Posted tagged ‘Martin Feldman’

Wierdest verbal image of the day…

July 29, 2008

Comes from the increasingly self-paroding Carly Fiorina.

Defending the self-admitted economic illiterate, John McCain, as the better steward of American wealth and well being than his opponent, she told reporters that McCain has spoken with various econ gurus “to make sure that he continues to keep his pulse on the American economy.”

Googling shows that the italicized phrase has turned up quite a bit lately.

But think about it. You can take a pulse, or keep your finger on a pulse. But putting your own pulse on something? What’s up with that? I have to say, at breakfast this morning I really did not need the image of McCain’s beating heart lub-dubbing and splooshing all over every laundromat, mall, cubicle farm, cattle lot and the rest of the places and ways Americans make their living.

This is undoubtedly much less important than the real argument going on, in which the McCain team’s approach seems to be to ignore the data of the last sixteen years about the impact of tax increases and decreases on growth and budgetary discipline.

The short form: despite the claims of Fiorina and Martin Feldstein, (one of those whom Brad DeLong might have in mind when he talks about economists associated with the Bush adminstration now having to pay the reputation price,) tax increases do not in themselves destroy prospects for growth — the evidence of the Clinton years destroys that shibboleth. As for McCain’s alledged commitment to fiscal discipline, there’s been a bit of news this week to remind us that tax cuts do not as a matter of principle pay for themselves.

Even shorter form: Just as Delong notes that economists backing Bush’s deficit cutting claims in 2003-4 were lying; these and other McCain affiliated advisors are not telling the truth now. Caveat emptor.

Image: Jan en Caspar Luyken, Illustration of a Surgeon, c. 1690. Source: Wikimedia Commons.