Would Romney Pass A Stimulus?

Andrew Sullivan —  May 7 2012 @ 5:17pm

To fix the economy, Krugman claims "all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending." He believes that this is politically possible, no matter who wins the White House:

[I]f Romney adhered to Republican orthodoxy, he would of course reject any government action along the lines I’ve advocated. It’s not clear, however, whether Romney believes any of the things he is currently saying. His two chief economic advisers, Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw and Columbia’s Glenn Hubbard, are committed Republicans but also quite Keynesian in their views about macroeconomics.

Indeed, early in the crisis Mankiw argued for a sharp rise in the Fed’s target for inflation, a proposal that was and is anathema to most of his party. His proposal caused the predictable uproar, and he went silent on the issue. But we can at least hope that Romney’s inner circle holds views that are much more realistic than anything the candidate says in his speeches, and that once in office he would rip off his mask, revealing his true pragmatic, Keynesian nature.

In an interview with Ezra Klein, Krugman is more pessimistic:

Mankiw and Hubbard have not actually abandoned their analytical positions as far as I can tell. They have left themselves an out. John Taylor, same thing. He’s got all kinds of arguments about why this particular stimulus didn’t do anything, but he’s still living in an essentially Keynesian world. But I don’t think they’re going to be calling the shots. I think if a president Romney tried to do stuff that’s more or less Keynesian, Paul Ryan would cut him off at the knees. And beyond that, I don’t think he’s got the conviction. Someone said his slogan should be “Vote Romney: He doesn’t mean any of it.” But his party means it.