In these challenging times, when we are facing both rising deficits and a sinking economy, budget reform is not an option. It is an imperative," Obama said in the statement. "We cannot sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness, or exist solely because of the power of a politician, lobbyist, or interest group," he said. Obama said he would ask his economic team to "think anew and act anew" to meet new challenges. "We will go through our federal budget -- page by page, line by line -- eliminating those programs we don't need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way," Obama said.
Rubinomics – at least as I understood it – meant that we accelerate Federal spending in the midst of a recession but tell Wall Street over the long-term, we are serious about long-term fiscal restraint. We might also give tax cuts to liquidity constrained people such as the working poor but raise taxes on those who are not liquidity constrained – such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. In other words, short-term fiscal restraint to actually REDUCE national savings with some assurance to Wall Street that once this recession is over, we restore a commitment to increasing savings and investment.
While John Taylor seems confused about this one, Paul Krugman gets it:
Thus, John Taylor — a very good economist, when he wants to be — insists that we must respond to the economy’s temporary weakness with a permanent tax cut. Let us reason together. Does it make sense to let one recession dictate tax policy in perpetuity? What happens if there’s a boom; can we increase taxes (no, because then the cut wouldn’t have been permanent.) What if there’s another recession? Do we permanently cut taxes again? Is there a tax-cut ratchet (or maybe racket)? Think this through, and it makes no sense at all. And Taylor’s argument against the obvious answer — government spending as stimulus — is pure gobbledygook
In just a few weeks, we will finally have a President who also gets it even if that lame duck never did.