With Republicans set to take control of the House next year, some Democrats on the Hill and in the administration had been hoping that the parties could agree on the sort of stimulus that Republicans typically like: tax breaks. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) says: Don’t count on it.
“I don’t think so…that’s like cash for clunkers, rebates, payroll holidays — those don’t work,” Ryan told me after a Christian Science Monitor breakfast roundtable with reporters this morning. “They don’t work to grow the economy. they lose a lot of money, they give you an artificial sugar high in the quarter in which they take place, and then they go right back down.”
There’s a strong consensus among economists that the key to growth is to inject demand into the economy, either by spending or giving people money to spend through tax credits, rebates, etc. Some Republicans do support measures like this. But according to Ryan, they’re the minority within the party.“Some people are for it. I think [Rep.] Louie Gohmert (R-TX) was pitching the payroll tax thing originally,” Ryan said. “That’s just not good economics. I think the majority [are against it].”
Now, Ryan isn’t a member of his party’s leadership. But he’s influential in his caucus and has his ear to the ground. So he’s worth listening to.