Jared Bernstein on GDP contraction:
[T]he role of diminished government spending--austerity at time when we need a fiscal push--is a useful reminder that it’s not nature that has us stuck in this slog, it’s policy. One would hope this report would remind Congress what a terrible idea it would to allow the sequester--$85 billion in spending cuts in 2013--to take effect in March.
What’s more, Republicans remain publicly committed to the notion that this will help and not harm the economy.
Why of course. Because it's a "terrible idea."
To me it is simply inconceivable that anyone, even any Republican, could honestly believe that "applying medieval techniques [of] bleeding the patient," as Bernstein frames it, could be anything but a terrible idea. Others have argued that modern Republican pols really are that dumb, but I stand firm in my conviction that their imbecility is mostly an act. Had President McCain been caught in such a fourth-quarter fix, this Republican-controlled Congress would be doing what Republicans have done for other Republican presidents since Eisenhower: furiously shoveling government money out of each chamber's door.
That the contemporary GOP is so willing to inflict economic pain on innocent millions only to hurt Obama politically is merely one more measure of just how unAmerican this wretched party has become.