Monday, October 11, 2010

Is Social Spending Out of Control in Washington?

Of course not. It has always been fashionable for those on the Right to complain hysterically of "out of control spending", which translates roughly to "we must slash and burn all public entities with the exception of the Pentagon". But this hysterical line has been particularly popular in recent weeks.

Paul Krugman does an excellent job of exploding this bone-headed myth:
Here’s what you need to know...There never was a big expansion of government spending. In fact, that has been the key problem with economic policy in the Obama years: we never had the kind of fiscal expansion that might have created the millions of jobs we need.

Ask yourself: What major new federal programs have started up since Mr. Obama took office? Health care reform, for the most part, hasn’t kicked in yet, so that can’t be it. So are there giant infrastructure projects under way? No. Are there huge new benefits for low-income workers or the poor? No. Where’s all that spending we keep hearing about? It never happened.
It's obvious that he's correct, though this obvious fact is obscured by all of the hysterical deficit-hawking that we get from Republicans and Democrats alike.

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