He goes on to say that since conservatives argue against raising taxes during a downturn, they shouldn't argue for budget cuts either since, in his words, budget cuts:
[H]ave the same pro-cyclical impact. I’ve heard people say that the problem with stimulus is that it ignores the need for the economy to make structural adjustments. But huge state budget cuts don’t make structural adjustments easier, they simply increase the quantity of structural adjustments that are needed.Doesn't increasing the quantity of structural adjustments make these adjustments tougher in the future?
Federal stimulus money allowed states to continue spending beyond their means and left all of the tough choices for the future, like a time capsule filled with nothing but trips to the dentist you put off and all the vegetables you refused to eat as a child. Even here in Wisconsin, the budget in no way prepared us to face an uncertain economic future.
When it comes to state budgets, why should we put off structural adjustments? If the new equilibrium is simply less arts education in our public schools because property tax revenues have fallen sharply and are not likely to rebound any time soon, aren't we better off getting the art teachers out of the classroom now? They could start training for all of those healthcare IT jobs that are always being touted as sources of future employment and (!) ways to reduce healthcare costs. Maybe we could even pay for the training with that soda pop tax Yglesias is always pushing.