Recasting Conservative Economics

In the Spring issue of National Affairs I have an essay on what Republicans need to say about the economic issues that matter most to American voters.

Normally, political candidates and parties are far better off looking forward, not backward. But the two cannot really be separated, and Republicans need to improve their economic message by looking forward and backward at once. The prevailing understanding of what caused the economic collapse of 2007-2009 — and of how best to respond to such events — is so distorted and so damaging to the advancement of conservative economic principles that it can no longer be ignored. It has not only saddled Republicans with the blame for a terrible economic crisis, but has also made it difficult for them to explain the elements of their economic agenda in the aftermath of the crisis.

Before they can regain their footing in presidential politics, therefore, Republicans will need to recast and revitalize their basic economic message — helping voters see what conservative economics has and has not involved in the past, and what it can offer them in the future.

Those interested can read the rest of the article here.

posted by James C. Capretta | 2:30 pm
Tags: recession, stimulus, economic philosophy
File As: Politics, U.S.

The President’s Incoherent Economic ‘Philosophy’

I have a new article up at National Review Online on how President Obama has abandoned his original stimulus-based approach to the economy, but failed to replace it with anything resembling a coherent, positive economic philosophy:

...the president has chosen to define his “plan” (if it can be called that) mainly by saying what it isn’t: He wants it known that his approach to the economy most definitely bears no resemblance to the plan he claims his GOP adversaries favor. Indeed, the primary purpose of these speeches has quite clearly been to tear down the straw man of a plan the president says the GOP supports in the hopes that the public will look more favorably on the president’s miserable economic record.

And so we hear from the president that the GOP favors creating a “you’re-on-your-own economy,” wants to “end Medicare as we know it,” seeks to revert to “social Darwinism,” and plans to eviscerate the social safety net to pay for a tax cut for the rich. None of this is true. No matter. The president has decided that the only path to electoral victory is to become attack-dog-in-chief.

But what about the actual substance? Is there anything at all to what the president is saying?

All is answered here.

posted by James C. Capretta | 1:12 pm
Tags: President Obama, stimulus, economic philosophy
File As: Health Care