John Shadegg’s Economic Blather

Outgoing Representative John Shadegg [R Arizona] opined on “Morning Joe” [MSNBC] on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 that unemployment benefits do not stimulate economic growth because the unemployed spend as little as they can.

Here is a link that describes Congressman Shadegg’s nonsensical banter:

Representative Shadegg was flat wrong in one or more respects, as any student of economics would tell him.  Those to whom Shadegg would give money have a higher propensity to save and lower propensity to consume. Tax-savings MAY go to creating jobs, but they may go to profitable enterprises unrelated to creating jobs.  The unemployed, by contrast, are far less likely to save and far more likely to consume and spend.  Far from spending as little as possible — doubletalk alert! — the chronically unemployed must often spend more than they have to feed their families.

What interests me about this episode is that Rep. Shadegg so glibly and quickly spouted utter drivel with such confidence that he would “get away” [in at least two senses] with doubletalk.  He got snarky to get away from his questioner and hoped through sheer vehemence to get away with preferring to give money to the wealthy rather than to the needy.

Then, however, I was educated by Delaware D Liberal at

“You might think ‘Gee, Shadegg is an idiot about the economy’ and you would be right. But what you would be missing is that Democratic lawmakers who even entertain the idea of extending the tax cuts for the rich are buying into the same Shadegg-style stupid. That means Carper, Coons, and Carney.

“Democrats, from bloggers to Presidents, have failed to dislodge the false premise that tax cuts for the rich create growth, aka trickle-down. Democratic senators casually state ‘This is not the time for tax increases,’ as if the tax cuts for the rich somehow help the economy. Every major media outlet has worked this frame into their news reporting.”

Well said, Delaware D Liberal!



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