Jeffrey Frankel, a member of President Clinton’s CEA, charges (Milken Institute Review, registration required) that:
When it comes to economic policy, Republican and Democratic administrations have switched places since the 1960s. The Republicans, who were so long identified with free markets and less-is-more government, have become the party of fiscal profligacy and market intervention. Democratic presidents have (by comparison) become the agents of fiscal responsibility and arms-length microeconomic policies.
Robert Ekelund and Mark Thornton have a rebuttal in the latest issue of the MIR (3rd quarter, 2003) but it’s a strange “rebuttal” that begins:
We certainly agree with Jeff Frankel (Milken Institute Review, 1st Quarter 2003) that the “Republicans have become the party of fiscal irresponsibility, trade restriction, big government and failing-grade microeconomics.” However, we would argue that there is less mystery to this exchange of economic platforms with the Democrats than meets the eye. The Republican Party was established in the 19th century as a party of big government and economic intervention.
For my take see my earlier post, The Beast Isn’t Starving.