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The GOP Has 'formally committed itself to Austrian economics'

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02/24/2014

It's great that Austrian economics is now the embodiment of free market economics in the minds of so many people. This comes at a great price, of course, since groups that have virtually no interest at all in actual free-market economics, such as the Republican Party, are nonetheless associated with Austrian economics. In the case of the GOP,  Republicans like to distract the voters with references to Mises and Hayek right before heading over to vote "yes" on the latest multi-trillion dollar war or welfare program. When the Dems want, say, 750 billion dollars for some new scheme, the Republicans shoot back with a plan to spend "only" 745 billion dollars. In D.C., this is known as taking a hard-core anti-government position. And so it goes with the latest piece of misinformation in New York Magazine:

Since the outset of the Obama era, the GOP has formally committed itself to Austrian economics or some other intellectually amorphous defense of austerity. Higher spending cannot create jobs, Republicans say. And they have acted on this belief, using every bit of leverage at their disposal to clamp down on spending, and to block every proposal to stimulate the economy through infrastructure investment, temporary tax cuts, or any other Keynesian measure. Whatever the effects of the Party’s much-touted wave of economic reform, it has left the anti-Keynesian wall intact.

The assertion that the GOP is "formally" (?) committed to Austrian econ is what Drudge might call a "shock claim."

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is the editor of Mises Wire and The Austrian. Send him your article submissions, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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