Do ‘Economists Say’ Herbert Hoover Was Right? Really?

Bill Scher of the Campaign for America’s Future has some strong media criticism on AlterNet (10/23/08), focusing on an L.A. Times piece by Stephen Braun (10/23/08) that claims, as the headline says, “Obama and McCain in Denial About Deficits, Economists Say.”

“The article repeatedly assumes budget deficits as unequivocally bad,” Scher notes, even though “many economists support deficit spending in response to economic recessions.” This deficit spending can take the form of new programs, tax cuts or a combination of the two–exactly the kind of “ambitious tax and spending plans” that Braun insists “the nation’s economic crisis will take a heavy toll on.”

The idea that the only respectable response to an economic slowdown is an austerity program has been dubbed “neo-Hooverism“–and it’s remarkably popular in the punditocracy.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.