The Kansas City Star has the article Commentary: Our economy has recovered when…
The long and staggering recovery has made a distant memory of what a normal economy on two feet looks like.
There is one thing, however, we should know by now: It’s really hard for government to light the fires of an organic recovery that leads to self-sustaining growth.
My response to that article was:
It is hard for the government to get the economy moving because of politics, not because of lack of economic theory about how to do it.
You mention in the article that a large enough stimulus for a long enough time would do it. Obama’s stimulus was too small, it ended too soon, and Congress would not allow him to do more.
The government debt level is trivial compared to the contraction of private debt for which it was trying to compensate. So that is not an issue.
The concentration of wealth that is aided by such things as the Bush tax cut for the wealthy is also a large stumbling block. Congress would not allow Obama to rescind this.
As long as the wealthy can make money by investing in unregulated financial trickery instead of having to find something productive to invest in, they will continue to suck money out of the economy instead of putting people to work. The Congress prevented Obama from getting all the regulations that are needed.
When Bush stopped the ongoing negotiations to harmonize tax policy across nations, he prevented the only mechanism that would allow the taxation of the wealthy without inducing the flight of money to foreign tax havens.
Insisting on trade treaties that could not include any rules about labor unions, environmental protection, or product safety, the Congress has hamstrung any administration from negotiating treaties that enhance the economy instead of ruining it.
The Republicans and their big campaign donors have done an excellent job of seeing to it that we are exactly in the position we are now in.
It takes a lot of concerted effort to screw things up as badly as they are.
I was typing so fast and furiously, I forgot to add the budget busting soaring of health care costs. If Congress had not forced President Obama to water down the Affordable Care Act in order to continue big money giveaways to the big drug companies and the big insurance companies, we would have started to control the problem much sooner.