To the editor:
Here are some facts that every voter would remember next November.
Obama did not cause the Great Recession from which Americans now suffer, Bush and his policies did.
It takes an economy a long time to recover from a severe recession. Roosevelt took 10 years to guide America out of the Great Depression.
Austerity and retrenchment - cut public spending, balance the budget, pay off the national debt - is not the way to revive an ailing economy. Roosevelt tried this in 1938 and caused a double-dip depression. He rapidly retreated to deficit financing.
Austerity and retrenchment are failing disastrously today in Europe, driving a faltering economy into a major depression.
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Recovery would be more rapid in America today if the Republicans had not driven down the size of the first stimulus bill and opposed a second bill.
Nobody has yet shown how dismissing teachers, shrinking local government and starving the universities creates jobs.
Nor has anyone pointed to a country that has climbed out of a recession by austerity and retrenchment.
A recession is caused by a want of demand for goods and services, not by a want of supply of goods and services. Thus, measures to increase the supply of goods and service are ineffective.
When the private sector cannot maintain demand, the public sector must step in with spending on infrastructure, education and the safety nets.
This means deficit spending and a larger public debt, but only by the return of property can that debt be paid off.
A farmer would be mad who, in order not to increase his debt to a seed merchant, ordered no seed, grew no crop, and so had no means to pay off his debt and to grow prosperous.
So a country would be mad who, in order not to increase the national debt, refused to run a deficit and so forgo the means both to regain prosperity and pay off the debt.
Roosevelt drove the national debt to be over 100 percent of gross domestic product, but the ensuing 30 years allowed Americans to reduce the debt and enjoy unprecedented prosperity.