The Economic Debate Continues: What Does the GOP Mean for Economic Policy?

Echoing comments he made yesterday at a National Journal forum on the Workforce of the Future, Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein argues that the business community should fear the rising power of Senator Jim DeMint and his ilk far more than Democrats:

For all you in the business community who are rooting for a Republican victory in the November elections, a bit of unsolicited advice: Be careful what you wish for.

You're probably thinking that with Republicans in control of one or both houses of Congress, business will be back on top again, setting the agenda, rolling back the socialist tide and forcing an anti-business administration into a humiliating retreat.

In reality, what you'll get is political paralysis for the next two years, and quite possibly longer than that....

Here is the hard political reality: You can't expect to support and finance political candidates who preach that government is menacing and wasteful, that public employees are incompetent and corrupt, that taxes are always too high and destroy jobs, and then turn around and expect that the government will respond to your demands to hold down the cost of health care, or fund basic research, or provide good schools, efficient courts and reliable transportation systems.

The New York Times' David Leonhardt joins the ranks of those, including his conservative colleague Ross Douthat, who've examined the GOP's Deficit-cut Pledge and found it lacking.

Ezra Klein covers Congressional Budget Director Doug Elmendorf's testimony before the Senate Budget Committee, at which Elmendorf says the extension of the Bush tax cuts would hurt the economy and decrease incomes.

The new NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll has made a lot of new already - Simon talks about that here. One of the most interesting questions asked is how acceptable voters feel a potential outcome of the election would be. On the outcome

The Tea Party influences the Republican Party to become more conservative on fiscal issues.

50 percent find it acceptable, while 30 percent find it unacceptable. This result begs a number of questions - namely, what does "conservative on fiscal issues" mean? However, it is clear that there is still room to create a more complete understanding of the actual GOP and tea party positions on fiscal issues.