I am not entirely sure how strong my argument is, but I want to start trying it when people blast traditional Keynesian economics and deficit spending to stimulate an economy our of a recession.
When President Reagan took office, he inherited both the Cold War and a minor recession. Still, he called for massive defense spending to defeat the Soviets. That massive spending created a spending war between the two nations where USSR just could not keep up. There were many attempted projects that just went unfinished (their space shuttle comes to mind).
However, the US was able to keep up project after project, seemingly to build a military they could not compete with. Who is to say that we did not reap other economic benefits? It would have created high paying jobs, and that would have filtered out from there.
I have not done any research yet, but I think throwing out both defeating Communists and Reagan would do enough to create some belief in the argument. The Tea Party membership is easily lead, after all.
Over on FireDogLake I was reading an opinion column about “America: The Couch Potato” comparing our nation to a lazy, retired NFL player. We’ve lost our drive as a nation. We do not make anything or fix anything. We do not try anything truly ambitious anymore. It is like we’re still transfixed on landing a man on the Moon, we cannot do anything else.
Luckily, they did not extend the idea that we are like OJ Simpson, but I wonder how much we are in denial, and looking for the “Real Killer” everywhere but in the mirror.
If building our nation was good enough for FDR and Reagan, why isn’t it good enough for us today?