Thursday, October 23, 2014

Economists See Limited Gains in G.O.P. Plan

By JACKIE CALMES, NYT
OCT. 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — Anticipating a takeover of Congress, Republicans have assembled an economic agenda that reflects their small-government, antiregulation philosophy, but also suggests internal divisions that could hinder a united front against President Obama — much as happened in the 1990s, when a Republican-led Congress confronted President Bill Clinton.

The proposals would mainly benefit energy industries, reduce taxes and regulations for businesses generally, and continue the attack on the Affordable Care Act. It is a mix that leaves many economists, including several conservatives, underwhelmed.

“Some of those things will help,” Matthew J. Slaughter, an economics professor at Dartmouth College, said after reviewing nearly four dozen measures that House Republicans have labeled “jobs bills.” He cited some business tax cuts, for example, even as he cautioned about the cost of such actions.

“But,” added Mr. Slaughter, who served on President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, “it just struck me as sort of a compendium of modest expectations. If you ask me, ‘What’s your ballpark guess for how many jobs are going to be created?,’ it’s just not many.”

(More here.)

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