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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press George Will Comes Out for Stimulus, At Least When It Is Military Spending

George Will Comes Out for Stimulus, At Least When It Is Military Spending

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Sunday, 18 September 2011 09:59

George Will has been a harsh critic of President Obama's stimulus package, claiming that it did little to boost the economy and create jobs. He would rather see him reduce the deficit. However in today's column he firmly expresses the view that government spending does create jobs, at least when it is tied to the military.

In this piece he warns readers that:

"The 1.5 million active-duty members of the armed services and 700,000 civilian employees of the Defense Department depend on an industrial base of more than 3.8 million persons. According to the Pentagon, a sequester would substantially shrink those three numbers, perhaps adding a point to the nation’s unemployment rate."

So here we have Will clearly asserting that cuts in government spending will add to the unemployment rate. It is hard to reconcile this view with his past criticisms of the stimulus and calls for deficit reduction.

He must hold some magical view that if we spend money on something related to the military that it creates jobs, but otherwise it has no effect on employment. Perhaps if President Obama had labeled all the items in his stimulus package "defense" (e.g. "the defense green jobs program" or the "defense emergency assistance to state governments") Will would have supported it.

 

Comments (8)Add Comment
Worked in the past
written by John Q, September 18, 2011 12:46
In the 50s, the interstate highway system was built on the pretext that it would aid defense (by being able to move troops around the country quickly).
Where There's a Way There's a Will
written by izzatzo, September 18, 2011 3:05
"The 1.5 million active-duty members of the armed services and 700,000 civilian employees of the Defense Department depend on an industrial base of more than 3.8 million persons."


Exactly. If it was the other way around then the industrial base would depend on DOD for defense and any economist knows that's not possible since DOD was converted into a welfare program for private contractors.

Stupid liberals.
Culture of life?
written by John Puma, September 18, 2011 4:22
Too bad the scientific/technological talent among those 3.8 million "defense" contractors, not to mention the $1.5 Trillion perpetual war machine budget, can't be seen as THE obvious way to convert the society to the only nuclear power it will ever need: solar in all it's myriad possibilities.

http://tinyurl.com/6aj4zqu
Now that's small government...
written by diesel, September 18, 2011 8:00
Will says, "defense is something the federal government does that it actually should do."

See, we really don't really need a judicial, executive or legislative branch of government--just a joint military staff.
George W Can Easily Hold 2 Opposite Positions Simultaneously
written by Paul, September 18, 2011 8:07
Just as an infinite number of angels can dance on the head of a pin, George, like any Republican, can simultaneously hold an infinite number of contradictory positions.

For example, George knows that federal spending adds to the deficit, but tax cuts for millionaires do not. Or George sees himself as an expert on baseball, but he is a lifelong Cubs fan.
Two Wills on Sunday make me "Probate" n 2 the stool
written by jumpinjezebel, September 18, 2011 10:37
We see Mr. sillypants on TV Sunday and now we have to put up with his "I got mine" editorials on Sunday too. I thought Sunday was a day of rest. Not for the working man I guess. The Republicans are the slumlords of America - always pay lower taxes but never put any away to fix the roof.
George Will and Our Founders
written by FoonTheElder, September 19, 2011 1:43
Will says, "defense is something the federal government does that it actually should do."

I'm sure that Will and the Supreme Court constructionists have read the founders mind agagin and that it was their intention for the U.S. to spend over half of the world's military expenditures.

I can just hear Jefferson stating that we need to pay for a thousand bases all over the world in order to make the world safe to export our American jobs.
What GOP/Conservatives believe
written by Brian, September 20, 2011 1:26
As Barney Frank once said, the GOP believes in Weaponize Keynesianism.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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