Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Jared Bernstein Defends the Tax Deal as Jobs Creating

Out of respect for Jared Bernstein, let me open with the case that his boss (Vice President Biden) wants him to make:

As this plan takes shape -- and I'll be the first to admit there's stuff to like and dislike about it -- one thing is clear: it's a much stronger plan on our number one priority -- JOBS -- than anyone expected.

Jared does criticize those low “bang for the buck” things that Mitch McConnell wanted in the deal. And getting an extension of unemployment insurance and a reduction in payroll taxes will help stimulate the economy a little. But let’s be realistic – the amount of stimulus relative to the output gap is very low. And we see nothing in the way of public investment or using Federal revenue sharing to make sure that state and local governments stop laying off their employees. Jared can argue that this is stronger than we expected but then our expectations of what DC politicians will do is far below what we economists could envision as good macroeconomic policy.

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