February 4, 2014

SPENGLER: The Exhausted US Economy, and a Lesson for Republicans. “The problem now is obstacles to investment: the highest corporate tax rate in the world, onerous regulation, the crazyquilt uncertainty of Obamacare. America needs aggressive tax cuts and regulatory rollback. It also needs to spend more on infrastructure, which is becoming a major obstacle to growth. It needs to spend more on R&D, particularly on cutting-edge military R&D. The way to do this, I’ve argued for years, is to emulate Roosevelt’s alphabet-soup federal agencies and put unemployment Americans to work repairing infrastructure at $20 an hour, rather than paying $50 an hour to the construction unions. That’s heresy from a free-marketeer like me, but it makes economic sense and will drive the Democrats crazy. If Republicans stage more cliffhangers around the budget, they may yet snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. They should talk about nothing but growth and jobs. Many Republican analysts claimed that Obama just got lucky in 2012, that the econonmy was turning up in any event and the incumbent got the credit. That is self-consoling nonsense: the Republicans lost because Mitt Romney came across like a silver-spoon princeling, and because Americans (with good reason) blamed the Republicans as much as the Democrats for the economic mess.”