Paul Krugman Makes A Good Point, Not That Anyone in the Obama Administration is Going to Care

So, Paul Krugman has officially kicked off Obama Part Deux with a very smart and sensible - as usual - editorial:

[Republicans are] threatening to block any deal on anything else unless they get their way. So they are, in effect, threatening to tank the economy unless their demands are met.


Mr. Obama essentially surrendered in the face of similar tactics at the end of 2010, extending low taxes on the rich for two more years. He made significant concessions again in 2011, when Republicans threatened to create financial chaos by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. And the current potential crisis is the legacy of those past concessions.


Well, this has to stop — unless we want hostage-taking, the threat of making the nation ungovernable, to become a standard part of our political process.


So what should he do? Just say no, and go over the cliff if necessary.


It’s worth pointing out that the fiscal cliff isn’t really a cliff. It’s not like the debt-ceiling confrontation, where terrible things might well have happened right away if the deadline had been missed. This time, nothing very bad will happen to the economy if agreement isn’t reached until a few weeks or even a few months into 2013. So there’s time to bargain.


More important, however, is the point that a stalemate would hurt Republican backers, corporate donors in particular, every bit as much as it hurt the rest of the country. As the risk of severe economic damage grew, Republicans would face intense pressure to cut a deal after all.

Of course, if there's any evidence to support the notion that Obama has ever paid attention to anything Krugman has ever had to say on any subject at all, I've never seen it.

Krugman is suggesting that Obama abandon his tried-and-true (from Obama's perspective, anyway) bipartisanship-above-all-else approach to governing in favor of, you know, doing the right thing for the economy and for the 99% of Americans who are going to bear the fiscal brunt of the Grand Bargain.

Of course Krugman is right.

And of course Obama will ignore him.




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Speaking of which:

Mehitabel's picture

Apparently Bill Moyers has temporarily lost his mind or something.  I would never have thought that he'd feature something like this on his site.

I guess maybe I'm further out of step with the rest of the world than even I thought I was.  "Compromise" and "bipartisanship" are the last  things we need right now AFAIC - not when the people on the other side of the table are hell-bent on destroying the American middle and working classes.  Apparently I am one of a very very very small handful of people who feel this way.

But then again, the people on the other side of the table aren't really on the other side of the table.  The pissing and moaning is just for show.  The reality of the matter is, they are just one big corporate-owned happy family.

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Why, we need bucketloads of ...

BruceMcF's picture

... compromise and bipartisanship, but we need it from the Republican House, who is not going to be willing to do it.

So brinksmanship and bare knuckle politics it must be.

Its not too soon to remind the Senate Class of 2008 that they are going to be going it alone in a mid-term election, with OFA's ground game standing down.

In the Majority, that's: Mark Begich AK, Mark Pryor AR, Mark Udall, CO, Chris Coons DE, Dick Durbin IL, Tom Harkin IA, Mary Landrieu LA, John Kerry MA, Carl Levin MI, Al Franken MN, Max Baucus MT, Jeanne Shaheen NH, Frank Lautenburg NJ, Tom Udall NM, Kay Hagan NC, Jeff Merkely OR, Jack Reed RI, Tim Johnson SD, Mark Warner VA, Jay Rockefeller, WV ...

... defending 20 seats, against the Republican 13. A 5ish seat majority could easily go away completely in a mid-term election with ratbag Republicans running on "defending Medicare and Social Security". 

Indeed, its not too soon to start reminding the Obama administration of that ~ anyone who thinks that this loonie House Majority would hesitate to impeach him for some nonsense if they were sending it to a Republican Senate majority, hasn't been paying attention the last four years.

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I wouldn't say Moyers endorses those ideas

catnip's picture

...just because the article is on his site. But - there's been a lot of false equivalency going on since Tuesday. The idea that the tea baggers and lefties are as extreme as each other is just nonsense, of course. But that's what's discussed on the teevee (CNN, I'm looking at you) when the topic is "compromize".

