As soon as President Perry takes office with his new Congressional majorities, the first thing he will do is push for a large stimulus package.
• It will contain both big spending proposals – perhaps $2 trillion in new spending - and huge tax cuts - $2-3 trillion in the 10-year time frame, drawing from Grover's fantasy list
From Bernstein's blog (the link above, which includes pretty charts):
47% of all government jobs added in the US between 2007 and 2010 were added in Texas.
The chart shows that Texas employment wasn’t down much at all in these years, as the state lost only 53,000 jobs. But looming behind that number are large losses in the private sector (down 178,000) and large gains (up 125,000) in government jobs.
As crazy as he sounds at times, Perry and his advisors are not stupid. They understand Keynesianism. Republicans always have, despite what they pretend on TV.
• The GOP will call the stimulus something other than a stimulus – perhaps a growth package.
• The spending will be concentrated in proposals designed to pay off GOP and red-state constituencies, principally big oil, big coal, big agriculture, and the military-industrial-homeland security complex.
The “K Street Project”, for those who have forgotten was mainly about wholly capturing industries with large stakes in federal procurement and federal regulation to be work-horses solely for the Republican Party. It was all about creating a baroque new spoils system.
The Perry stimulus will be a big step toward completing the project.
(Don’t worry – Obama will still have the bankers in his camp all through the campaign, and one of them will give him a nice job afterwards, finally scratching that itch of insecurity.)
• The stimulus will be framed as liberating “free enterprise” – an anti-regulatory cloak will be important to cover up the naked pork.
• The new administration and its Congressional allies will muddy the facts on the deficit-busting nature of the proposal in three ways:
1. They will claim that the package should be evaluated on the basis of “dynamic scoring” - the same dodge used to suggest that the Bush tax cuts would “pay for themselves” – that will vastly overstate the stimulative impacts of the tax cuts and make the whole thing look less budget-busting. (Note: Had the Bush-era dynamic scoring projections come true, the US economy today would be about 1/3 larger than it is. It was clearly bullshit, but the con artists who pulled that off have never been held accountable – so it’s a lock that we’ll see it again.)
2. They will claim that “tough choices” made in 2011 (the “Super Committee”) to cut Medicare and Social Security created room for these new, “urgent” initiatives
3. They will claim that other proposed policies will offset the huge new costs – completely “privatizing” and block-granting Medicare and Medicaid will be the center-pieces that might actually go through. Same for calls to gut NIH and EPA. Calls to dismantle the Departments of Labor and Education will hit more resistance, but the prospective “savings” of these moves will still be added in to the numbers bandied around in public “debate.”
So here’s my question for Democrats: Are you going to support the Perry Growth Package?
After all, you want to be patriotic, and solid policy analysis suggests that we desperately need some kind of stimulus to address the suffering of millions of people. By early 2013, we will probably be on a clear glide path into the “double-dip.”
Can President Perry count on your votes and support?
Now one last question for our Democratic Leaders: If you’re going to knuckle under and support directing $ trillions toward Republican priorities and political pay-offs in 2013 (with untold consequences for global warming, new wars, continued de-industrialization of blue states, etc.), are you sure you really want to take a meat-axe to programs that are Democratic priorities over the next 4 months?
I mean, you'll look really stupid falling for the exact same con twice in a row, and will have completely betrayed the people who elected you.
But, then again, all that new spending will open up a lot of lobbying employment opportunities that could go a long way toward paying for that retirement you've been envisioning...