http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/republicans-cry-uncle-on-spending-when-cuts-hit-home.php?ref=fpbIt took months of fighting — the threat of a government shutdown, the graver threat of a default on the national debt, and now a new threat of major, automatic cuts to Medicare and defense programs — but Congress’ deficit obsession has finally exposed the rarest of all species: Republican Keynesians.

With just a under a month until the deficit Super Committee must recommend policies that cut the 10 year deficit by $1.2 trillion, members of the Republican party — the same party that’s been on the war path for deep spending cuts, and that decries President Obama’s “failed stimulus” — are making uncharacteristic arguments against slashing spending. Trim too much, too quickly, they warn, and people will lose their jobs!

Call them Defense Keynesians — GOP members who represent defense interests, veterans, service members, contractors, and others whose livelihoods would be impacted by deep cuts to defense spending. They don’t want the Super Committee to cut much more, if any, from defense, and they certainly don’t want to pull the so-called “trigger” which would cut defense across the board by about $600 billion starting in 2013, if the panel gridlocks.


krugmanThat’s it exactly. Propose some kind of public investment, say in green energy, and the right screams “Solyndra! Waste! Fraud!” But propose spending the same amount on weapons that we don’t need, and it’s all good.

If only we could convince Republicans that solar power or mass transit were complete wastes, but that they would upset some foreign power — the French, that’s it! — a big stimulus program might sail through.