Paul Krugman is desperately afraid that you might notice

Byline: | Category: 2012, Environment, Government, Taxes & Spending | Posted at: Friday, 5 August 2011

Paul Krugman looks at yesterday’s 512 point drop in the Dow and recognizes that,

“To turn this [economomic] disaster around, a lot of people are going to have to admit, to themselves at least, that they’ve been wrong and need to change their priorities, right away.”

When I read that, there was just the tiniest inkling of a glimmer of a shred of hope in the back of my mind that the next words from Krugman’s pen were going to be a mea culpa. How silly of me.

“Of course, some players won’t change. Republicans won’t stop screaming about the deficit because they weren’t sincere in the first place: Their deficit hawkery was a club with which to beat their political opponents, nothing more — as became obvious whenever any rise in taxes on the rich was suggested. And they’re not going to give up that club.”

Republicans, apparently, are at fault for the last two years of a faux recovery even while “the Obama administration [has] insisted that the economy was on the mend.” That’s because during those two years, while Republicans hadn’t held the Presidency, hadn’t led the Senate, and hadn’t controlled the House except for a mere six months, the GOP nonetheless failed to stop Democrats from doing even more of what they were doing.  This is likely the first time in American political history that a pundit supporting the majority party has attempted to blame the minority for failing to stop them.

Not content to blame the impotent for their powerlessness, Krugman claims that Ron Paul is at fault for “intimidating” Ben Bernanke. Ron Paul? Really? If there is any one long-serving member of Congress who has sponsored less successful legislation than Dennis Kucinich, it is Ron Paul. Oh, and by the way, Ron Paul doesn’t want to intimidate the Fed; he wants to eliminate the Fed. You’ll notice, that hasn’t happened, so I’m not sure what Krugman’s point is.

Actually, I do know what Paul Krugman’s point is. He’s right about the fact that “some players won’t change.” He and his coterie of hyper-Keynesian Democrats are those players who won’t change their methods even while the economy worsens on their watch. And he’s desperately afraid that you might notice.


Don Surber adds more pithily:  “Krugman: the failure of my ideas proves I was right.”

And on the other side, Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly adds this:

Under ideal circumstances, President Obama would come up with an economic plan and execute it. If the agenda succeeded, he’d get the credit. If it faltered, Republicans would call him on it. Voters could evaluate the results and decide whether to keep the president around or go back to GOP economic policies.”

Ummm . . . Dude, that’s exactly what happened.  Remember the $787 billion stimulus that, if not enacted would mean that unemployment could go as high as 8 percent?  That was the president’s economic plan, developed while he was still President-elect.  Fresh off his inauguration high, Obama got exactly what he wanted.  That voters will “evaluate the results and decide whether to keep the president around or go back to GOP economic policies” is exactly what is going to happen. 

Let me make a prediction that Krugman and Benen fear in their hearts is probably true:  If unemployment is still in the 9% range, Stephen Green can throw away his battleground states map.  When the national electorate moves 6 to 10 points, the battleground states aren’t what you’re accustomed to.  Instead, the question will be, could it get even worse for Democrats than this map?

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