Republicans Draw Economists’ Concern in Budget Fight

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Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, is out with a new report today suggesting that the economy could lose 700,000 jobs by the end of next year if Republicans push through $61 billion in cuts called for in their 2011 budget proposal.

A former McCain adviser and stimulus booster whom John Boehner once called “President Obama’s favorite Republican economist,” Zandi seems to play the role of Washington’s perennial arbiter of Economic Rightness. That is to say, members of both parties love to cite him whenever his conclusions validate their governing philosophy. From the Washington Post:

“Significant government spending restraint is vital, but given the still halting economic recovery, it would be counterproductive for that restraint to begin until the economy is creating enough jobs to bring down the still very high unemployment rate,” Zandi writes.

Monday’s report comes on the heels of an analysis from Goldman Sachs projecting that the Republican plan, if put into action, could slow the economy’s growth by up to 2 percentage points this year alone. If Senate Democrats are going to mount a public resistance to the House GOP’s austerity campaign, expect them to rally around these data.