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Well, here's something I didn't expect to see: MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough agreeing with a New York Times columnist that it's a bad idea to cut spending when the economy is growing slowly:

"What this [the sequester] is going to do to the economy, is very, very troubling," said Gail Collins of the Times. "Whether it's crazy spending in defense, or smart spending elsewhere, just pulling the plug like this is going to be bad for us."

"Right," said Scarborough. "It's interesting, the Republicans actually don't believe in stimulus spending when it's attached to domestic programs, but you do hear people like Eric Cantor in Virginia saying 'This stimulates the economy, if you cut defense spending, it's going to cost jobs.' And it will, also. I mean the economy is upside down right now. We were in negative growth this last quarter."

So, if you're keeping score at home, at 8:30 AM ET on Feb. 21, 2013, Joe Scarborough finally admitted that cutting spending costs jobs when the economy isn't doing well is a bad idea. The thing that makes this so surprising is that for the past few weeks, Scarborough has been waging a campaign against a different New York Times columnist—Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman—for saying the same exact thing. For example:

Wayne LaPierre's views on guns are as extreme as Paul Krugman's views on debt.
@JoeNBC via Twitterrific
According to Scarborough, Krugman's economic ideas are so far out of the mainstream that virtually nobody agrees with him, but as Scarborough's comments on Thursday morning make clear, the real problem is that Scarborough simply doesn't understand what Krugman is saying.

To be fair to Scarborough, I'm pretty confident that he doesn't share Krugman's spending priorities—Krugman would rather spend money to lift people from poverty and to invest in our nation's future than on the military bloat supported by Scarborough. And Krugman probably would spend more money than Scarborough because he wants more economic growth than Scarborough. But even though Scarborough will never explicitly admit it, they do share the same basic economic theory: that when the economy is weak, more government spending means more jobs. The debate shouldn't be about whether we spend the money—it should be about what we spend the money on.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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