Daily Archives: June 9, 2011

I want to take Republicans seriously, but they do make it hard. The moment I say something kind about Mitt Romney (“He is in many ways a capable and effective candidate”) he criticises Obama for throwing Israel under the bus by uttering the phrase “1967 borders” in the course of reaffirming long-standing US policy. That learned me. Now Tim Pawlenty soars to far greater heights of nonsense with his proposals on the economy.

Let’s start with a big, positive goal. Let’s grow the economy by 5%, instead of the anemic 2% currently envisioned. Such a national economic growth target will set our sights on a positive future. And inspire the actions needed to reach it. By the way, 5% growth is not some pie-in-the-sky number. We’ve done it before. And with the right policies, we can do it again.

Between 1983 and 1987, the Reagan recovery grew at 4.9%. Between 1996 and 1999, under President Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress the economy grew at more than 4.7%. In each case millions of new jobs were created, incomes rose and unemployment fell to historic lows. The same can happen again.

Growing at 5% a year, rather than the current level of 1.8%, would net us millions of new jobs. Trillions of dollars in new wealth. Put us on a path to saving our entitlement programs. And balance the federal budget…

5% economic growth over 10 years would generate 3.8 trillion dollars in new tax revenues.

I’m wondering why nobody thought of this before. Just grow at 5% a year. Job done.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

Clive Crook’s blog: A guide

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