Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Looking Ahead to Today's GOP Debate

I've got the DVR all set for today's Republican candidates debate. John Harwood of CNBC and the Wall Street Journal has his preview here. As this debate is about the economy, he is looking for three big issues: taxes, spending, and trade.

I don't blog much about trade. I'm a free trader. Economic exchange by mutual consent is one of the things that ties the world together in a positive way. In the absence of some identifiable non-pecuniary externality, Republicans have no business restricting free trade.

I've gone off on the Republicans for their budget policy a number of times. (Here's a good one.) If any of these candidates are going to sway me on budget policy, they are going to have to do two things. First, do not say that tax cuts pay for themselves. Second, say that you are going to balance the budget without reference to a Constitutional amendment. And I'll have to believe them. That's a tall order, given what we've seen so far.

But the most important issues of budget policy are going to come in the form of budget priorities. I hope they all get asked the question of SCHIP funding vs. war funding. That will tell us something about their leadership potential. For very good commentary, see this post at SnowDahlia.


Anonymous said...

Did you realy write the July post on the budget at 2:12 am?

Anonymous said...

"First, do not say that tax cuts pay for themselves."

That kind of honesty was way too much to ask for. But I'm glad you asked for it anyway. I just hope someday some debate moderator or interviewer will ask one of those guys "Do economists generally agree with your view? Which ones do?"

save_the_rustbelt said...

A couple of comments...

There was some hope that, due to Michigan's 7 year recession, someone might have a comment of two on fixing the rustbelt economy.

No such luck.

And many economics professors are in favor of free trade except for one occupation - professors. It seems economics professors do not like the vagaries of an open markets, and prefer tenure. Hmmmm.