When Democrats Sound Like Democrats

With the surfeit of debates, this election cycle, there’s certainly plenty of opportunity to observe the differences large and small between candidates in the Democrat congressional primaries. One instance has to do with Anthony Gemma, in the First District race. Gemma had piqued my interest with a press release that he intends to forgo his salary, should he win the seat, and use it to create four jobs, instead. (Naturally, those jobs would be within his staff, working on a jobs plan.)
But Randal Edgar’s coverage of an ABC6 debate suggests Gemma’s still way too far within Democrat territory:

Asked what is more important, stimulating the economy or cutting the national deficit, the candidates responded with the familiar words that have marked their campaigns.
Segal said the priority needs to be stimulating the economy, with money going to areas such as public transit.
Lynch said his priority is putting Rhode Islanders back to work, and cutting spending for bridges and roads in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gemma said the government has to spend more wisely, giving money directly to private companies that will create jobs that will still be there when the government money is gone. Cicilline said the country needs to do both — stimulate the economy and pare down the debt.

More public spending will not stimulate the economy. It will supplant spending already planned, change little more than timing, create dependency, and increase worries about debt and taxes. Any candidate who states belief that government spending is the route out of our economic slump is not fit for public office.
This example is even more egregious:

Gemma said the state needs to expand preschool programs to make sure students know their letters and numbers when they get to kindergarten and to spend more time teaching reading and math.

Even government reports have shown that early childhood education isn’t likely to be core to an education remedy. It does not make up for poor instruction in subsequent grades or for disengaged parents. When implemented by the state, however it does create a wave of new union members and begin government control of children at even earlier. My expectation is that such a program would only reinforce parents’ understanding that educating their children is the responsibility of the government and will do nothing to change the structural mentality that binds our public schools in stagnating labor rules and unhealthy institutional incentives that leave students and parents little influence in policy.
By contrast, Ernest Greco, running in the Second District race, actually gives Democrat voters a substantive choice, and this is what he gets:

… Greco stuck to such conservative positions, that Scott MacKay, political correspondent at WRNI radio, asked him outright: “Why are you a Democrat? Every position you take is right from the Republican platform.”

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OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

This blog says, “More public spending will not stimulate the economy. It will supplant spending already planned, change little more than timing, create dependency, and increase worries about debt and taxes.” All I find here are a bunch of assertions, and the blog offers no reason other than the author says so – good for the sheep, I suppose.
The economist, Paul Krugman has the opposite opinion, which he delivers with reason. Now, when it comes down to bona fides, I’ll go with Krugman over the author of this blog. Krugman states

Now there’s no question that countries can suffer crises of confidence (see Greece, debt of). But what the advocates of austerity claim is that (a) the bond vigilantes are about to attack America, and (b) spending anything more on stimulus will set them off.
What reason do we have to believe that any of this is true? Yes, America has long-run budget problems, but what we do on stimulus over the next couple of years has almost no bearing on our ability to deal with these long-run problems. As Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, recently put it, “There is no intrinsic contradiction between providing additional fiscal stimulus today, while the unemployment rate is high and many factories and offices are underused, and imposing fiscal restraint several years from now, when output and employment will probably be close to their potential.

Funny how a positive short term is good for business, but bad for the working man’s family.
OldTimeLefty

EMT
EMT
11 years ago

Liberals- never met a problem whose solution wasn’t more money taken from other people.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

No EMT, it’s going to take some of my money, some of yours and some of almost everyone else’s-exception being the true poor. What part of “There is no intrinsic contradiction between providing additional fiscal stimulus today, while the unemployment rate is high and many factories and offices are underused, and imposing fiscal restraint several years from now, when output and employment will probably be close to their potential” were you arguing against? Argument by invective only creates animosity and never represents reasoned thought.
OTL

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