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I've not seen this discussed much, or at all. Everyone seems focused on the absurd and elusive reasons behind Governor Romney's desire to build 15 warships a year in this modern era. President Obama rightly called him out on it with his horses and bayonets zinger. Modern warships are vastly more powerful than their WWI counterparts, and thus one really needs fewer of them. Despite this, I've heard Governor Romney continue to speak about his 'vision' in stump speeches. Why is he so married to this idea?

Now some have made the point that Mitt's plan is a give away to the MIC, which it is. But that struck me as too easy of a reason. To me it felt like only half of the truth, though I hadn't an inkling what that other piece of the puzzle might be. But this morning, as I'm studying my new internet passion Modern Money Theory (thanks to recent diaries on DKos), it occurred to me what this other piece of the puzzle was. Namely, an admission by Governor Romney, though not explicit, that Keynesian policies work, and they are integral to his economic plans.

Continued below the orange bow wash...

We here at DKos have known for a long time that Republicans are rather hypocritical when it comes to spending government money. When Republicans are in power, deficits and spending don't matter; it's only when Democrats are in power that suddenly the debt, deficit, spending all become 'fiscal cliffs'.

The Republican leadership knows that government spending is one of the drivers of growth. That is why they spend when in power, that is why they don't balk at privately accepting stimulus money. But publicly they cynically use deficit and austerity talk to win over their base. So now that you've sold this lie to your base, how do you go about spending without being called to task?

Why the answer lies in Defense spending of course. No red-blooded red-stater is going to bad mouth defense spending.  President Eisenhower used this same rhetorical trick to pass Interstate Highway funding...a national highway system being 'needed' for national defense coast to coast.

So Governor Romney knows he needs to spend money to jump start the economy...but how? By building 15 warships a year, and 'modernizing' the Navy...which is all quite expensive stuff...and is all part of the $2 Trillion that Governor Romney will use to increase base Defense spending. This money is then injected into the economy, ninja-Keynesian style. Because let's face it..building that many ships is simply ridiculous...it makes no sense other than to be a cover for Keynesian policies (and yes in the process, enrich the MIC).

I recall a few years back listening to NPR, and one of the hosts (possibly EJ Dionne?) made the remark that climbing out of the Great Depression really didn't require WWII..it only gave us a reason to spend so much money. He quipped that we could have simply built all those tanks and aircraft, shipped them 100 miles off the coast, and sank them. No war required, and the same resultant boost to the economy would have occurred. So why not spend on something really productive?

This is why we need President Obama back in office. He'll take that $2 trillion in savings from the war budget (ie, not the base budget) and put it to better use.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:55:35 AM PDT

  •  Also, here's an interesting page on Warship (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hamlets Father

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:57:53 AM PDT

    •  Interesting theory (0+ / 0-)

      I never considered it before.  Thanks for the food for thought.

    •  And justWHERE is this defense spending being done? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JWK

      One of the R tactics in this matter is to concentrate such spending in red states, especially in the South, so that they get the full benefit of many more US bucks in their economies than a lot of states which pay in more, in addition to concentrating defense expertise in those states, and the conservative spin that those states give to Defense personnel. I do remember theanalysisin the otherwise concerning book about secession which was reviewed here, which required an adjustment to deal with the concentration of such in southern states.

  •  I don't know... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JWK, Odysseus

    It makes sense in theory. But here's my problem: First, modern Naval building is a very highly specialized area. Thanks to the technology that goes into it, only a few people can actually work on it. As far as those federal dollars stimulating the economy, the ship building companies and their workers may get the money, but I don't see it seeping out to the rest of the country. I really do think that he has no clue about the strength of a single Naval ship, and just believes we need to meet a magical number, like good ol' St. Regan.

    •  Oh, I'm sure he doesn't know the strength of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Calamity Jean

      naval ships. And 15 ships is likely an arbitrary number, which to me speaks more to my theory that this is simply part of a disguised stimulative package.

      The rest of the $2 trillion would be spread around the country. Can you imagine if President Obama had an additional $2 trillion in stimulative money to spend around the nation?

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:12:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is typical Republican rhetoric: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JWK, JeffW, a2nite

    Keynesian policies don't work stimulate the economy; government can't create jobs; stop wasting tax payer money.  

    Defense spending:  if we cut defense spending we'll lose jobs; growth will slow; we need an even larger military.

    •  More "Ever larger" than "even larger". . . . nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SomewhatEsoteric, JeffW

      We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

      by Samer on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:13:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We should just fold all other departments into (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Odysseus

      Defense...put Education, Energy, EPA..everything...and then dare Republicans to cut Defense spending...

      Of course I'm being snarky...

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:20:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also I should add that Republican leadership (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, a2nite, Odysseus

      secretly KNOWS Keynesian policies work...they just can't let their base know that they know.  Of course you have to spend on the correct things..wasting money is never good...which is why I prefer Democratic representatives. For the most part they have their priorities straight.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:23:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a VERY Good Diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JWK

    I dont have as much time to blog as I would like.  If I had more time, or made better use of my time, I would write how there is no way Romney would practice any form of austerity and would, intead use a Keynsian approach to the economy, at least to the short and intermediate term.  My thinking is that the main mechanism for his Keynsianism will be the 20% tax cut, which will not at all be paid for in the end, despite what Romney says.  However, this naval buildup will be part of it too.

    The said thing is that, for the short term to mid term (let's say through Romney's re-election), the policy of having a navla buildhup plus tax cuts will have a very positive short term effect.  This stimulus, along with the improvements in the economy generated by Obama's policies (recovering housing and automobile industry), will lead to very respectable growth over the next 4 years.   Now, I say the improvement will be short to mid term because ulitmately it will not address the main economic problem that we fact-falling middle class wages-but it will give a short to mid term jolt to the economy.

    There are many reasons why this election is so important.  One of them is that the economy is likely to perform much better then it has over the last 5 years.  If Obama wins, he will rightly get the credit.  If Romney wins, he will wrongly get the credit.  

    •  So true, and something I hadn't thought about... (0+ / 0-)

      the economy is trending positive, and economies have momentum. If Romney is elected, he'll get credit for the work President Obama has set in motion.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:36:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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