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Krugman: GOP Win Will Be A Catastrophe

Mr. Krugman’s beard is on fire – again. From the New York Times:

Divided We Fail

October 28, 2010

Barring a huge upset, Republicans will take control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect?

Not very, say some pundits. After all, the last time Republicans controlled Congress while a Democrat lived in the White House was the period from the beginning of 1995 to the end of 2000. And people remember that era as a good time, a time of rapid job creation and responsible budgets. Can we hope for a similar experience now?

No, we can’t. This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness.

Mind you, in those amazingly brief periods when the Republican Party has controlled the White House and both houses of Congress all we ever heard from the likes of Mr. Krugman was the need for ‘checks and balances’ and a ‘divided government.’

By the way, ‘krugman’ in German means ‘water carrier.’ We kid thee not.

Start with the politics.

In the late-1990s, Republicans and Democrats were able to work together on some issues. President Obama seems to believe that the same thing can happen again today.

Yes, who can forget Mr. Obama’s famous olive branch to the GOP after taking office? "I won."

In a recent interview with National Journal, he sounded a conciliatory note, saying that Democrats need to have an “appropriate sense of humility,” and that he would “spend more time building consensus.” Good luck with that.

A sense of "humility" from the Democrats starting with Mr. Obama is the last thing you have to worry about, Mr. Krugman.

After all, that era of partial cooperation in the 1990s came only after Republicans had tried all-out confrontation, actually shutting down the federal government in an effort to force President Bill Clinton to give in to their demands for big cuts in Medicare.

Now, the government shutdown ended up hurting Republicans politically, and some observers seem to assume that memories of that experience will deter the G.O.P. from being too confrontational this time around. But the lesson current Republicans seem to have drawn from 1995 isn’t that they were too confrontational, it’s that they weren’t confrontational enough.

Isn’t it instructive to see how the momentary ‘government shutdown’ has been spun into a combination of ‘Kristallnacht’ and the ‘Stalin Purges’ and Mao’s ‘Cultural Revolution.’

(For the record, there were actually two lasted from November 14 – November 19, 1995. and December 16 to January 6, 1996. Which amounts to a grand total of 21 days (a pdf file). Not subtracting the holidays the government would have been closed, in any case.)

Most sensible people today would prefer the government to be shut down to what it is doing when it’s open.

Another recent interview by National Journal, this one with Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has received a lot of attention thanks to a headline-grabbing quote: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Whew. We thought Mr. McConnell was going to continue with his recent namby pamby pledges to try to work with the Dude-In-Chief.

If you read the full interview, what Mr. McConnell was saying was that, in 1995, Republicans erred by focusing too much on their policy agenda and not enough on destroying the president: “We suffered from some degree of hubris and acted as if the president was irrelevant and we would roll over him. By the summer of 1995, he was already on the way to being re-elected, and we were hanging on for our lives.” So this time around, he implied, they’ll stay focused on bringing down Mr. Obama.

Mr. Krugman does not seem to be able to separate Mr. Obama’s policies from the man. Perhaps he sees him as a king or a dictator. Mr. McConnell wants to stop Mr. Obama’s agenda. He does not want to destroy Mr. Obama, the man.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr. Krugman demonstrates the mindset that philosophers from Aristotle to Hegel have ascribed to the ‘natural born slave.’

True, Mr. McConnell did say that he might be willing to work with Mr. Obama in certain circumstances — namely, if he’s willing to do a “Clintonian back flip,” taking positions that would find more support among Republicans than in his own party. Of course, this would actually hurt Mr. Obama’s chances of re-election — but that’s the point.

And yet a ‘Clintonian back flip’ didn’t seem to hurt Mr. Clinton’s chances of re-election. In fact, most political observers would say he would never have gotten re-elected if he had not ‘triangulated.’ But we can’t expect Mr. Krugman to be aware of such arcane ancient history. 

We might add that should any Republicans in Congress find themselves considering the possibility of acting in a statesmanlike, bipartisan manner, they’ll surely reconsider after looking over their shoulder at the Tea Party-types, who will jump on them if they show any signs of being reasonable.

With "reasonability’ being defined, as always, as ‘caving to the Democrats.’ Where were Mr. Krugman’s demands for compromise in November of 2006? Or in November 2008?

A quick search of the archives of his columns at The Times reveals no such demands. Why is that?

The role of the Tea Party is one reason smart observers expect another government shutdown, probably as early as next spring.

If Mr. Krugman knows any "smart observers" he should get them to help him with his columns. They could start by explaining to him how Mr. Clinton managed to get re-elected, albeit once again without a majority of votes.

Beyond the politics, the crucial difference between the 1990s and now is the state of the economy.

When Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, the U.S. economy had strong fundamentals. Household debt was much lower than it is today. Business investment was surging, in large part thanks to the new opportunities created by information technology — opportunities that were much broader than the follies of the dot-com bubble.

Yes, thanks to Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts and ‘peace dividend’ that came from the Republicans winning of the Cold War, Mr. Clinton inherited a robust economy. Which he immediately proceeded to try to squander. Which is one reason why the GOP swept to power in Congress in 1994.

In this favorable environment, economic management was mainly a matter of putting the brakes on the boom, so as to keep the economy from overheating and head off potential inflation. And this was a job the Federal Reserve could do on its own by raising interest rates, without any help from Congress.

Today’s situation is completely different. The economy, weighed down by the debt that households ran up during the Bush-era bubble, is in dire straits;

Hilarious. This from the same Solon who demands that we at least triple the amount of government spending to stimulate the economy. Who wishes we would have a major war to get the economy booming again.

[D]eflation, not inflation, is the clear and present danger. And it’s not at all clear that the Fed has the tools to head off this danger. Right now we very much need active policies on the part of the federal government to get us out of our economic trap.

But we won’t get those policies if Republicans control the House. In fact, if they get their way, we’ll get the worst of both worlds: They’ll refuse to do anything to boost the economy now, claiming to be worried about the deficit, while simultaneously increasing long-run deficits with irresponsible tax cuts — cuts they have already announced won’t have to be offset with spending cuts.

You see, only tremendous government spending can boost the economy. Tax cuts won’t do the job. And never mind that no government has ever spent itself out of a serious recession, while tax cuts have worked each and every time they have been tried.

You don’t win Nobel Prizes in economics by sticking with the tried and true. In fact, the crazier more ‘counter-intuitive’ your theory, the better.

So if the elections go as expected next week, here’s my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Something really needs to be done about those damn Republican fear mongers.

Still, isn’t it wonderful to see that the Democrats’ own internal polling must be predicting a GOP blow out?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 29th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Krugman: GOP Win Will Be A Catastrophe”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The one thing that is always missing from the left’s uber-sterilized view of the world is reality. When it shows up, they cannot recognize it. When needed, they cannot reference it. When placed in their face, they deny it.

  2. Mithrandir says:

    Yeah Yeah Yeah….

    When the Dems are the minority they say, “The core of morality of this country is to take care and listen to the minority opinion, and not trample upon it.”

    When Dems are in power, “Hey buddy, majority rules!”

    Look how the liberals cannibalize each other: http://wewillnotbesilenced2008.com/

    Sick, evil people man….

    • platypus says:

      I disagree that this indicates cannibalism or evil. My first reaction is that it sounds like it was written by a tea partier.

      We had a rally opposing Sen. Worn Out Sneakers at the Westin in Seattle when VP BiteMe came to town. The libs were also there protesting and we were all mashed in together – tea partiers and union members. The police complained to me that it was too boring. I responded to them and the news media that this was a collection of Americans and that efforts to make us confrontational towards each other will always fail. The liberals were just as passionate as us tea partiers and just as civilized.

      My conclusion as the tsunami day approaches is that there are two revolts going on – the PUMAs and the Tea Parties. They both want the same thing – the end of elitest rulers. On Tuesday, America 3.0 beta goes viral.

    • Mithrandir says:

      Sounds like it was written by a tea partier? So, when Hillary Clinton complained about fraud and vote irregularities, she was part of the tea party? –2 years before there even was a tea party? — Pretty amazing don’t you think?

      Look at the complaint documents here, that you obviously didn’t bother to look at on the webpage.

  3. proreason says:

    Paulie’s getting poopy pants.

    Who is going to provide his princely lifestyle in return for his skill at framing his lips and mewing like a kitten if the Sorozis are evicted from their sinecures?

  4. GetBackJack says:

    Krugman is the unnatural progeny of the Reverend Jim Jones and Tammy Baldwin. he’s such a roach that even after taking the Kool-Aid, he walked out of the jungle still alive.

  5. Petronius says:

    Krugman: “And it’s not at all clear that the Fed has the tools to head off this danger.”

    It is a poor workman who destroys his own tools.

    The most important tools for an American president are his country’s currency, commerce, industry, agriculture, and armed forces.

    And Nerobama has been busy smashing these tools at every opportunity.

    Government bureaucracy, public debt, and money supply, on the other hand, are skyrocketing thanks to out-of-control government spending. Yet Krugman wants more.

    The US dollar is at a record low and crashing. Furthermore, the Fed is expected to announce QE2 immediately after the election.

