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Cutting government spending doesn't create jobs--it increases unemployment and is bad for our economy


By Carol Guerrero, Spring Valley


July 26, 2011 (Spring Valley)--As the debate on the debt ceiling continues, I am distressed to hear the Republicans continue to use propaganda techniques to obscure clear economic analysis. Although there are many possible examples, I will use one from the House Speaker’s response to President Obama’s address to the nation last night. He repeated, as have his Republican colleagues over and over again, that lowering government spending will create jobs and help the economy.


As any macroeconomic class teaches, this statement is false in the short run and probably in the long run as well.


Think of the teachers and other government employees who have lost their jobs and the public works projects that have been postponed or cancelled due to budget cuts. These employees are consumers, as are people employed in building public projects. When they lose their jobs they consume less. Consumer spending has actually dropped by 6% in the current in the current economic downturn.


Another way of describing that consumers buy less is to say that businesses sell less. Businesses do not hire new workers when their sales are down. In fact, they may need to lay someone off. Cuts in government spending reduce employment and because this reduces consumption, it generally reduces employment by private businesses as well.


It is difficult to understand why the Republicans continue to repeat the same false statement. They seem to be taking their strategy from advertising which holds that by constantly repeating the same catchy phrase or statement, people not only remember it but think that it must be true because they have heard it repeated so many times.


Democracies count on reasoned, honest discussion to craft effective laws and it is very disappointing that the Republicans have reduced the conversation to one line ‘talking points’ which are often misleading and in this case actually untruthful.


It is certainly no service to nation and should be included, along with their unwillingness to compromise, as destructive of the democratic process.


The opinions expressed in this editorial reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact

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