Economist, attorney, and formal federal banking regulator William K. Black, writing at New Economic Perspectives on the moral and economic idiocy of presidential politicians:
The Republicans in general and Governor Romney in particular, are (at least rhetorically) supporting extreme austerity. This is remarkable because Romney has twice said that austerity would harm our economy. (Representative Ryan’s fiscal plans are so vague and incoherent that they could actually be stimulative.) Rather than run against insane austerity policies that have proven to be economic and moral failures, President Obama has embraced his own fiscal incoherence. He talks of the government running out of money and being just like a household and is one of the worst of the enablers of Simpson-Bowles’ self-destructive austerity ideas. Simpson and Bowles, along with Peter G. Peterson are the leading American proponents of the faux moral panic. Obama’s repeated embrace of the faux moral panic has made it impossible for him to make a coherent attack on Republican embrace of austerity policies that have devastated much of Europe. Obama will pay a great political price for trying to be all things to all voters on the issue of austerity. Opposing a self-destructive economic policy, premised on lies and designed to harm popular, successful programs created by the Democratic Party to benefit working class families should have been Obama’s signature economic policy. Instead, Obama tries to be in favor of stimulus and austerity.In Europe, Geithner urges the euro zone to reject austerity. In Washington, D.C., he urges Obama to reject stimulus. Obama chose Simpson and Bowles even though everyone knew they would propose austerity and cuts to Social Security. The administration is so incoherent on these issues that no one believes that it has any economic principles. This is not pragmatism, it is dishonesty. It is bad economics, bad morality, and bad politics.