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Perhaps he is

shaharazade's picture

not endorsing this Republican but just publishing his typical ludicrous reaction after losing the election.  Kind of speaks for itself about  buy-partisanship as it's used by the pols as they mutually play off each other and take turns being hostage takers or victims of each other while they implement  oligarchical collectivism that truly is by-partisan.  Smoke and mirrors and victories for compromise with really nasty scare tactic's used by both sides is the new definition of by-partisan. This election was a real eye opener as  I had lost all hope and was able to see clearly that  by-partisan has nothing to do with party or pragmatic compromise but everything to do with complicity. Who buy's this bad kabuki? Hyper partisan's on the right demand there pols to fight the socialist liberal Democrat's our says Obama is ever bodies president including Goldman Sachs, so he must work for victories for compromise. Who want's the Democrat's to compromise and cave to the same policies and people that just scared the pants off half the voters?

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Bipartisanship is something Obama needs

Cassiodorus's picture

How else to pursue conservative policies without appearing conservative?

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The next debt ceiling crisis is coming up soon.

tom allen's picture

I haven't seen too many people (for example, Krugman) pointing out that the current debt ceiling is going to be reached in December or January, and will have to be extended once again.  That sets up the possibility (near certainty) that Boehner will hold it hostage again, and that Obama will justify the Grand Betrayal by saying once again that the Republicans made him do it.


The assumption is that the lame duck session will extend the ceiling into 2013 for the next Congress to deal with.  I'd guess that negotiations about that will be connected with threatening to push the lame duck off the fiscal cliff, though.

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How many things can the beltway focus on at once?

BruceMcF's picture

Even in horse race coverage, they couldn't pay attention to the race for the White House, the high profile Senate seats AND what was happening in the House ... it was too hard.

And policy is already two or three times harder than horse race coverage, so covering two policy questions at a time ... fuggedaboudit.

Since AFAIU the Bush tax cuts expire first, that will be covered first. Unless the President decides to drag the debt ceiling into the bargain to avoid getting too much of what he claims to be asking for.


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Fox News

type1error's picture

will blame Obama for Petraeus's affair. They will come up with some conspiracy theory about wanting to keep a high-profile Republican from being able to run for office.

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Not THE God, just A God.

BruceMcF's picture

The old gods of Mount Olympus used to get up to that kind of stuff all the time.

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at least he won't take it lightly

Shahryar's picture

I'll feel reassured when the President trots that one out.

We can use all of this if we want to build something for 2016. Yes, I know the attempt is pointless.

Still, I have this fantasy that if someone runs on a platform of telling the truth he or she would do pretty well in the election....if they actually count the votes.

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type1error's picture

We have to pay attention to how the potential candidates vote. 

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Oh brother

shaharazade's picture

Here we go again. Hostage taking, backroom dirty deals and the pretense that none of this is because we have no longer have any party that represent the people or even our laws. What was this election about other then stopping the same people who are cast as extremists and yet following the same bogus narrative. This surely is getting old to most of the country who may not know a lot about economics but certainly  know when their getting screwed. I for one find it hilarious is a sick way that the partisan's who are still telling people to STFU and get on board, are once again trotting out the usual defense and are ready to assume their two legged position, with their heads firmly implanted....

They  are calling for victories for compromise regardless of the mendacity of this Third Way administration. It's really hard to deal with people who know nothing but double speak. It hurts the head and requires one to learn double think. So here we are stuck again right where the thugs with the money want's us to be. Austerity and eat your fucking peas as the endless fiscal cliffs of mass deception are going to be used every time they want  to wring some more blood out of the turnip. I really need to learn how to double think or not.  

. . .
but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that
reality is not violated . . . To tell deliberate lies while genuinely
believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and
then, when it becomes necessary, to draw it back from oblivion for just
so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and
all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this
is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is
necessary to exercise doublethink.


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