Take Mr Krugman's own example of the election of 1984, in which Ronald Reagan triumphed. Real GDP growth in that cycle actually peaked in the second quarter of 1983more than a year before the electionafter which it steadily slowed. From that 9.3% performance, growth tumbled to 3.3% by the fourth quarter of 1984, when voters actually went to the polls.
Now for the knock-out blow. David Leonhardt asks Zandi what he thinks about Krugman's alleged trade-off:
[S]tronger growth in 2011 (particularly in the first half of 2011) will ensure that the recovery achieves escape velocity. That is, enough G.D.P. growth to generate enough job growth to bring down unemployment and propel the recovery into a self-sustaining expansion. This is a necessary condition for addressing our long-term fiscal problems. Without this additional boost, unemployment would continue to hover near 10 percent throughout 2011 and the recovery would remain very vulnerable to anything that might go wrong. The objective of the Recovery Act was to end the Great Recession and jump-start a recovery. It succeeded. The objective of this package is to ensure the recovery evolves into a self-reinforcing expansion. I’m confident it will do that.
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