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Ear to the Ground

Forget ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Call It an ‘Austerity Bomb’

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Posted on Nov 14, 2012
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Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo seems to have coined the term last spring. Paul Krugman thinks it’s a better way to talk about the coming budget crisis, as it asserts that too little spending—rather than too much—is the cause of the danger.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Paul Krugman at The New York Times:

The cliff stuff makes people imagine that it’s a problem of excessive deficits when it’s actually about the risk that the deficit will be too small; also and relatedly, the fiscal cliff stuff enables a bait and switch in which people say “so, this means that we need to enact Bowles-Simpson and raise the retirement age!” which have nothing at all to do with it.

And it can’t be emphasized enough that everyone who shrieks about the dangers of the austerity bomb is in effect acknowledging that the Keynesians were right all along, that slashing spending and raising taxes on ordinary workers is destructive in a depressed economy, and that we should actually be doing the opposite.

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