Simon calls for fiscal policy to be set independently of government, to prevent it "being corrupted by politics and ideology." This might seem like pointy-headed technocracy. In fact, it is more radical than that.
To see why, consider why we cannot rely upon government to pursue an intelligent fiscal policy at the zero bound.
Another reason was, of course, pointed out by Michal Kalecki back in 1943. "The assumption that a government will maintain full employment in a capitalist economy if it only knows how to do it is fallacious" he said. Business does not want fiscal policy to create full employment because this would deprive it of political power:
Under a laissez-faire system the level of employment depends to a great extent on the so-called state of confidence. If this deteriorates, private investment declines, which results in a fall of output and employment..This gives the capitalists a powerful indirect control over government policy...But once the government learns the trick of increasing employment by its own purchases, this powerful controlling device loses its effectiveness. Hence budget deficits necessary to carry out government intervention must be regarded as perilous. The social function of the doctrine of 'sound finance' is to make the level of employment dependent on the state of confidence.
There can be little doubt that business has captured government.We saw an example of this yesterday. Stefano Pessina's claim that a Labour victory would be "catastrophic" was reported as if it were news that a billionaire isn't keen on leftish governments; I doubt that a benefit claimant's view that a Tory victory would be "catastrophic" would get so much attention.This is just on example of how the rich have disproportionate political influence.
In this sense, I read Simon as making a very radical claim - one which is more Marxian than Keynesian. "Democratic" policy-making cannot serve the public interest, because it is subverted by capitalists' interests. This represents a challenge to naive social democracy, which thinks that governments can do the right thing if only they have the will and courage.