There's some disappointing discussion of Hoover going on - with substantial disappointments and nastiness on both sides. I don't have time to discuss my thoughts in detail now, but do have a question at the end of a brief summary of my thoughts:
1. A lot of the deficit increases under Hoover came from reduced revenue as a result of reduced incomes. That is not expansionary policy. Sorry.
2. Hoover raised taxes. That is austerity, plain and simple - there should be NO ARGUMENTS over this.
3. Hoover did increase spending, and I really wish guys like Krugman and DeLong would just come out and say this. The point is he didn't increase it nearly enough, which looks like austerity to those of us who think he didn't increase it enough.
4. Federal government ain't the only game in town. I'm not sure how state and local spending compared to federal spending (i.e. - whether declines swamped the federal increases), but it is very reasonable to note that the total government position was more austere than the federal position (just as is the case today).
My question: Does anyone have a defense of Krugman on #3? I haven't looked at this in detail, what I have seen is from people that really aren't fond of Krugman, but as far as I can tell there were modest spending increases. My response is that it clearly wasn't enough. That is clearly true - my question is whether these guys are representing the data correctly. As far as I can tell they are.
Also - my QJAE comment on the business conferences is relevant to this discussion.
20 minutes ago