The Los Angeles Times reports that the Repubican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, made the following retort to job losses from recently proposed federal budget cuts: “so be it.” Here’s the Los Angeles Times:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) dismissed concerns that the spending cuts would eliminate programs that help employ thousands of Americans, saying that if jobs are lost, “so be it.”
“So be it” means amen, doesn’t it? And here’s this on the healthcare overhaul law (from the same Los Angeles Times article):
A full-scale attack on the healthcare overhaul law advanced as Republicans approved several measures that had the effect of preventing the law from taking effect. Republicans have pledged to dismantle the healthcare law, a key demand of the “tea party” movement. In a series of votes Friday, Republicans approved measures to block funding, including one that would bar salaries for government workers implementing the law. . . . The healthcare votes came as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said in an updated assessment that repealing the healthcare law would actually drive up federal deficits by $210 billion by 2021 and leave 22 million more Americans without health insurance.
Now let’s see. The Republicans are looking to cut $60 billion over the next seven months from the Federal budget, but the effect will be a deceleration of consumption spending by those federal employees laid off from work, an increase in the deficit by $210 billion over the next several years, and 22 million Americans left without health insurance.
So be that?
It looks like we’re heading this year for an epic train wreck between the Milton Friedman right and John Maynard Keynes liberals. I genuinely don’t know which group is correct in their economic theory. Over the years, both Friedmanite and Keynesian arguments have, at different times, sounded plausible to me. Perhaps one secret to the general success of the United States is that neither Milton Friedman nor John Maynard Keynes has prevailed completely in economic decision-making. The two views check and balance one another. Maybe the ongoing muddle, political fighting, and compromise over these contending directions for the economy is best; what we should say so be it to.