Obama’s economic plan vs. the GOP’s

I wonder if the general public understands this: President Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act has the potential to prevent a new economic recession in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Republican prescription for the economy – immediate government spending cuts and a tax hike on middle class Americans (a result of ending the payroll tax holiday), eroding jobless benefits, etc. – would almost certainly cause a new recession.

That, anyway, is the conclusion of a disparate group of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News to assess the plans.

Why would Republicans propose a course of action that almost any economist would say is bound to result in immediate economic contraction? It could be the sudden bout of fiscal conservatism that seems to temporarily grip the party whenever a Democrat holds the White House. Or it could be the knowledge that the American electorate is more likely to punish the president than Congress when the economy is suffering during an election year.

It would be nice to think that Republicans wouldn’t put their political fortunes ahead of the American economy, but the evidence is pretty convincing that’s exactly what they’re doing.

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