Lots of red meat for the nutty base in this Pat Toomey speech to the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. A few points:
1. Mr. Toomey has joined the furthest right Senators in calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment. Scott Galupo, one of John Boehner’s former staffers, has called this idea “quite simply, insane.” Conservative columnist Bruce Barlett, a former Senior Policy Analyst for Ronald Reagan, explains why it such a stupid idea, and why it would make recessions needlessly brutal. Mr. Toomey himself is responsible for an enormous portion of the short term debt, and comes to this issue with no credibility whatsoever. If he wants to cut spending. let him propose the spending cuts he thinks are needed.
2. Mr. Toomey also incorrectly compared the United States to Greece. It is not possible for the United States to have a Greek debt crisis.
3. He also seemed not to understand that “printing money, creating money out of the clear blue sky” is what the Fed always does in times good and bad. Is Mr. Toomey really joining up with the hard-money End The Fed cranks?
4. The overarching message was that the United States needs the cold enema of immediate fiscal austerity to start growing again. There is not any good reason to believe this is true. As we learned over the weekend, the cut-and-grow Republican plan for jobs works by liquidating labor and driving down private sector wages.
If you want less money and more real debt, that’s what Mr. Toomey is offering.