I am going to accelerate my transition into stand-up comedy, because the public is going to turn on economists very, very soon. Look at this:
1) Krugman argues that severe US fiscal austerity explains our dismal economic growth.
2) I say no, there hasn’t been fiscal austerity. In fact, we have record-high spending, and that explains our dismal economic growth.
3) Mike Konczal says the authorities have done exactly what the market monetarists wanted: The federal government has engaged in severe fiscal austerity, while the Fed has aggressively upped its purchases. The latest GDP numbers show what an abysmal failure this has been. The Keynesians were right, after all: We need budget deficits to get out of this mess.
4) Scott Sumner says no, we haven’t gotten level targeting of NGDP, which is what the market monetarists want. But anyway, Scott continues, the government’s severe fiscal austerity and easing of monetary policy has led to the recent GDP numbers, which are better than last year’s. So the market monetarists were right, after all: We don’t need budget deficits to get out of this mess.
I don’t care whether you’re Austrian, Keynesian, or Sumnerian: The above is messed up. If Joe Schmoe tried to follow the economic debate on the blogosphere, he would be very upset, as you can understand, and rightly so.