A Return to Voodoo Economics?

Paul Krugman sees a resurgence in Ronald Reagan’s “’supply side’ doctrine.” Or, as George H.W. Bush termed it, “voodoo economic policy.”

“So why is this happening now? It’s not because voodoo economics has become any more credible.”

“First, voodoo economics has dominated the conservative movement for so long that it has become an inward-looking cult, whose members know what they know and are impervious to contrary evidence … Today someone like Senator Rand Paul can say: ‘When is the last time in our country we created millions of jobs? It was under Ronald Reagan.’ Clinton who?”

“Second … for years people like Mr. Ryan have posed as champions of fiscal discipline even while advocating huge tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations. They have also called for savage cuts in aid to the poor, but these have never been big enough to offset the revenue loss. So how can they make things add up?”

“Well, for years they have relied on magic asterisks — claims that they will make up for lost revenue by closing loopholes and slashing spending, details to follow. But this dodge has been losing effectiveness as the years go by and the specifics keep not coming. Inevitably, then, they’re feeling the pull of that old black magic — and if they take the Senate, they’ll be able to infuse voodoo into supposedly neutral analysis.”

 

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