Ideology versus reality
The extreme complexity of our economy results in honest debates about which government actions have helped or hindered our economy. However, when ideology and politics replace reasoned analysis, the debate can be harmful.
For example, Republicans argue that Obama’s stimulus was no help to the economy.
However, a recent poll of leading Republican, Democratic and independent economists by the University of Chicago shows that 80 percent of them believe that the stimulus helped reduce unemployment, 4 percent thought that it did not and 16 percent were unsure.
A comparison of the economic growth since 2008 of no-stimulus Britain with the U.S. gives further proof of the value of government stimulus.
Many Republicans argue that tax cuts increase growth and revenue so much that they pay for themselves. None of the economists surveyed agree with this belief. This argument has been in use through 30 years of big tax cuts.
The result has been an increase in the national debt from less than $1 trillion to more than $15 trillion.
If pro-tax-cuts-not-paid-for and anti-stimulus politicians are given enough power, the harm to the economy could be devastating.