Almost everyone, it seems now, understands that the economy isn’t growing significantly, certainly not enough to get the kind of job creation necessary to lower unemployment. What policies do Americans want taken to kick-start it back into high gear? Gallup polled over a thousand general-population adults, and found that Keynesianism is in fact dead as a strategy:
Americans do not show a strong consensus for any of the approaches, but clearly reject additional economic stimulus spending. Theincreased government spending in late 2008/early 2009 to bail out major U.S. corporations and attempt to jump-start the economy concerned many Americans and helped fuel the Tea Party movement, leading to significant Democratic losses in Congress in the midterm elections. That concern is also reflected in Americans’ endorsing deficit reduction as an economic strategy over generally popular approaches like tax cuts or tax hikes on the wealthy.
Both independents and Republicans choose deficit reduction as the preferred economic approach. Republicans even choose it over tax cuts, a core Republican Party goal, by a 14-point margin. Democrats are less inclined to back deficit reduction, with a majority instead choosing to increase taxes on the wealthy.
Overall, Americans choose spending cuts (39%) over class-warfare tax hikes on the wealthy (31%), while almost no one argues for increases in government “stimulus” spending, which comes in at a lowly 5%. Even among Democrats, Keynesianism is an ex-parrot; only 9% see that as the strategy for economic recovery.
The rest of the results show Democrats far out of step with the rest of the country. Only 24% want spending cuts, as opposed to 42% of independents and 49% of Republicans. A majority of Democrats want tax hikes on the wealthy (52%), an option that appeals to less than a third of independents (30%) and only 11% of Republicans. Only 35% of Republicans want tax cuts at this juncture, which as Gallup notes comes in 14 points behind spending cuts.
The ever-brilliant editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily explained this week that the solution to ballooning deficits and debt was not just elementary, but even more basic. Ramirez gives a voice to the generation that will have to deal with the consequences:
Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.