Krugman's message today is not new, i.e. stale: The U.S. needs to spend its way out of the recession, and to that end, the federal debt ceiling must be raised. Krugman again posits that Republican reluctance to accede to Obama's request amounts to partisan petulance, which amounts to playing with fire. Yawn. Novel, however, is Krugman's annoyance with Obama:
"The president’s response seemed clueless even then.
. . . .
Republicans believe, in short, that they’ve got Mr. Obama’s number, that he may still live in the White House but that for practical purposes his presidency is already over. It’s time — indeed, long past time [Italics added - observe the similarity to the Cohen quote, above] — for him to prove them wrong."
Apparently, even the patience of "The Conscience of a Liberal" has its limits. Yet, regardless of whether he is able to raise the debt limit, Obama's goose is cooked. As observed by Peter Wehner in Commentary (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/06/30/the-economy-and-the-record-obama-owns/):
"With ownership comes responsibility, of course, so let’s run through, one more time, some of what the president owns:
•An unemployment rate of 9.1 percent;
•28 straight months of unemployment being above 8 percent, a post-World War II record;
•Chronic unemployment worse than during the Great Depression (about 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months);
•A nation in which 2.5 million fewer people are employed than when the president was sworn in and which has seen only 600,000 jobs created during our two-year “recovery”;
•A housing crisis that has recently entered a double dip and is now worse than the Great Depression;
•A record $1.65 trillion deficit this year;
•A record $14.3 trillion debt;
•First quarter growth in 2011 of only 1.8 percent;
•A presidency in which real annual growth in GDP averages 1.5 percent, just barely above what it was during the decade of the Great Depression (1.3 percent); and
•Gas prices roughly doubled what they were when Obama took office."
Obama's only option is to blame Bush and Republican billionaire-backed intransigence for the quandary and to claim that it would all be much worse had he not come to the rescue. Bush is ancient history, and Obama owned both houses of Congress for two years and still couldn't bring about "change."
With campaign season just around the corner, no economic voodoo is going to forestall the moving vans from arriving at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in January 2013. Obama's only prayer is that the Republican's nominate Sarah Palin as his opponent.