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Christina Romer on the One Thing That Disillusioned Her: The Fiscal Policy Debate

Christina Romer:

The one thing that has disillusioned me is the discussion of fiscal policy. Policymakers and far too many economists seem to be arguing from ideology rather than evidence…. [T]he evidence is stronger than it has ever been that fiscal policy matters—that fiscal stimulus helps the economy add jobs, and that reducing the budget deficit lowers growth at least in the near term. And yet, this evidence does not seem to be getting through to the legislative process.

That is unacceptable. We are never going to solve our problems if we can’t agree at least on the facts. Evidence-based policymaking is essential if we are ever going to triumph over this recession and deal with our long-run budget problems.