Jackie Calmes offers about the closest a newspaper reporter can come to telling the truth about the consequences of congressional Republican priorities:
[M]acroeconomists and private sector forecasters were warning that the direction in which the new House Republican majority had pushed the White House and Congress this year — for immediate spending cuts, no further stimulus measures and no tax increases, ever — was the wrong one for addressing the nation’s two main ills, a weak economy now and projections of unsustainably high federal debt in coming years.
Instead, these critics say, Washington should be focusing on stimulating the economy in the near term to induce people to spend money and create jobs, while simultaneously settling on a long-term plan for spending reductions and tax increases to take effect only after the economy recovers.
She cites Martin Feldstein and Hank Paulson along with a bevy of private sector forecasters as her sources on this. I would throw the right’s embrace of job-killing, output-stifling hard money measures as crucial part of the story.