Mitt Romney, Weaponized Keynesian

From Krugman’s Blog on Sept 2:

OK, I missed this. From Romney’s acceptance speech, attacking Obama:

His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk;

His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today’s seniors, and depress innovation – and jobs – in medicine.

And his trillion-dollar deficits will slow our economy, restrain employment, and cause wages to stall.

OK, so deficit spending hurts the economy — unless it’s spending on the military (or on the medical-industrial complex), in which case cutting spending destroys jobs.

Leave on one side the fact that those possible defense cuts are the result of a Republican ultimatum, not Obama policy.

And where exactly is deficit reduction supposed to come from? The GOP wants massive tax cuts; but spending on defense must rise, as must health care spending. So I guess it’s all on the backs of the poor — except that Paul Ryan says that how we treat the defenseless is the test of our society.


Which he follows up with in his column today: Obstruct and Exploit

…do Republicans really believe that government spending is bad for the economy? No.

Right now Mitt Romney has an advertising blitz under way in which he attacks Mr. Obama for possible cuts in defense spending — cuts, by the way, that were mandated by an agreement forced on the president by House Republicans last year. And why is Mr. Romney denouncing these cuts? Because, he says, they would cost jobs!

This is classic “weaponized Keynesianism” — the claim that government spending can’t create jobs unless the money goes to defense contractors, in which case it’s the lifeblood of the economy. And no, it doesn’t make any sense.