pre-Depression spending. We were still 1.1 billion more than 1935! Without entitlement or inflation. How in the blue fuck do call that austerity? Between 1929 and 1936, we spent $50 billion on stimulus. Why wasn’t the economy recovered? When does the economy every fucking recover?

    When do you stop stimulating and start that theoretical keynesian flip side — cutting spending during a recovery? It is 2012. We’ve seen a damned Higgs boson but we have yet to see a Keynesian cut spending.

    5) Oh, look, here’s 1946, when spending went down from 93 billion to 55 billion, then to 34 billion by 1947. Surely, that must have made the 1950’s the worst economic decade in history.

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  23. Poosh

    There’s part 1 and also a part 2 that was made recently, remember, peeps! It’s quite a treat!

    Guard: Lord Keynes! What an honour!
    Keynes: INDEED, SIR!
    Guard: And you are?
    Hayek: … Hayek?
    Guard: who?

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  24. georgebalella

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  25. Seattle Outcast

    Moogoo, you do realize that just because it’s been two years or so since you last set up shop here to spout Marxist BS, copy/paste Daily Kos, and constantly show your lack of comprehension of economics, data analysis, and history, we haven’t changed our assessment of you as being a complete idiot – right?

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  26. georgebalella

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  27. Seattle Outcast

    “I’m rubber, you’re glue” is the best you can do? Seriously, a child can do better.

    See, CM just comes across as a lecturing troll of an asshole most of the time. You don’t even manage to rise to that level of discussion, and despite all of your previously admitted ignorance on several critical topics you haven’t taken any time at all to educate yourself the slightest in the intervening years.

    Additionally, all your posts consist of nothing but poorly structured run-on sentences. I find it hard to believe that someone with a medical degree would still write like a 12-year old. You wouldn’t happen to be pretending to be your old man, would you?

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  28. hist_ed

    Hey George, I think you’re an idiot too. Want to prove me wrong? Take the first graph you posted and look into the income stats. Are they household or individual income? Now, look up average household size in 1980 and average household size in 2000. Please come to a conclusion about individual wages during the time period from 1980 to 2000.

    Oh and you could watch this little thing from Drew Carey: http://www.reason.tv/video/show/living-large

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  29. georgebalella

    hist_ed,

    Is a video of Drew Carey going to a Lake where people still with money in Feb 2008 are riding around on their boats…. (I wonder how many lost their boats since then?) more legitimate evidence of how the middle class is doing or would a recent report that showed median household wealth is below the level it was over 20 years ago representing several trillion dollars of lost wealth more significant evidnece?

    And average house size DOES NOT explain away stagnant median household income trends regardless of Russ Roberts bogus claims. Average family size has been stable over 2+ decades and does not correlate with the drop in family income. This fact is verified by looking at median wages for single males which has also been stagnant over the same period. Decreasing muddle class wages are a result of corporate restructuring, decreased union membership, mechanization, globalization, strong dollar policy, close targeting of inflation, tax policy changes, outsourcing, financialization, deregulation and capital flight. Almost ALL of these policy changes are in the neoliberal direction…. some of the worst occurring on Bill Clintons watch. Median Household Weealth

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  30. hist_ed

    Is a video of Drew Carey going to a Lake where people still with money in Feb 2008 are riding around on their boats…. (I wonder how many lost their boats since then?) more legitimate evidence of how the middle class is doing or would a recent report that showed median household wealth is below the level it was over 20 years ago representing several trillion dollars of lost wealth more significant evidnece?

    I was kinda tinking that the economist in the video (have you read his book? You should.) who talked about hours of labor to buy certains things might have been where I was really going with this. Remember we were talking about long term trends, not about how many people had been screwed since Obama was elected.

    Average family size has been stable over 2+ decades and does not correlate with the drop in family income

    Care to define “average family size”? not sure what you mean by that since you used another term when talking about wage staganation. Does “average family size” = “average hosuehold size”? I know that average household szie has dropped over the last three decades. Why don’t you “google the fuck” out of that info and tell us what you get? Oh wait, don’t google, just go to the Census Bureau and they will let you know that average household size has dropped over the past 30 years.

    strong dollar policy

    Just had to pick this out of the muddle. Do you want a weak dollar? Do you think that the policies of the Fed over the past 3 decades really can be descibed as a “strong dollar policy”? We’ve been priting greenbacks like crazy, real inflation is pretty high (I know, I know, “core inflation” isn’t, but if you ignore food and fuel, you really aren’t hitting most families’ spending concerns are you?).

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  31. Miguelito

    Average family size has been stable over 2+ decades

    Title of the article linked in same comment to try to prove point: “After 50 years of decline, household size is growing”

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  32. georgebalella

    Miguelito;

    I said,

    Average family size has been stable over 2+ decades ….

    From the article with census data the graphic on household size shows th average household size to be What in 1990? The answer is 2.63. Then it also shows the average family size in 2009 to be what? The answer is 2.62… not significant. How many years ago was that? 20+. Yes there has been a decrease in average family size but it does not account for but a fraction of the loss of median household income. Further it does not account for the fact that the average family now more likely needs both parent working to maintain the average household incomes close to what they were.

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  33. Seattle Outcast

    Moogoo, while you’re off showing how stupid you are, you might want to consider differences between average lifestyles between 1990 and 2009, and how incomes reflect supporting those different lifestyles.

    If you can’t think of any, you might to consider all the new toys that most people consider necessities at this time that didn’t exist 20 years ago.

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