As the election season picks up steam President Obama's fiscal talking points are clear: the tax system is unfair, the government should invest more, the economy is much improved than it was four years ago and will be better four years from now should we choose to re-elect him.
Regardless of Mitt Romney's likely win in the Florida Primary today the fiscal policies of the Republicans remain murky, save for a general hatred of taxes. But the race for the GOP nomination will likely continue. Breakout welcomed gold bug and die-hard fiscal conservative Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital to give us his take on which of the presumptive nominees would be best for the American economy.
In the attached tape Schiff is unequivocal: "Obviously I want Ron Paul to win," he says of the amusing, passionate, undeniably smart Republican currently running a distant fourth among the four remaining GOP hopefuls.
Not to kill the suspense for anyone but Ron Paul is not, in fact, going to be the next President of the United States. When asked to choose between the current front runners on the Right, Schiff is less passionate.
"I don't think any of them are good for the economy," he says in as dejected a tone as you'll ever hear from Schiff. "Between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, I'm going to come down in favor of Mitt Romney."
While Schiff scores Romney's business background as a positive, he thinks all candidates on both sides are woefully unschooled in Austrian Economics. Though far more nuanced to explain in this space, Austrian Economics largely dismisses existing economic models and holds that the job of government is to get the heck out of way of the free market.
Schiff says the Austrian view explains how the country has gotten in this troubled condition: "We've just ignored its lessons."
In sharp contrast, the Keynsian view, wherein government controls economic cycles by spending (deficit spending if need be) during recessions and tightening the money supply at cycle tops to curtail inflation. This "hand-out" way of viewing Washington's involvment in our financial affairs "gets votes but doesn't get economic results," according to Schiff.
Academics on the Left take exception to the last point, generally espousing the view that government spending hasn't been large enough let alone reckless. The one thing everyone agrees on is that an economy with greater than 8% unemployment is utterly unacceptable and little short of a national disgrace by American standards.
Strangely it's exactly that disgrace that Schiff thinks may save us. "As the economy gets worse and worse the voters are going to realize that the politicians are selling snake oil," he says. Once the public is onto the game, they'll stop listening to the shills and seek candidates who stand for real change.
Until then let's put it to you: Of the remaining Republican candidates and President Obama, who will do the best job managing the economy? Let us know in the comment section below.