The Economic Policy Debate? Like Banging Pots and Pans and Calling it Cooking

Bloomberg News is about the only highly visible place to go these days to get sober reporting and opinion about the economy. (Less visible but important to be reading are listed in the “Economics” blogs in the right column.) This was sent on to me by a friend.

Watching Democrats and Republicans hash out their differences in the public arena, it’s easy to get the impression that there’s a deep disagreement among reasonable people about how to manage the U.S. economy.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, there’s remarkable consensus among mainstream economists, including those from the left and right, on most major macroeconomic issues. The debate in Washington about economic policy is phony. It’s manufactured. And it’s entirely political.

Let’s start with Obama’s stimulus. The standard Republican talking point is that it failed, meaning it didn’t reduce unemployment. Yet in a survey of leading economistsconducted by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, 92 percent agreed that the stimulus succeeded in reducing the jobless rate.

Policy Debate is a Sham