Photo: Gage Skidmore, Flickr
Back in April we made the argument that a Mitt Romney win would be better for the economy, based on fairly simple logic: A Mitt Romney victory would see higher government deficits, which is just what this struggling economy needs right now to regain full health.If Obama wins, there’s a good chance that we’ll fly off the fiscal cliff, as the political gridlock will see spending cuts kick in, and perhaps even higher taxes.
If Romney wins, not only will taxes stay low, Republicans will drop their opposition to government spending and deficits. That’s because parties in power always support higher deficits and spending. It’s just what they do.
We’d love to hear someone say with a straight face that Republicans, if given full power, would seriously stick to their principles of limiting government. Opposing deficits is strictly the purview of the opposition party.
So the Keynesian choice is Romney.
And as Matt Yglesias makes clear in his latest column for Slate, this choice is actually even more urgent.
That’s because House Republicans voted this week to renege on the debt ceiling deal made last summer. Remember as part of the deal that was made, starting in 2012 there are going to be cuts to domestic spending and military spending. But Republicans have voted to remove the military cuts, and put the entire burden on domestic spending.
Those changes won’t actually happen, but it’s a show of extraordinarily bad faith that after that long fight that brought the country close to the brink of disaster last summer that Republicans are already trying to unwind the deal.
What this means is that good faith fights over the next debt ceiling question (which will come up late this year or early next year) will be 100% impossible.
As Yglesias says in the subtitle of his column: House Republicans just reneged on the debt-ceiling deal, making a default in 2013 almost inevitable.
If Mitt Romney wins that may not be a problem, as he and congressional Republicans could just quickly lift the ceiling. But if Obama’s still in office, we’re looking at a potential disaster. Having won concessions by using the debt ceiling as leverage in the past, the GOP isn’t going to quietly go back to the old complain-and-agree approach. But there’s no way Democrats can bargain with a party that’s so eager to wriggle out of the terms of deals.
So again, it’s clear that if you want higher spending and a prevention of cataclysmic self-inflicted wounds out of Washington, Romney is the choice.
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