Steve M catches Ezra Klein in flagrante contrario with some counterintuitive Slate-style stuff about how president Romney will be Keynesian because he wants to turn the economy around. It’s not unpossible that a right-winger will use Keynesian economics — after all, people who believe in homeopathy use conventional medicine sometimes when they’re desperate, old-school-loving DJs will play Madonna to get people on the floor, etc. — but I think it’s unlikely, since it won’t be centrist 80s Romney who runs the country, but post-Bushpocalyptic Cassius Cantor. I think Steve M gets it about right:
I think we’re likely to get shock-doctrine economics — yes, tax cuts, but also (as Romney has promised) the Paul Ryan budget and Cut, Cap and Balance, which, by making balanced budgets mandatory and imposing a ceiling on government spending as a percentage of GDP, will literally make Keynesian deficit spending in a recession illegal. I think they’ll try to gut Social Security and Medicare for those under 55. I think we may get a national right-to-work law.
Suppose for the sake of argument that our national debt has become a huge problem. How did it become a problem? Because of the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq War, and the recession (which, whatever its root causes, came about under Bush).
Suppose for the sake of argument that future spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security has become a huge problem. How did it become a problem? Because of massive increases in the cost of medical care, which has been exacerbated by Republican obstruction of national health care policy (the US spends about 50% more on medical care as a proportion of GDP than other western countries).
If Romney wins, and uses the so-called debt crisis to end collective bargaining rights, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as we know them, it will be nothing less than another Reichstag fire.
Tell me I’m wrong.