UnNews:Romer on spending cuts: "Maybe later"
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9 March 2010
Christina Romer, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, said that cutting spending now would "nip the economic recovery in the bud." She spoke Tuesday to a group of economists in Arlington, Virginia. Though dismissing cuts now that the huge deficit is making news, she left open the possibility of cutting spending later, when the economy recovers and no one cares about the deficit.
An analysis by the Reuters news service noted that Ms. Romer addressed the same group one year ago and touted the economic stimulus package, which she said would probably generate more "oomph" than usual. (Oomph is a technical term understood by the economists to whom she was speaking. It probably means unemployment, which has risen two percentage points in the last year.)
Ms. Romer said Mr. Obama's current spending proposals, including another stimulus package with additional aid to cash-strapped states, would boost employment. Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, famous aviator and current president of the National Association for Business Economists, supported Ms. Romer's remarks. "It is extremely unlikely that such a highly placed government spokeswoman would be wrong two years in a row," he said.
In ruling out spending cuts now, Ms. Romer pointed out that they would impact federal employees, construction workers, union bosses, and other important constituencies. But she held out hope that the painful cuts would be made later this year, just before the November elections.
- Emily Kaiser and Mark Felsenthal "White House's Romer: Too soon for spending clamp-down." Reuters, March 9, 2010