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THE FACE OF THE TEA PARTY
Like an elderly Dad upset with the hula hoops and loud music of kids nowadays, the Tea Party is fixated on imposing austerity on the American public, which in Tea Partier mythology is made up of welfare queens, cultural marxists, and poor people (read black folk in the bagger imagination) who buy too many steaks and Jet-Skis. The meme is that thrift is a macroeconomic virtue, something most economists (and we exclude the cult of the Austrian School) find amusing, if not dangerous.

Generally this meme is accompanied by a metaphorical invocation of the hearth and home.  Just as we all must meet our budgets at our meager post-Bush kitchen tables (“we” apparently doesn’t include the top 1% of Americans who are so wealthy that budgets are meaningless), so too must the wastrels in the federal government.  Thrift, Horatio, thrift.

Not that facts matter to the Tea Party, but we can actually look at countries that followed austerity policies in the wake of the Bush Recession, and evaluate the results.   And it’s dismal.

Britain passed an austerity plan that would make a Tea Partier proud.  The result:  Negative growth.   Flat growth in the first quarter of 2011, and then a fall in growth.  A total economic failure.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/world/europe/26britain.html?_r=2
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=192

Greece of course also followed the austerity model.  Do I need to say more.  It’s become an economic basket case as austerity has virtually stopped all economic growth.

Germany instituted a partial austerity plan.  Its GDP performance is about the same as ours.

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/germany/gdp-growth
http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdphighlights.pdf

Conclusion: austerity doesn’t work.  But that won’t stop the Tea Partiers from repeating it like the crotchety and misinformed old Papas they are.


 


Comments

Ms Peel
08/02/2011 1:00am

They do remind me of a bad dad, trying to get revenge agains their better educated, better adjusted children

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