In the Wall Street Journal Opinion section this morning, Paul-Krugman-wannabe Alan Blinder wrote about The GOP Myth of “Job-Killing” Spending.
Most of it was confused nonsense.
But, there was one thing that he wrote that I agree with:
Dumb public spending deserves to be rejected—but not because it kills jobs.
I also agree with the inverse of this statement. Public spending should not be accepted based on the idea that it creates jobs.
While I’m always skeptical that public spending will create the benefits desired, I would much rather attempt to justify expenditures based on the immediate impact. We’re building this bridge to reduce time wasting traffic congestion, for example.
Justifying expenditures because it creates jobs is not any better when evaluating public spending than it is when evaluating private spending. When you spend money, is creating jobs a key factor in your decision? No. You justify your spending based on the direct benefits you receive.