Witwer relies on discredited assumptions
Rob Witwer’s column is an example of what Al Gore pointed out in “An Inconvenient Truth,” that the popular press doesn’t hesitate to level the playing field between pure ideology and scientific theory, presenting the former as the equal to the latter, in complete disregard of evidence, logic, and a broad consensus among experts.
While economists (including 2008 Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman) overwhelmingly support a large stimulus package, and history has forcefully demonstrated its efficacy (both in the early years of the New Deal and in the buildup for World War II), Witwer advocates, with the Courier’s help, the historically proven folly of prioritizing a balanced budget over stimulus spending in times of economic downturn (it was, in fact, FDR’s acquiescence to the budget hawks in 1937, and his ill-fated decision to try to balance the budget after having achieved what he thought to be sufficient success in regrowing the economy, that threw the country back down into the Depression, requiring the World War II spending finally to pull it up and out).
It was, in fact, the combination of New Deal programs and WWII “stimulus spending” that laid the foundation for the spectacular, sustained economic growth and prosperity following World War II. Responsibility to our children means choosing the best-informed policies, not adhering to discredited ideological assumptions.
But why permit expert analyses and historical evidence to distract us, when we have the horribly failed right-wing policies espoused by Witwer, which have given us the debacle we now are in, to rely on?