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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Post Pushes Government Versus Market Fairy Tale, Again

Post Pushes Government Versus Market Fairy Tale, Again

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Friday, 14 October 2011 06:55

The Washington Post likes to tell readers that politics is not really about interest groups fighting to use the government to advance their ends, but rather reflects a difference in philosophy. It did so again today, telling readers that we can't get a jobs plan because:

"each side’s philosophy holds that the other’s is essentially bunk."

The piece continues:

"For the GOP, the big idea is that government is the main problem.

Republicans have proposed to stop new environmental and financial regulations, and lower corporate taxes. Then, the logic goes, a liberated private sector will pull itself off the mat.

For the Democrats, the idea is that government can be the main solution.

Democrats have also called for increases in government spending on roads and bridges, teachers and firefighters. This money, the logic goes, will spark the private sector to begin hiring workers again."

This is a cute exercise in pushing stereotypes, but now let's step back to reality for a second. The vast majority of the money in President Obama's job plan is in the form of tax cuts, mostly cuts in the payroll tax for workers and employers. How exactly does this fit with "government can be the main solution?"

As far as the Republican side, how many Republicans called for ending federal deposit insurance and other supports for the banking system? Republicans have no problem with all sorts of government regulations (e.g. patent and copyright protection) that impose enormous costs on the economy, but disproportionately benefit the wealthy. Their objection is not to government, their objection is to government doing anything to help the poor and middle class. 

The Post should stick to reporting the news and stop trying to pass off its fairy tales about politics in the United States.

Comments (2)Add Comment
All Rent Seekers are Existentialists
written by izzatzo, October 14, 2011 11:30
The Washington Post likes to tell readers that politics is not really about interest groups fighting to use the government to advance their ends, but rather reflects a difference in philosophy.


Exactly. Where both the left and right use the government to advance their ends the means are entirely different.

Rent-seeking is a philosophy adopted by the left and the right but in different ways. When the right seeks rent it seeks economic rent. When the left seeks rent it seeks the redistribution of rent from the rent-seekers themselves.

The moral of the story is when you can't be with the rent you seek then seek the rent you're with.

Stupid liberals.
Dean please fact check this for me
written by clarence swinney, October 17, 2011 1:56
9-9-9
Total Income is 12,000(rounded)
Total consumer spending is 10,000
Total taxable is 22,000
9% of 22,000 is 1980 or half our budget
cswinney2@triad.rr.com

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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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