Paul Krugman made the same point last week -- "OK, so deficit spending hurts the economy — unless it’s spending on the military (or on the medical-industrial complex), in which case cutting spending destroys jobs." Today, he elaborates:
A week ago I noted that Mitt Romney’s convention speech included a sudden lurch into weaponized Keynesianism, the doctrine that government spending destroys jobs unless it’s spending on defense contractors, in which case it’s the lifeblood of the economy.Consider defense-spending-as-stimulus a pander to Republican propensities and taskmasters if you will; I would just add that it's one pander on which Mitt has been consistent. In December 2008, calling for a stimulus package, he wrote:
Well, in case you thought that this was some random line inserted into his speech, this theme — government spending is great as long as it’s for destructive purposes! — is now the theme of a massive ad blitz.
On the spending front, infrastructure projects should be a high priority. But because infrastructure projects involve engineering, environmental studies, permitting and contracting, they can take a long time to actually boost the economy. Spending to refurbish and modernize our military equipment is urgently needed, and it has a more immediate impact on the economy. A great deal of our armament was damaged or lost in the Middle East, and the rest is long overdue for maintenance.While we're there, looking at the speech passage Krugman cited in his first post, the insult to voters' intelligence seems almost intentional:
His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk;Did he really slam Obama for trillion dollar cuts and trillion dollar deficits in the space of 20 seconds?
His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today’s seniors, and depress innovation – and jobs – in medicine.
And his trillion-dollar deficits will slow our economy, restrain employment, and cause wages to stall.