Tea Party leader Judson Phillips proves, once again, what a buffoon he is and Matt Steinglass calls him out on it. Phillips actually wrote an article on his Tea Party website arguing for more military spending because it creates jobs. But apparently only military spending creates jobs. Phillips writes:
If we decided to build a couple of new carriers, thousands of workers would be hired for the shipyards. Thousands of employees would be hired for the steel mills that would provide the steel for the hull and various sub contractors would hire thousands. Do you know what that means?
It means they would receive paychecks and go out and spend that money. That would help a recovery. That is a shovel ready project!
Increasing spending for the military does a couple of things. It not only not only stimulates the economy, it protects our nation. That is a better investment than say spending money on teaching Chinese prostitutes how to drink responsibly.
And Steinglass responds:
But what’s amazing here, obviously, is that Mr Phillips is justifying building aircraft carriers because government spending creates jobs and stimulates the economy. And he’s right about that! But it seems that there are no other things the government spends money on, apart from defence, that Mr Phillips believes can stimulate the economy. He appears to believe that while government spending on aircraft carriers leads to workers getting hired, spending their paychecks, and helping the recovery, government spending on highways, high-speed rail, education, and health care does not. Meanwhile, Mr Phillips also believes, as he argued in a Washington Post op-ed last week, that the government shouldn’t borrow any more money, because that’s leading us to economic ruin, like Greece. And he believes that the government shouldn’t raise taxes, because that kills jobs. So where is the money supposed to come from? We’re left with one possibility: Mr Phillips believes that we should build more aircraft carriers to stimulate the economy, and fund it by cutting other government spending programmes. But obviously when you cut other government spending programmes, the people who were working for those programmes lose their jobs, stop receiving paychecks, and stop spending money, which harms the recovery. And then there’s the question of how many $2.6m prostitute-safe-drinking programmes you can find to cut. You need 3,500 of them to fund your $9 billion aircraft carrier.
The tea-party movement has spent the past year arguing that stimulus doesn’t work and cannot, by nature, create more jobs or economic activity. The idea that a major tea-party figure can turn around and make a bog-standard argument for defence spending on Keynesian grounds testifies to a startling capacity for cognitive dissonance. I’m impressed.
Oh, why not just say it: Phillips is a clueless dolt.
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