Yesterday the Times published an editorial titled “More Jobs, Higher Pay.” It’s is a plea for Obama to turn from the “premature austerity” that has supposedly gripped Washington for the last several years. What the Times wants instead is an increase in the minimum wage and more support for unions, aka the force most responsible for the red ink in city and state budgets.
The Times says austerity is “premature” right now, but that formulation implies that at some point it will be mature. When will that be? Should we seek help if our spending binge lasts longer than 8 years? What will our debt to GDP ration be at that point? How will we pay off that additional debt? The Times never really says. They’re like St. Augustine. “Lord grant me austerity…but not yet.”
There’s also this gem which appears at the end. Obama needs to act because his first term was “a time of persistent high unemployment, weak job growth, stagnating wages and rising income inequality.” Good luck finding such a blunt assessment of his poor economic record in the Times‘ endorsement from just a few months ago.