    The rest of the world sees what is happening in the USA and doesn’t like what it sees. China, Russia, Brazil, and other countries are moving to abandon the dollar as the global reserve currency. Japan and Switzerland have intervened to keep their currencies from growing too strong versus the dollar. It is beginning to look like the collapse of the US dollar may trigger a global stampede to devaluation of other currencies.

    The Fed cannot continue to print tons of money and still keep the lid on interest rates forever. Once inflation becomes more obvious, bond prices are going to collapse and the economy is going to be rocked.

    • tranquil.night says:

      You got it Petronius. It’s all been happening in a shockingly candid manner too, if you’ve been listening to all the respective players at the helm of international command and control.

      The private sector has weathered the out of control tornado of this regime with preemptive resilience; basically they got the hell out of the field and into the bunker. Outside of high wealth commodities and basic retail services largely derived from cheap imports which China doesn’t want to be so cheap anymore, the only functioning parts of the economy are the services and businesses reaping the rewards from the fascist political connections, redistributive funds and pork. The overall debt and flooded treasuries are the ship that’s rapidly sinking the dollar.

      Soros pulled out back in the beginning of the Summer. The Obama economic team of superheroes that “brought us back from the brink” have all returned to their fortresses.

      If anyone wants more of the same or to see this accelerated, like the nobel-winning Ferret, vote Democrat.

  6. bill says:

    Wouldn’t you love top see Krugman’s beard catch fire.

  7. mr_bill says:

    What the fear-mongering Krugman fails to note is that the democrat party has only itself to blame for its predicament. He worries that the government might be shut down, and the problem is…? But if it does get shut down, it will be for lack of a budget. Who could have drafted, presented, and voted on the budget? The democrat Congress that decided to leave town early. They were so worried about the budget that they spent their time legislating television commercial volume. Of course, if they had presented their budget before the mid-terms they would have been pilloried instead of mearly being voted out of office en masse.

    Now the democrat party will have to make some hard decisions. Propose a reasonable budget (guffaw) or go on record supporting their bloated budget desires (dems really don’t like going on the record for their true beliefs) or let the new, much more conservative Congress propose the budget. I’m sure the democrats will be happy to work with the new majority party in Congress, right? (scoff)

  8. P. Aaron says:

    Idiot > Krugman

  9. wardmama4 says:

    In a way – the past 18 months has shown that America’s ‘checks and balances’ do work – The Won may have gotten his some of his crappola agenda through – but look at what it took – even his ‘legacy’ of Obamacare – required backroom deals, lies and probably a bunch of Chicago Way threats. Even with an overstacked (The House, The Senate and how damn many unaccountable czars?) deck – The Won struggled – and those of us who actually use the gray matter in our head know it is simply because the majority of Americans do not want a socialist government telling us what to do and when to do it.

    I think that on Tuesday – We may see the proof of America’s checks and balances working.

    Krugman reminds me of a ferret and probably just as dangerous around human beings.

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      And you’ll notice that none of the socialist candidates are running on their vote for hell-care. In fact, they are avoiding the issues altogether, instead choosing to throw ad-hominem attacks at their opponents. Why? They have nothing left to campaign on. They threw their lot in with with the socialists and are losing—badly.

  10. proreason says:

    oh baby, this is good. Very good.

    I live in a district where there aren’t any competitive races, until you get way down ballot, and not many there.

    Thought I’d beat the sytem and go vote late-afternoonish on the last day of pre-voting.

    The line was the biggest voting line I’ve ever seen! I casually asked the admin personnel if they expected this kind of turnout and they said it was so high they ran out of “I voted” stickers early in the morning.

    This is good. Very good.


  11. platypus says:

    Doug Cloud is polling 4 points ahead of dinosaur Norm Dicks in WA state. Dicks has half a million dollars on hand and Cloud has 3,000 dollars.

    It has to be tsunami times 2, at least, when the money doesn’t matter.

  12. Gladius et Scutum says:

    I’m not sure why Steve failed to point out that, in addition to winning the Dynamite prize, Mr. Krugman belonged to JournoList listserve, a conspiracy of left wing jounalists, academics, and activists dedicated to the election of BHO.
    Krugman is in no sense a journalist or commentator – he is a propagandist. It’s not just that you shouldn’t believe anything he writes or says: It’s that you shouldn’t think that Krugman believes it either.

    More interesting is trying to determine to whom he is speaking, and what seeds he is trying to plant. My guess is that he is speaking to liberals who imagine themselves “sophisticates” trying to prepare them for the results of the QE (er, this is 3, isn’t it?).

    • proreason says:

      I think of him as a courtier.

      cour·tier noun
      \ˈkȯr-tē-ər, ˈkȯrt-yər, ˈkȯr-chər\
      Definition of COURTIER
      1: one in attendance at a royal court
      2: one who practices flattery

      Courtiers make very nice livings, thank you very much.

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