By James Kwak
Dean Baker, a leading economic commentator and author of the Beat the Press blog, has written a review of White House Burning for the Huffington Post. Baker manages the admirable feat of being gracious and complimentary while delivering several serious criticisms of the book.
I’ll skip over the nice things he said and get to Baker’s main objections, of which I think there are three. The first is that long-term fiscal sustainability is the wrong problem to be focused on:
”While the solutions do not especially upset me, I do very much disagree with the diagnosis of the problem. The most immediate issue is that we have a fire at the moment in the form of too little demand leading to too much unemployment. This is wrecking the lives of millions of workers and their families.
“Johnson and Kwak understand this and certainly do not argue for deficit reduction in the short-term, but their focus on a longer-term deficit problem can be distracting from the more urgent problem.”