Economy 16 October 2009 Osborne gets an American fan The New York Times's David Brooks falls for shadow chancellor's economic dogma Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML David Brooks is one of the most thoughtful conservative journalists in America, so it's a pity to see him fall for George Osborne's "we're all in this together" schtick today. Taking the shadow chancellor entirely at his word, he argues that Osborne's economic honesty and maturity provide a model for Republicans. In the most egregious passage, he writes: Last November, Osborne opposed a cut in the value-added taxes on the grounds that the cuts were unaffordable and would not produce growth. It is not easy for any conservative party to oppose tax cuts, but this one did it. Never mind that in February three economists from the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that the VAT cut had raised real consumption by 1.2 per cent; is Brooks not aware of the tax cuts that the Conservatives have promised? He makes no mention of the party's grossly regressive pledge to raise the inheritance-tax threshold to £1m and appears unaware of the Tories' proposed tax break for married couples. That Brooks endorses Osborne's call to withdraw fiscal stimulus -- at a time when US unemployment is at a 26-year high of 9.8 per cent -- should trouble his American readers. The greatest threat to economic recovery is not debt, but the fear of debt.The surest way for the US to increase its state deficit would be to cut stimulus spending and thereby dramatically weaken consumer demand. For the sake of the US economy, we must hope that Osborne's delusions do not win a wider audience. › In defence of political correctness George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles Douglas Carswell leaves Ukip to become independent MP Labour is a pioneer in fighting sexism. That doesn't mean there's no sexism in Labour Why isn't Labour putting forward Corbynite candidates?