Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why The Financial Press Buys Into A Non-Existent Keynesian Consensus

Few Wall Street Journal readers know that its news and opinion sections are written and managed separately. Whereas the opinion section – as edited by the late Robert Bartley and now Paul Gigot – consistently champions fiscal discipline, smaller government,  and lower marginal tax rates, analysts from the Journal’s news side – David Wessel and Gerald Seib, in particular – are consistent proponents of Keynesian tax and spend policy. That the news section delivers conclusions at odds with the opinion section puts the Journal at risk of an errant headline like: “The Wall Street Journal Says Keynes Was Right.”

David Wessel consistently represents the Keynesian party line in the news section. In his most recent analysis, his conclusions about the effects of the sequester coincide with none other than the New York Times’ Paul Krugman. Although Wessel’s language is more restrained, their conclusions boil down to one and the same.

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